Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Humbugged Holidays

“On the 12th day of Thanksgiving, my true love gave to me
A bottle of Xanax and a roundtrip airfare for the holidays.”

Could be the opening lyrics of a sequel to the famous “12 Days of Christmas” song we like to hear around this time of year.
It’s not cute the other 99-times it’s played every holiday.

The travel season is bearing down upon us like a freight train…or a runaway Airbus 380.

The twelve days between the Friday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday following Turkey Day are the new frontier of holiday travel horrors:
Air carriers are hunkering down to handle about 27 million passengers worldwide…and the planes are expected to be about 90% full on average.

Its estimated carriers will deal with 2.5 million passengers on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday and Monday after the holiday.
Average traffic this year has been about 2.1 million passengers a day, with planes running about 80% full.

You know what the problem is, this time of year, don’t you?
The holidays draw out the less-savvy travelers to the airport. People who only get on a plane once a year, which translates into meaning more baggage to check, and longer and slower lines as the neo-passengers fumble for items or struggle with security rules.

The latest security line indignity: “Would you please remove your drivers license from your wallet, Mr. Clayton.”
A. It’s CLAN-ton, you moron. That’s an “N,” not a “Y.”
B. What’s wrong with the clear plastic sleeve in my wallet, specifically designed to show my license and avoid in line fumbling?

Did you ever try to manage two carry-on bags, stand in your stocking feet, and pull your driver’s license OUT of your wallet, while being pushed from behind by a crush of equally irate passengers?

I’ve already got my travel plans ready to roll: Flying to NY for Christmas. Not packing anything; I’ll buy what I need when I get there. Going to wear surgical scrubs and flip flops through security screening.
Merry stinking Christmas.

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