Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Fly Our Fascist Skies

So I'm getting ready to fly America for the first time in about ten years.

My long hiatus is due partly to the fact that flying tends to give me migraines and mostly to the fact that I object to being treated like a criminal because for the sake of security theater.

(Deleted: about three hundred words of ranting on civil liberties and the idiocy of surrendering them for putative safety, etc.)

Not to mention how uncomfortable airplanes are these days.

BUT IN ANY CASE. I haven't flown for a long time, and now I am flying to Boston, to attend Boskone, and (among other things) reading from Broken Slate.

Anyone have any tips for how I might make this adventure less adventuresome? Shoes not to wear? Things not to include in my pockets? Things not to say to airline security dudes? The sort of carry-on luggage that works best?

Any & all help appreciated.


Tree of Knowledge said...

Shoes that slip off or tied loosely, nothing in your pockets as they will make you take out everything (not just metal) with the new scanners.

Lots of people will be trying to cram overstuffed carry-on bags in overhead compartments to avoid the baggage fees, so keep that in mind when you pack yours. If you have a roller-board, you might have to gate check it if the flight is full.

Headphones. Snacks. Dramamine or some other thing that makes you sleep. Do you think the migraines are because you get dehydrated? I know that's a trigger for some people and it happens really easily on planes.

Bardiac said...

If you take a carryon, make sure it's one that actually fits into the bins, and not one that has to be put in sideways so that it takes the space of three peoples' bags. (That's my chief complaint, can you tell?)

Make sure to take a sandwich or something real for food, since airlines seem not to be feeding people at all these days (except maybe in first class?) Having real food rather than horrid airport food helps me a lot.

And what Tree says about dehydration! You can take an empty water bottle through security and then fill it at a water fountain. It helps me.

Good luck!

Andradite said...

The pat downs are the part that I can't deal with.

I avoid jeans (too many rivets and metal zippers), bras with underwires, and jewellery.

Safe travels!

Anonymous said...

All liquids, gels, lotions, deodorant, mascara, etc. have to be in 3 oz or smaller containers and they all have to fit in a quart size baggie. You also need to have this baggie easy to access so you can show it to security and not have it buried in your luggage. If you wear makeup, mineral makeup is good for the road because powders don't count.

I always have lotion-based hand sanitizer in my baggie and even if I have my iPod, I always carry foam earplugs.

Always good to carry a book, but if you put a plain cover over it, you might prevent some of the commentary you're trying to avoid but might get anyway based on what you're reading.

My last trip I took a musical score to read and ended up having to listen to the flight attendant carry on nearly the whole flight about his interest in music. Burying your nose in a book isn't always enough.

delagar said...

Thanks, y'all! Good tips.

Question: If I'm carrying on a bag, can I also carry on a briefcase? Or does the bag count and I can't have a briefcase? I want to take my laptop with me.

The briefcase is kind of large -- very nearly a bag itself.

Anonymous said...

You can have one carry-on and one "handbag," and the handbag can be anything that fits under the seat in front of you. -L