Saturday, November 15, 2008

A holiday tradition: My Thanksgiving Travel Tips

Hello from the Sitcom Room. Great students. Great scenes. The All-Star writing panel follows at 3. Reports later in the week from those who survived the experience.
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. Don't wait until the last week .

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 ear ache 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.

Three words of advice if you’re driving a long distance: XM satellite radio. Especially if you’re crossing Texas and want to listen to Air America.

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.

There are NO bargains in the Sky Mall magazine.

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

If you’re flying on an airline that doesn’t have reserved seating never sit next to anyone whose 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, JOURNEYMEN, 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.


Anonymous said...

My in-laws think that I am nuts because I would rather drive with two children for two days than fly.

What could possibly go wrong with flying? When you have two children? At Christmas time?

Withyouinrockland said...

...eating or reading Ann Coulter...

Well my breakfast is ruined...forever. Damn you television writers and your tenuous grasp of grammar!

Anonymous said...

I would pay extra to watch someone eating Ann Coulter, and the grammar be damned.

Coupla Thanxgiving years ago I was flying to Cleveland on an airline pass when I was "bumped" in Newark with no possibility of another flight until "next Tuesday." Stranded in Newark? Ungodly. Airline passes make it possible to fly anywhere, so I found a flight to Buffalo, rented a car and drove 200+ miles to Cleveland. The whole trip took over 19 hours. I coulda drove (from Florida) quicker and cheaper.

If you must fly on a holiday, pick Christmas. Nobody travels on Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Your suggestion that you avoid ORD: good.

Your suggestion that the alternative is DFW: BAD. That's the airport that locked me out in the middle of the night because I was on a 6 hour flight delay.

Let's try Miami as an alternate. At least it'll be warm....

Anonymous said...

Ken was just paying homage to that classic Groucho gag, "One morning I shot Ann Coulter in my pajamas. How she got in my pajamas, I don't know."

Jeff Tompkins said...

Two years ago I was flying home for Thanksgiving and instead of going to Chicago for the connecting flight, the airline re-routed us to Atlanta, due to bad weather. I am still in the airport but am assured that we will begin boarding soon.

Anonymous said...

Eating Ann Coulter, however yucky that is, is still better than reading her. But then, I suppose it depends on whether she's been roasted or deep-fried. Either way, her books are poison.

So JB, I think the correct classic line to reference would be this exchange

Margaret Hamilton: "Do you like children?"

WC Fields: "I do when they're properly cooked."

Eric Curtis said...

I have a felling that no matter how she was prepared, Ann Coulter would be, tough, grisly and sour.

Anonymous said...

eat me!

Cap'n Bob said...

Oddly enough, I rented a car from Hertz when I went to Arizona in October. They not only had the lowest price but the paperwork took no time at all. I was amazed that it all went so well.

Heck, I'd eat Ann Coulter. What's love (or politics) got to do with it?

Anonymous said...

I'd eat MAnn Coulter, but only if the sauce was particularly tangy.

Tiff said...

Thank you! What you said was very funny!

I'm always the "early bird" person who wants to get on the plane first...

I never thought about the

"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."

This had me in tears from laughing so hard. I'm going to change it up this year! LOL

Thanks for the advice!

Buttermilk Sky said...

The only time I ever flew the day before Thanksgiving (LaGuardia to Savannah, GA) there was no traffic and no delays. Nada. Not even in the horrific Atlanta airport. As Yogi Berra might have said, "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

BTW I just read that Barack Obama's favorite TV series are MASH and The Wire. You have a fan in high places.

Anonymous said...

Funny stuff. I'd say the key to holiday travel is to always, always, always have reading material and two vodka collins' before getting to your gate.

Your ipod battery may run out, your airport newstand may close, you may sit on the runway for 3 hours waiting to take off but at least you'll have a good book (or 2...or 5).