Saturday, November 21, 2009

A holiday 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. 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: Sirius/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 JBucks.

If you’re flying on an airline that doesn’t have reserved seating never sit next to anyone whose already eating or reading the Sarah Palin alibiography.

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, KATH & KIM, 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.


Chet Riley said...

Never ride in the same plane as a young William Shatner.

Simon H. said...

LOL at alibiography, and amen on Sirius/XM. It has helped on many a long trip the wife and I have taken the last few years.

ExurbanMom said...

There's a reason all the kids say "Chuck E Cheeses, where a kid can get diseases."

Every single time I've taken my kid there, she's come down with whatever cold/flu/strep bug is going around right then. No exaggeration.

So keep that in mind when considering Chuck's during your hectic travels this holiday season.

Terrie said...


John Pearley Huffman said...

I refuse to believe there is anyone who wants to listen to Air America.

MattA said...

Mr. Huffman,
Sure there are. To borrow from Ken, they're in the standby line and think the tooth fairy is going to give them health care for...FREEEE! Oh, and they are also the ones obsessing about Sara Palin.

A. Buck Short said...

From the Greater Dallas/Irving Texas Metroplex, Chuck E. Cheese’s corporate hq and the state most responsible for assuring Sirius/XM satellite radio will finally turn a profit, this additional Thanksgiving airport travel advice:

1) Always show a healthy respect for Mike Tyson’s personal space.

2) Never confuse our Chuck E. Cheese’s with other national pizza chains like Papa John’s, Papa Gino’s, Papa Murphy’s (now there’s some branding for you), or Big Mamma’s and Papa’s Pizzeria and introduce its mascot to Mike as “Papa Ratso.”

For those ByKenLevine readers still aspiring to a career in show business, we also offer this training video from our HR (Human/Rodent) Department (11 min., you may want to fast forward on occasion):

Oh, and
3) Toddler entertainment and Ron Jeremy aren’t necessarily a really good fit – unless you’re hoping for a lap dance from Chucky:

Finally, Thursday, when we all gather together to celebrate the bountiful goodness that is Pamela Anderson; as outreach director for out Native American production company, it is my duty to remind all that November is also Native American Heritage Month. In celebration of same, you’ll be sure to want to take the kids to see Disney’s “Snow Red" the long-awaited update of their 1937 animated classic, framed – by a Disney executive who, uh, asked not to be identified as a Disney executive – as “sort of Pocahontas meets Danny DeVito.” Both the new release and all theme parks will be adding an eighth dwarf for the holiday, with the cast now including Dopey, Grumpy, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy and Squanto. Spoiler alert: in this remake, the new Squanto character is singled out for special recognition; because, when the evil queen tempts Snow Red with the poison apple, it is Squanto who recommends she try the creamed corn instead.

Danny Cohen said...

I have been to The Sky Mall when my blimp docks with it over Mozambique. Nothing like buying foot massagers, desk fountains and solar pathway lights at 35,000 feet.

Cap'n Bob said...

Those wonderful assholes at Continental Airlines in Chicago gave my ticket to a stand-by passender once. The bum probably made a fortune selling Amway.

Will Teullive said...

The local affilates in every major city have the obligatory Thanksgiving Day Parades. The "special guest" is always some forth lead of a current show in the bottom half of the ratings, or a star of show from twenty years ago that also dwelled in the ratings basement...."Ladies and Gentelmen you loved him as Larry Appleton in Perfect Stangers, please give a warm Cleveland welcome to Mark Linn-Baker"

Paul Duca said...

So MattA doesn't obsess about Sarah Palin...for either of two reasons:

A) He has discarded her like last year's best-seller
B) His satellite talk channel assures her groundswell
in '12 is as guaranteed as the sunrise tomorrow

WV: amatter--the new term for antimatter,
to correspond with "moral" and "amoral"

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