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Experienced Fliers...Pass on Your Knowledge


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#1 of 53 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted March 10 2011 - 01:16 PM

I'm due to go on a ski trip in Snowmass soon.  I haven't flown in 3-4 years.  What's it going to be like?  What should I do to make it easier as possible?


I'm going to Fedex my skis, boots and probably my luggage that I would normally check.  Continental is going to charge me for it, so for a few extra bucks it will be at my hotel waiting for me and I don't have to schlep it around.  I be traveling only with my carry on.


I'm traveling coach as usual.


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#2 of 53 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 11 2011 - 04:39 AM

Depending on how busy your airport is, get there 1-2 hours before your flight time to make sure you get through security, which can have long lines. Each airport is different. Detroit Metro, for example, usually has long lines, while the Myrtle Beach, SC airport is almost always quick.


Since you are taking your luggage as a carry-on, keep the liquids to a minimum. You may want to wait until you get to your destination and just buy some toiletries there to avoid the security hassles.


We take an empty water bottle with us and fill it up after going through security. The cost to purchase bottled water at the airport is usually ridiculous.


Air travel has become so much more cumbersome and customer-unfriendly over the past few years. My best advice is to just be patient. Many of the rules put in place are silly and do nothing for passenger safety (they are just for appearance), but making a fuss isn't going to get you through the line any quicker. Just roll with it.



#3 of 53 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 11 2011 - 06:04 AM




Originally Posted by Johnny Angell 

I'm due to go on a ski trip in Snowmass soon.  I haven't flown in 3-4 years.  What's it going to be like?  What should I do to make it easier as possible?


I'm going to Fedex my skis, boots and probably my luggage that I would normally check.  Continental is going to charge me for it, so for a few extra bucks it will be at my hotel waiting for me and I don't have to schlep it around.  I be traveling only with my carry on.


I'm traveling coach as usual.


Good call on fedexing your luggage.  I would at least pack a small carry-on with a change of clothes and a toothbrush for the return trip in case there is some kind of weather or maint delay since you will have already sent your luggage home.  Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to get on and off at the security check point.  I "pre-empty" my pockets of everything except my wallet (keys, change, cell phone) into a gallon zip lock bag just before I get into the security line and throw it into my carry-on bag.  You will be lucky to get a bag of peanuts on the plane, so depending on how long the flight is, grab something to go at one of the restaurants in the airport AFTER you clear security.  If you bring or buy something to drink prior to security screening they will make you throw it out, so don't bring a bottle of water from home thinking you can avoid the $5 bottle of water at the gate.


Have a safe trip and a great time skiing!







#4 of 53 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 11 2011 - 06:25 AM



Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich 





If you bring or buy something to drink prior to security screening they will make you throw it out, so don't bring a bottle of water from home thinking you can avoid the $5 bottle of water at the gate.





As I mentioned above, security will let you take an empty water bottle through the checkpoint. You can then fill it with water after passing that point. One of the security agents actually suggested that to my wife when we were traveling a couple of years ago. It has worked without any issues for us ever since.



#5 of 53 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 11 2011 - 09:46 AM

Thats a good idea.


#6 of 53 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted March 12 2011 - 08:38 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the suggestions.  Patience, empty water bottle, and ziplock to put pocket stuff into.  Great ideas.  I won't be able to put much in my carry on since my cpap machine will take up most of the room.  My kindle will sure be in it.


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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#7 of 53 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted March 12 2011 - 08:39 AM

How about medications.  I've always put those in carry on.  Any difficulties with those.


Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#8 of 53 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 12 2011 - 01:35 PM

Definitely take any prescription medication in your carry on. Just put it in the ziplock bag and you should be fine.



#9 of 53 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted March 12 2011 - 03:32 PM

If it's not too late, I'd recommend sitting as close to the front of the plane as possible because getting off planes has become an absolutely interminable experience. It amazes me how long it takes people to find their carry on luggage and get it down from the overhead. Our last trip to Vegas, it took 20 minutes from the time people started getting their carry on stuff for us to get off the plane. People can't find their carry ons, they can't get it down, they can't wheel it off or carry it off without it getting caught on an arm rest etc. Maddening.

Carl

#10 of 53 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

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Posted March 13 2011 - 03:52 PM

I travel quite a bit, but I have still twice over the last two years tossed a free bottle of water from my hotel in my backpack and forgotten about it as I passed through security. Unless you want to have the entire contents of your bag removed and spread out on a table by TSA screeners, follow the advice of these guys and only bring an empty bottle.



#11 of 53 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 14 2011 - 11:41 PM



Originally Posted by Johnny Angell 

My kindle will sure be in it.



You will need to take your Kindle out of your carry on when you go through the scanners. TSA treats the Kindle like a laptop. They made me take mine out and run it through the scanner separately when we flew last month.


The only other downside to flying with a Kindle is that you cannot read during takeoffs and landings when they ask you to shut off all electronic devices.



