Sunday, November 20, 2016

A blog tradition: My Thanksgiving travel tips


The Thanksgiving holiday is the peak travel weekend of the year (in America. The rest of the world could give a rat’s ass about Thanksgiving.) So as a public service, here again -- and with a few additions -- are some travel tips:

Leave for the airport NOW.

Bring no luggage. Wearing the same clothes for a week is a small price to pay. Plus, the airlines now charge you for check-in luggage AND blankets. Pretty soon pressurized air will also be extra.

Southwest has no reserved seating. Get in one of the latter groups boarding. You don’t want to be one of the first to sit then watch as fifty people glance at the empty seat next to you, then to you, and decide to sit somewhere else. Even in the last row.

If you have children under the age of five tell your relatives one has an earache and make everyone come to YOU.

Those people in the Stand-By line – those are the same people who think they can get rich selling Amway products, and the Tooth Fairy really exists. Don’t fly Stand-By unless you like sleeping in airport terminals for five days.

If you rent from Hertz plan on a two hour wait just to get your car. Unless you’re one of their “preferred” customers in which case allow only one hour.

When rental car companies recommend you use premium gasoline put in regular. It’s cheaper, it’ll run just fine, and it’s not your car.


Before you pull off the road to a Chuck E. Cheese for lunch, remember their namesake is a rat.

Air travelers: avoid O’Hare. Better to land in Dallas, even if your destination is Chicago.

If you’re dropping someone off at the airport don’t even think you’ll be able to stop. Have your travelers practice the tuck and roll from a moving car. The first couple of times they’ll bounce but by the fourth or fifth try they should have it down.

Watch the DVD of HOSTEL on your laptop. The bigger the screen, the better.

There’s more legroom in Exit rows. When the flight attendants ask if you are willing to help out in case of emergency just say yes. Like it’s going to make a big difference anyway if you crash.

When you’re stuck in St. Louis and all flights are grounded (and trust me, you WILL be), grab lunch at JBucks.

If you’re flying on an airline that doesn’t have reserved seating never sit next to anyone who is already eating or reading Ann Coulter.

Before you fly to New York and have to negotiate JFK just remember – the parade is on TV. And it’s the same friggin' balloons as last year. The only difference is that the stars of NBC’s big new hit from last year, ARE YOU THERE, CHELSEA?, won’t be there (thank God).

Never pay to see an in-flight movie starring Debra Messing.

Put a big strip of duct tape on your luggage so you’ll recognize it easily. And it makes a nice fashion statement.

If you’re flying with small children see if there’s such a thing as “Flintstones Valium”.

In-flight alcoholic beverages are expensive. Better to drink heavily at the airport before boarding.

And finally, watch PLANES, TRAINS, & AUTOMOBILES again and think of it as a “best” case scenario.

Happy trails to you all.

17 comments:

Shaun S said...

There are Americans on youtube and elsewhere who can't understand why the rest of the world doesn't celebrate thanksgiving. I have been asked about it by American tourists a couple of times. It's one of the reasons Americans get a bad reputation for being ignorant of the world.

B.A. said...

About avoiding O'Hare: I have relatives still pissed at me because I chose a cheapskate airline plan last year and landed at Midway instead. It seems they didn't like driving around Chicago in the winter or something. And Meig's Field wasn't an option.

1955david said...

I genuinely "laughed out loud" at the tuck n roll. Nice

Donald Benson said...

Actually, I'd regard people passing up the seat next to me as a super power.

Malaspina said...

I never really understood how big Thanksgiving was in the USA until I was in LA during a Thanksgiving weekend.The whole city seemed to be shut down.I guess everybody was either eating turkey or waiting in line at the airport.Happy Thanksgiving to Ken and all American readers.

Buttermilk Sky said...

SEIU Local 1, representing baggage handlers, cabin cleaners etc., is threatening to strike at O'Hare before Thanksgiving. Listen to Ken -- fly to Dallas.

VP81955 said...

Or take Amtrak (if time allows). Get a feel for the geographic vastness and variety of this country.

thirteen said...

We make them come to us. Besides, I'm the best cook in the family.

Barry Traylor said...

Thanksgiving. Bah Humbug. Groundhog Day is more fun in my opinion.

Andrew said...

In the spirit of this post, Ken, you should check out this letter from John Cleese to America following the election. You might even want to make it a post. Funny stuff. Turns out Cleese doesn't like baseball.

http://cogink.com/cleese/

"To the citizens of the United States of America, in light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today..."

Andrew said...

Oops. I just learned that the Cleese letter was written years ago in response to George W. Bush. Nevertheless, it's still relevant.

Frank Beans said...

If it pleases the court, I've edited your holiday tips for this year down to only two words:

Drink Heavily.

Betty said...

But Southwest doesn't charge for the first two checked bags. :-)

Unknown said...

UPDATE: Strike at O'Hare airport has been put off until after the holiday.
Best review of the holiday was by a college professor: The feast of gluttony

Unknown said...

Update: The strike at O'Hare airport has been postponed until after the holiday. So it is still not safe to go into the water....
Best name for the holiday from a college professor: The feast of gluttony.

Unknown said...

UPDATE: Strike at O'Hare airport has been put off until after the holiday.
Best review of the holiday was by a college professor: The feast of gluttony

Mike said...

Never mind the travel, what about the aggro when you get there?
Family feud, election edition: Americans brace for Thanksgiving discord
A Republican elephant in the room.