Baseball Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler is possibly best known for his advice to batters, “hit ’em where they ain’t.”
If he wasn’t one of the best hitters of all time, and likely the creator of the hit and run — and of course if he had been active a hundred years later — that advice could have made him a travel writer.
Coming up on the holiday season we’re approaching peak amateur days.
Among those peak days:
- The Wednesday before Thanksgiving
- The Sunday and the Monday after Thanksgiving
- December 23 (the business day before Christmas)
- December 28 (the Sunday after Christmas)
I’ve made a habit of leaving the country rather than traveling domestically at these peak times. A couple of times in recent years I’ve gone to India in November (I like having Thanksgiving dinner with Indians).
What I don’t like is a system running at total capacity. There’s no margin for error. A bit of bad weather, or a mechanical, and there are simply no flights to get on. And I don’t like lines, especially at security, and especially now that the TSA gives PreCheck to anyone it can discern in advance doesn’t practice Islam.
Boarding is a mess, as passengers without elite status try to avoid checked bag fees by carrying on their turkey and their presents. Everything takes longer, and it’s more stressful.
Airports are plenty busy at peak travel times, but it’s like a freeway — much more important for safety than the speed limit is that everyone is driving at a uniform speed. There’s too much variance in speed over the holidays, and especially on amateur days.
On the other hand, there’s almost no business travel over the holidays, so upgrades are easier… Hmm, maybe I should rethink my strategy to avoid domestic holiday travel after all!
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