In this week’s 12 Series post, I give you tips for airport travel. If you have never flown before, you should definitely read on; you will learn more about airport culture and how to travel successfully. If you travel regularly, you might identify with these tips (and even be able to offer your own recommendations).
1. Do not, under any circumstance, be early to the airport. Arriving at least 2 hours before your flight will decrease your stress and anxiety levels, but why is that important? It’s better to be stressed and anxious. Arrive early enough to be able to use your tardiness as an excuse to get to the front of the check-in and security lines.
2. You will have to wait in at least four lines (parking, check-in, bag drop-off, security, buying food, restroom, boarding the plane, putting things in overhead bins, etc.). In one of these places, cut in line. Put your head down and act ignorant.
3. You MUST be on your cell phone at all times. If you are not talking loudly to your best friend, then make prank calls.
4. As you are waiting in line (your choice which one), put your head phones on and play Pandora or iTunes really loudly. But do not plug in the head phones. Sing along loudly, and act like you do not notice that everyone else can hear your music as well.
5. Make sure your bags weigh more than 50 pounds. When the staff tells you that you can either move something to another suitcase or pay a fee for your bags being too heavy, choose Option A—moving items to a suitcase that weighs less. Open up the suitcase on the floor and begin transferring items to the other suitcase. Everyone will be watching you. Make sure to take out your undergarments and other items that will make them as uncomfortable as possible. They are the ones choosing to stare.
6. When going through TSA’s airport security, misplace your driver’s license or passport and your boarding passes. Dig through your purse, your backpack, your laptop bag, your suitcase. Find them in your jacket pocket. Put them away in a safe place when you are finished.
7. When putting your stuff in the bins, forget to take your laptop out of its bag, your shoes off, and your jacket off. Leave some change in your pocket.
8. You are next in line to go through the body scanners. Misplace your boarding pass again. When it’s your turn to go through the full body scanner and they ask you to stand there for three seconds with your hands above your head, start dancing.
9. When they call Group 1 to board the flight and you are in Group 7, go ahead and get in line. If the flight attendant stares at you or gives you a condescending look, smile.
10. When you board the plane with your one carry-on and one personal item, attempt to put your purse overhead and your carry-on luggage under the seat in front of you. When the flight attendant tells you not to do that, tell them that it didn’t fit overhead. Then, make them tag the too-large suitcase and take it off the plane to be picked up at the gate when you arrive. Smile for winning a small battle: you didn’t have to pay $30.00 to check the bag.
11. You are now flying in the air. You’ve decided you want a Diet Coke to drink. When the flight attendant comes by your aisle with the drink cart, tell him or her that you would like “Geico” to drink. See what she says.
12. Fall asleep on the nice man seated next to you. Rest peacefully. You will be at your destination soon.
Disclaimer: Approaching airports and air travel with a sense of humor and a wide eye for irony makes flying the “friendly skies” much more enjoyable.