Turkey Lurkey!, by Sugar Daze

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! If you are traveling today, here are a few tips that have served me well over the years.

  • Read your airline’s policy on carry-on bags (size and weight) BEFORE you pack
  • Carry everything on if you can
  • Convert large liquid toiletries into small travel sizes for your trip
  • Ship anything bulky or any large quantities of liquids instead of bringing them on the plane
  • Research the airport layout and probable location for your departure gate so you know exactly where to go, how to get there, and nearby food and drink options
  • If you are not checking a bag, check in online the day before (within 24-hours of departure) and ensure your seat selection is good, and print out your boarding pass
  • If you must check a bag, read your airline’s policies for weight and what charges you may incur
  • Arrive at least two hours before your departure (more at some airports, contact your airline for guidance)
  • When approaching the TSA checkpoint, have your ID ready with your boarding pass
  • Smile and be cool and friendly with the TSA agent (do you think he or she likes being called a molester?)
  • Pull your laptop and any other large electronics out of your bag and run them through the X-Ray separately
  • Remove top layer coats, shoes, belts, metal objects, and everything from your pockets and run it through the X-Ray (I typically put everything in my coat pocket and run that through which allows me to exit the checkpoint quickly)
  • If you see the backscatter (TSA Porn-o-matic) machine in use for everyone, just go through it to avoid the intrusive pat down
  • Remember, you don’t get to choose the TSA agent that gives you a pat down (Bunny Ranch style) ((Though it would be an interesting business model.))
  • If you see the machine in use for “random selections,” get in line immediately after someone is selected (not foolproof, but works most of the time)
  • Quickly go through the checkpoint, and proceed to picking up your belongings (get them quickly and move along to avoid creating a line behind you)
  • Go to your gate, and sit down for a bit
  • When it is time to board, ONLY BOARD when your group is called
  • After boarding, quickly move down to your row and step into the row while stowing baggage
  • Put one of your bags under the seat in front of you (if it will fit, and if you have that option)

Finally folks, please remember, Flight Attendants like Heather Poole are there for your safety first, and comfort second. Unless you paid for a first class ticket, don’t be upset if:

  • You can’t find a spot for your bag
  • You are in a middle seat between two fat guys
  • The food option you wanted to purchase is not available
  • The drink you want is not available
  • Your headphones don’t work for the in-flight entertainment

And even if you did pay for that big ticket, it’s just a couple of hours! 🙂

This post originally appeared on BrandenWilliams.com.

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