Keep Calm And Travel On: How To Survive The Airport During The Holidays

While most people associate the Holiday season with sounds of Christmas carols and a crackling fire, those of us forced to fly during this time only hear screaming children and flight attendants giving safety instructions. For some unknown reason, the sight of security lines, baggage claim and TSA agents causes people to completely lose their shit. For those of us who fly consistently throughout the year, the holiday airport crowd is especially rough to handle. I’m questioning if I can bear yet another angry businessman shoving his way through the security line. Please save us the headache and stay informed on why you’re traveling all wrong.

Home preparations are pertinent, people. Print your boarding passes at home. Those two minutes you’re saving at check-in are precious. The workers will thank you, as well as those who decided to get to the airport thirty minutes before their flight. While you’re at it, weigh your bags too. Nobody wants to see your collection of granny panties under the fifty sweaters you decided to pack. Nor do we want to watch you try and shove those sweaters into your carry-on, it’s pathetic. If you can’t possibly narrow your bag down to the weight requirements, you’ll probably be spending Grandma’s gift money on the fees.

The TSA makes security quick and efficient, it’s the fools in line that are keeping you from that ridiculously overpriced airport Starbucks. Keep that in mind before you snap on the poor TSA agent trying to scan your ID (been there, done that). Wear shoes to the airport you can slip on and off. If they require it, wear socks, I’m sad this has to be mentioned, but you’d be surprised. Most importantly, move as if you have some sort of destination. I know you want to stab yourself in the face instead of seeing your boyfriend’s mom, but some of us actually have important places to be.

Social norms and common courtesy are not eliminated the minute you walk into an airport. There is no special sign saying, “You may now act like a complete ass” when you pass the security line, so just don’t. The battle for outlets is on the top of “Maura’s Guide to Airport Courtesy.” If you rarely travel, this seems insane. It’s not; in an airport, outlets are like water in a desert. If you’re using two of them, three of us just died from dehydration. Use one, finish up with it in a timely manner, and leave it open for the next person.

Traveling is portrayed as this dramatic battle of the fittest. We’re made to believe that the busiest travel time of the year will end up being an experience from hell. Keep calm, everyone. Behave in an airport just as you would in public. Taking a nap on a row of chairs, despite how delayed your plane is, is still not socially acceptable. With some careful planning, and a lot of patience, your Holiday destination is only one security line away. Safe flights!

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