#12 of 53 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted March 15 2011 - 04:54 AM

More good points.  Definitely no water and treat the kindle like a computer.  When they ask me to shut off the Kindle I only know of sleep mode.  I hope that's what they want.  As for my iphone, it has an airplane mode.  Is that shut off enough, or do that want it totally powered down?


Can't I bring on some things like lotions and most importantly, hand sanitizer?  I like to use that while flying and traveling to reduce the chance of catching something.


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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#13 of 53 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

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Posted March 15 2011 - 06:30 AM

Lotions and hand sanitizers need to be in bottles that are 3 ounces or less and you should put them all together in a plastic ziploc bag. Don't try filling a giant sized ziploc bag either or they'll call you out on it.



#14 of 53 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 15 2011 - 07:40 AM



Originally Posted by Johnny Angell 

More good points.  Definitely no water and treat the kindle like a computer.  When they ask me to shut off the Kindle I only know of sleep mode.  I hope that's what they want.  As for my iphone, it has an airplane mode.  Is that shut off enough, or do that want it totally powered down?



Technically, they want the devices shut off completely. However, the flight attendants do not know the difference, so as long as the device is put away and you are not using it, no one will bother you.  I always put my Android phone in airplane mode and put it in the carry case, and just put the Kindle in sleep mode and close the cover. I always keep the Wifi turned off unless I'm downloading new books on the Kindle anyway, so the radio is already off. If you normally leave your Wifi/3G on, just turn it off before putting it to sleep.




#15 of 53 OFFLINE   CameronJ

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Posted March 15 2011 - 09:57 AM



Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 





You will need to take your Kindle out of your carry on when you go through the scanners. TSA treats the Kindle like a laptop. They made me take mine out and run it through the scanner separately when we flew last month.


The only other downside to flying with a Kindle is that you cannot read during takeoffs and landings when they ask you to shut off all electronic devices.


They shouldn't.  TSA rules don't require either a Kindle or an iPad to be removed from your bag.

The only time I had an issue with my iPad was when I had my camera and a lens stacked above it - then they wanted a bit more detail.


http://blog.tsa.gov/...tbooks-and.html


Of course - as the blog states - the TSA's poorly trained, poorly managed, and poorly supervised employees can do whatever they want to you.




#16 of 53 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 15 2011 - 10:46 AM



Originally Posted by CameronJ 

the TSA's poorly trained, poorly managed, and poorly supervised employees can do whatever they want to you.



That pretty much sums up the situation. You may not need to remove a Kindle from your carry on according to TSA rules, but it certainly wasn't worth arguing with the security agent. I find many of the measures they put us through silly and ineffective in thwarting true security threats, but most are harmless and you're not going to convince the agent it's unnecessary anyway.



#17 of 53 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted March 15 2011 - 02:38 PM

I'm gonna go with the flow and do what they tell me.  Little Rock is a small airport, I doubt there are body scanners.  Is the pat down and random thing or does everyone get it?


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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#18 of 53 OFFLINE   CameronJ

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Posted March 15 2011 - 04:06 PM



Originally Posted by Johnny Angell 

I'm gonna go with the flow and do what they tell me.  Little Rock is a small airport, I doubt there are body scanners.  Is the pat down and random thing or does everyone get it?


If there are body scanners, and if they choose to use them at that current moment in time (since they take longer - you'll often see the agents not using them), then you either go through or you opt out.  Opting out means you go through the "enhanced" pat-down.  Personally - since all the airports I fly out of have scanners in only some lanes, I pick lanes that don't have them.  I've never had to use one (probably 250k+ miles since they started putting them in), but if I was forced to I'd opt-out.  Just too intrusive for my tastes.


Moot point though neither Aspen nor Little Rock have scanners.   http://www.flyertalk...y-scanner.html




#19 of 53 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted March 15 2011 - 11:51 PM

The pat downs have been random at the airports I've been through, regardless of whether we end up going through full body scanners or not. I've never been patted down.


It's like spinning a roulette wheel -- you never know what you are going to get from airport to airport.



#20 of 53 OFFLINE   CameronJ

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Posted March 16 2011 - 03:00 PM



Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 

The pat downs have been random at the airports I've been through, regardless of whether we end up going through full body scanners or not. I've never been patted down.


It's like spinning a roulette wheel -- you never know what you are going to get from airport to airport.


If they direct you to a scanner and you "opt-out" you are guaranteed a pat down - no question.  This is the "enhanced" pat-down, which involves going up your legs until their hands can't go any farther.


You've never been patted down because you haven't opted out of the body scanner.  If they choose not to use the body scanner and therefore don't direct you there (or don't have body scanners at that airport / screening checkpoint / lane you've chosen) - then the pat down question is moot because there is nothing to opt-out of.  Of course you will get patted-down (the non-enhanced version) if you alarm the metal detector multiple times, but that's a different process.