Friday, November 9, 2007

Holiday traveling own testimonials

I think I'm a little bored this week with three posts, but that's life this week at work. With the holiday season coming up and traveling on the mind, I found this helpful article on Yahoo. It lists the top 15 traveling tips to review before flying. I'm not going to go through all 15, but I have a couple experiences in the airport that will testify to the truthfulness of some of these tips.

Airplanes are flying buses
You get little more than a little seat; now quit whining and take responsibility for your comfort. Assume that food, entertainment, blankets, and pillows cost extra, if they're offered at all. Rather than get nickel-and-dimed, carry on anything you want.
Testimonial: I fly Southwest all the time and this is so true on their airline. While they offer the cheapest rates, it is like a bus. You get on, find your seat since one is not assigned, then realize that it just isn't that much room. So we just deal with it.

Hands off the call button
The vast majority of flight attendants have a Pavlovian reaction to the call button: When they hear it, they snarl. About the only time it's acceptable to push the button is when you or your seatmate is having a heart attack.
Testimonial: I have seen many flight attendants get frustrated with passengers for this, just stay on their good side.

Airport security for beginners
1. At home, place gels and liquids (in 3-oz. containers) in a quart-size Ziploc. Wear slip-on shoes, and don't forget socks (going barefoot is gross).

2. In the security line, remove everything except your ID and boarding pass from your pockets.

3. When you're three people from the front of the line, take off your shoes and jacket, and remove your laptop from your bag.

4. Try to be patient with everyone who didn't do it this way.
Testimonial: Different airports do things a little differently. San Diego may not yell at you for not having your liquids in a quart-size ziploc, but Oakland will, and not just yell, but only give you 5 seconds to make your decision, check your bag, or throw it away since you don't have the right size bag! Luckily, they now have bags there just in case you didn't bring one. But I am amazed at how many people don't realize they have to bag their liquids and only have 3-oz containers. By the way, liquid makeup, non-solid deodorant are all things that you should put in the bag, or just check it, just to be on the safe side. Some checkers are picky. And just be patient, why lose years off your life getting mad at the people in front of you who don't know what they are doing, or are slow, does no one any good.

Got a big carry-on?
Then you'd better be at the front of the line for your boarding group. Once you're on the plane, if it looks busy up ahead, stash the bag in any open overhead space. Never allow the bag to end up behind your seat, or you'll have to wait for the entire plane to empty before you'll be able to retrieve it.
Testimonial: Just don't bring a big carry-on. If it can't fit in the test slots, don't bring it. Just plan for a mad dash to the luggage carousels after your flight, you'll be fine. The rest of us want space for our bags that actually fit.

Call someone who cares
To reduce the number of cars circling the arrivals area, airports are creating "cell phone parking lots" where people meeting an arriving passenger can wait for that person's call. The lots are the best thing to happen at airports since Auntie Anne's pretzel-wrapped hot dogs.
Testimonial: Lucky for me, I have great friends, who even when they forget their cell phones at home, and my flight is 1 1/2 hours late, will drive around, then park their car in the cell phone lot for a hour while waiting for me. These lots have saved my life by allowing my rides home to wait for me. Thanks so much!