Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Hollywood 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 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.

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 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, THE CAPE, 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.


LouOCNY said...

Here's one: Fly Thanksgiving Night. Everybody who went to Grandma's is still there.
I came home from Las Vegas to Newark Thanksgiving night on the red eye, and there MIGHT have been 35 people on a 757 - and several of those were Continental personnel. It was great - three seats to myself! Three pillows! (and in those days)Three blankets!! Fun trip too - the senior FA's disappeared after take off, the pilot comes on the PA, and tells us in so many words, "The co-pilot's flying the plane tonight - I'm taking a nap!" I actually slept for about half the flight.

John said...

A 'C' boarding pass on Southwest at least means even if you're the last on and you end up sitting next to that 500-pound woman with the post-menopausal moustache who takes up 3/4s of your seat, your luggage is going to be the first on the baggage carousel upon arrival. Unless you're changing planes 1-2 times. Then your baggage is the first off the carousel in Buffalo.

Mike Botula said...

I'm seriously thinking about FED EXing myself to Grandma's house. A crate could be no less comfortable than the passenger compartment and those seats designed for malnourished pygmies. And if I'm in the baggage hold next to the Dionne quintuplets' caskets, it should be quieter, too. Geez! I wish they'd bring back the DC-3 instead of upgrading their equipment to the "Titanic With Wings."

erniecanuck said...

Find a relative in Canada (invent one if necessary) and have the family celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving in October.

Powerhouse Salter said...

Know that drinking heavily at the airport before boarding increases the chances your plane won't have a working toilet.

Blair Ivey said...

I gave up traveling on Thanksgiving years ago. My advice: don't.

I've never had a problem with Hertz.

I've never had a problem with O'Hare, either.

I was in an exit row and the flight attendant asked if I'd help with the evacuation. My response was "No way. I'm sprinting for open ground." Your results may vary.

Naz said...

To parents with screaming kids (this includes the megabrat girl on Southwest Airlines that distrubed the passengers for the entire trip from Tampa to Providence) Benadryl is a wonderful drug. Use it!

Paul Duca said...

Ken, go online to the BOSTON GLOBE website and look up a piece from last Sunday's "Ideas" section. The front page story is about commercial flight being on the verge of changing for the ideas and technologies are about to be introduced that will make fundamental changes in the entire infrastructure--not just individual airlines, but airports, ground control, air traffic control and the like.

Anonymous said...

I liked Community at first, but that show has all kinds of problems, and seems like most emanate from the show runner.

For instance, why cast a show that takes place at a community college with 8 (going on nine) running characters? Crafting plots every week with that many characters must be a challenge in itself. Also, the agism in that show is glaring, since they have done nothing with the Pierce character since the first season besides portraying him as some "crazy mean old man."
The Chang character as the "crazy plotting asian" isn't something for the audience to get behind long term either.
The episode with Jeff trying to make time with Annie was a bit repulsive, since it was about a middle-aged man trying to make time with a 19 year old.
Usually, that would be creepy, but in Community's world, not so much.
Also, they will build a joke around elements in their plots that make no sense. Example: why would a high achieving asian woman be all up and scholastically competitive with Annie at a CITY COLLEGE, which begs the question of why, if Annie is a "tracy flick" homage, she would be at a city college in the first place? I think Tracy Flick would have hung herself long before she'd sign up at a community college.
There's examples aplenty on the show of the writers habit of undermining character credibility for the sake of a joke.
To me, this undermines the relationships of all the characters, and makes the show worth canceling. I mean, ultimately if the writer's don't give a shit, why should I?

BlondeBomber said...

Ken, I am so SUPER STOKED to find your blog. This was one of the funniest things I have read in a very long time. I love the whole airline shtick! Very very good! Thanks for bringing laughter to my afternoon.

Unknown said...

Nobody should be eating Ann Coulter.


Paul Duca said...

Sebastian...sadly, I can point you to people online whose main reason to go to Heaven is to do just that.

Weston said...

Wow. I just read this now and had to giggle. Not only do I agree but when I got to the end it was as if you had read my mind because all I was thinking about was Planes, Trains and Automobiles. So much so that I actually wrote a blog post on it. Too funny.