Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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.

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, 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.


Rory W. said...

My boss had the bright idea of having a meeting in New York the Monday after Thanksgiving.

I'm flying in Monday morning, so, hopefully, I'll only hit the tail end of T-day travelers, but I'm still planning to "to drink heavily at the airport before boarding." So what if it's 7 am.

Jerry K. said...

For you entrepreneurs out there, here's a few money making ideas for those who live near the airport but are not flying.

Grab a couple of laptops, a power strip or two, and have your itunes account ready to go.

Step 1 Get to your airport early and buy the cheapest ticket you can find - something in the $78 range is optimal.

Step 2 Get through the TSA grope and gripe line and park yourself near an outlet by a gate.

Step 3 Open your business by renting a spot on your powerstrip for an "airline reasonable" price like $10 for 10 minutes. Plug in your laptop and offer people to download music to their ipods for $5 per song or 5 for $20. You can also offer to recharge ipods, ipads and other USB electronics for $10 for 10 minutes.

I wish I was kidding about this, but people actually do similar things and the prices go up if there are flight delays and the airport gets crowded.

Cap'n Bob said...

What? Don't sit next to someone eating Ann Coulter? I'm not sure how to interpret this.

chuckcd said...

I usually watch "Airplane!"
while I'm on the airplane...