Top Ten AirplaningTips I Can Think of with Gooey Travel Brain

by - Thursday, June 16, 2011

So today I took like my 5 millionth trip from the bay to the great city of Pittsburgh.  Since I am too tired to think of anything else, I figure I will throw out some of the things I have learned. Feel free to not listen to any of them, because there is nothing more annoying than people who try to tell you how to do your own stuff.

10. Chicago and Denver are two of the nicest places to have layovers. Texas is also weirdly awesome. They all have good stores and restaurants. Chicago also has the very pretty light installation over their moving walk way. It makes flying seem so cool and funky. Ok, maybe not, but places with good food are the best.
9. Get there super nerdily early- Yes, that is not a working adverb. I will grant it hardly ever takes 2 hours to get from the check in desk to your gate, but the time you don't think about it right is the time you will be facing the most epic lines ever and will have to fake that you are on crutches to make it to your gate on time. True story.
8. Just be nice to the security people and flight attendents- if you let  your crankiness rub off, they will have a worse day than you. Because they have to deal with 10 of you. I have managed to have some crazy stupid things in my bag (once I have like 4 water bottles and today I forgot I had a butter knife). There is really nothing they can do that will make your crankiness better. And they are just doing their job. And being rude to them just makes you look like a prick. So be nice, it will make everyone's day, and they move things a long faster when they like you. Also, if you are sitting next to someone on drugs, let the flight attendents know and be as understanding to them as possible.
7. Just turn down the free drinks- sure, it seems like a great deal, but it always takes them forever to clean up the glasses. None of it really works, and then you can't put your face back down to sleep. It can really throw off a flight.
6. Don't fly through Las Vegas or LAX- Las Vegas is actually really fun inside, because it is such tacky fun, but because of the mountains, I have never not had drama leaving that city. Just thinking about flying there makes me nervous. LAX is just impossible. Phoenix just feels super boring, but they have good soft pretzels and free interwebs. Dulles has a crazy shuttle system. Those are my least favorite that I can remember.
5. Be friendly to the people you are sitting by from the getgo. It makes a huge difference to just make some lame small talk at the beginning. You are in each other's space, so just embrace it. If they are mean and it gets awkward, that's on them.
4. Give up looking pretty- You know how you see pictures of celebrities at LAX, and they are wearing immaculate clothes and looking super fresh? I hate them. Maybe it's because I sleep face down on the tray table, but I never look uglier than when I get to the Pittsburgh Airport. For serious, the dinosaur bones feel bad for me. And the more I want to look cute, the more likely the bloaty angry face will last the whole trip.
3. If it is in English, you are fine. This is true. Even if you are feeling pretty lost, as long as you understand the language, things will be alright. So smile, life is good.
2. Chocolate, Orange pop, and magazines- This combo is different for everyone, but flying will inevitably be a little anxiety-inducing, so its just not the day to beat yourself up about the things you like, even if they are shitty for you. Just enjoy a little bit of happy.
1. This one I am serious about- keep the pornographic materials to a minimum. Sure, it sounds like a joke, but one weekend in Vegas and a bomb squad later, I can tell you forgetting your airport in an airport is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Looking like a vomit stained pervert when you find it, just might be. I think this could translate into something about not really having any privacy, don't sneak embarrassing stuff, but I actually encourage that stuff. Just hide it somewhere. And don't forget your bag.

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  1. atlanta is also an amazing place for a wicked long layover. they have one "terminal" that's a dedicated huge food court, complete with player piano.
    i've gotten screwed almost every time i have a layover in chicago - and the layout of that airport is just retarded anyway
    if you're not sure if you should put an item in the gallon bag, just stick it in there anyway - you don't want any type of creme or liquid exploding in your bag... that just sucks to clean up
    always have a hoodie on hand, not to wear, but to use as a pillow
    take an empty water bottle then once thru security go to the water fountain and fill it with water