Flying somewhere for the holidays? Here are some tips


Hard to believe it, but the holiday season– and all the good and bad that comes with it – is staring us in the face.

Sure, there will be uncomfortable family gathering moments with tree hugging Aunt Martha arguing with MAGA-hat wearing Uncle Gary. There will be grandma staring at you while you shovel her “famous” lima bean pie down your throat even though you hate lima beans. Dads will fall asleep and snore loudly after presents have been opened and moms will hand out gifts and guilt in equal measure.

“Here’s a new watch, honey. It will remind you that it’s time to call me. Why do you hate your mother?”

Got to love the holidays.

But many of you will be getting away for the holidays, which is a great tradition. What better way to say I love you to your family and friends than to flee from them like a member of the White House staff from a Congressional subpoena?

My wife and I love to travel too, and do as often as we can. Our most recent trip was to Las Vegas with a group of friends. I would tell you all about it but, well, you know.

Over the holidays we don’t travel by plane, but many people do. And when you do, please try very, very hard to not be one of those people. If you travel a lot, you already know what I mean. If you don’t, or you need a refresher, please read on.

* Be on time. You have one job when you travel – show up. If I am sitting at O’Hare on a parked plane to Jamaica because you couldn’t bother to get to the gate on time and we are waiting for you, I hope you get some bad jerk chicken and spend your vacation gulping gallons of Pepto Bismol.

* Do not, under any circumstances, bring a full-size suitcase and try to pass it off as a carry on. People these days will do anything to avoid the fee for checking luggage. I have seen people try to jam giant bags in the overhead bin. Flight crews should shut these dopes down before they even get on board. They clog up the boarding process and get the flight off to a bad start.

* Find your seat and sit in it. You don’t need to stand around in a plane trying to get the attention of your buddy eight rows back. We don’t care about you, so sit down.

* If you are sitting next to each other and talk, that’s great. Please, have a wonderful conversation. But why do so many people feel the need to yell at each other on planes? Even when they sit right next to each other, some people talk at the top of their lungs. Pipe down.

* Enjoy a great snack. But if your table manners would make my hillbilly ancestors blush, you need to save the eating for a space not as confined as an airplane.

* And here is a biggie: When the plane lands, stay in your seat. Why do people feel the need to stand up and clog the aisles? If you are at the front, grab your bag and get ready to disembark. If you are in row 27, just sit down and wait. Jumping up and trying to get your giant suitcase that should have been checked from the overhead five rows ahead of you slows the process down for everyone.

In general, people just need to relax. This is vacation, after all.