I’m at home in an airport and on the road. After years of travel, and 160 elite nights in 2016, I pretty much do everything based on habit. There’s a reason I like chain hotels when I’m on the road that much. I like things to be the same, to know what to expect. I don’t like surprises. The hotels I frequent most even try to put me in the same room when they can.
I like that I know the safety video, and the service order on American Airlines. A mainline dinner flight goes like this:
The routine and efficiency of frequent travel were captured beautifully — albeit harkening back to before pre-check and mobile boarding passes, and you don’t have to swipe offer your elite card when returning a car at Hertz — by this George Clooney scene in Up in the Air:
But now it’s the holidays. I’m grateful after a year of travel not to be going anywhere this season, to put some time in at home. When I do travel on peak holidays I do my best not to travel the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or the Sunday after, or the last business day before Christmas. These are amateur days.
Granted upgrades are easier at the holidays. With almost no business travelers you’ve got fewer elite flyers in the skies to compete with. But planes are full, and everything takes longer precisely because the people traveling aren’t mostly weekly business passengers.
And so we have this message brought to you by a Delta flight attendant about how to properly board a plane with the heavy jacket you want to stow in the overhead bin:
You can fold your coat while you’re headed down the aisle. When you get to the aisle, if you need to place things in your seat for balance that’s fine. Put your bag up right away. If a coat is going to go into the overhead, place it above other carry ons, don’t take up additional bin space that another passenger can use. And your personal item (purse or laptop bag) goes underneath the seat in front of you unless you’re seated in a bulkhead row.