For The Valued Holiday Traveller

I know you have seen a lot of hype in the media about how crazy busy the airlines are for T.G.D. and Xms holidays. As airline employees we generally work on those days so the celebration is either moved to another day, modified, or ignored altogether.

Please understand that the flights are full pretty much all of the time. We don’t run late on holidays because the flights are full. We run late because the flights are full of valued customers that don’t fly much with the wife and kids. All that stuff you have to bring, and the dang coats, sweaters, and Christmas presents, strollers, car seats, cameras, snacks, games and . . . .we understand.

Most of us had travelling children too. We were just better travellers due to practice.

 For the little ones be sure they know what to expect at the security checkpoint. My  two year old grandson positively flipped out because the government took his shoes. He got his shoes back in five minutes but was still agitated over the incident a week later. He’d go “Ruby Ridge” over the thing if he just knew how.

For the big ones (grown up types) be sure they know what to expect at the security checkpoint. All of the airlines have great web materials for TSA preparation. This involves zip lock bags for some reason. If you check bags don’t let them lay around at baggage claim without you being there to get them. Holiday season is when the most bags are stolen. People take stuff right off of the merry go round and leave with it.

Run a few simple at home drills with all of the stuff.  Who is to carry what, how many bags are there total. Have a rough game plan for each segment. Getting out of the car. Getting into the parking van. Getting out of the parking van. Going through security. Who should pick up what. How to storm through the airport effectively. Who holds who’s hand. When do we get to eat. Who has the damn camera?

Above all, try to make these good memories. Travelling, especially with kids, is a pain in the ass but if you just float on the river of travel like a leaf in a pond and resolve yourself to what is going on it is much more fun. If the kids are old enough to write get them a little pocket memo book for trip notes. What was the flight number? What were the crew names? What color was the parking lot van? Making a game and adventure out of the entire disaster makes it easier to cope with.

Have a happy, safe holiday season, and Happy Landings. 


2 Responses to “For The Valued Holiday Traveller”

  1. Good advice, especially the part about NOT OMG TRAUMATIZING children with the Great Shoe Surprise. I’ve decided next time I’m traveling with kids I’m going to ship my luggage a couple of days in advance. I’m used to keeping up with them, but the addition of crap to carry and/or locate almost pushed me over the edge. Well that plus the people at hartsfield all being totally humorless and unhelpful about my plight.

    And – I swear we have reason to wonder if the ZipLoc corporation (3M?) isn’t involved in the whole 9/11 conspiracy somehow. Follow the money they say.

  2. I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog, and find it really interesting to read your insider’s perspective. No matter how “normal” flying may seem to you, I find your insights fascinating and well written.

    Thank you and happy Thanksgiving!

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