Clearing TSA’s Security Scan | Bieber Style

November 23, 2010 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

by Tony

Earlier this week, if you weren’t completely fixated as to whether Justin Bieber would beat out Eminem, Katy Perry, Usher and Lady Gaga as Artist of the Year at the American Music Awards (AMAs), then you clearly must have been engrossed by the latest TSA fiasco regarding their new security scanners. In fact, the ultimate mashup of these two topics would be a Bieber hit single entitled, “Touchin’ My Junk.”

These new scanners, and the revised screening procedures, have caused quite a stir. It’s come to such a head that this Wednesday, November 24 (historically one of the heaviest travel days of the year) there are “opt-out” protests planned at 11 of the nation’s busiest airports, including Seattle, New York’s Kennedy, Dallas, Denver, and Phoenix.

Whether you plan to travel for the holidays, or you run a travel program, here are some Carrying On tips to prepare for what is sure to be a frantic day:

Check in online and avoid at least one line at the airport.

Avoid checking a bag to save money and avoid yet another line. Plus, it’s the best way to ensure your bag doesn’t get lost. If you absolutely have to check, do it curbside. It will cost you a few bucks, but should save some time.

Make your airport parking reservation in advance to guarantee a spot.

Use your frequent flier status or make friends with someone who has status to get in the fast-moving, VIP line. Or, you might want to use some of those miles for an upgrade if it’s available.

Leave plenty of time and plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours or more before your flight (see below for some tips to stay entertained at the airport).

Buy a one-day pass to the airline lounge, especially if you get to the airport extra early. You can surf the Internet, have a cocktails, and relax.

Don’t get stressed by it all. Make up your mind beforehand that the inevitable bumps in the road won’t boost your blood pressure. Just “take it all in” because the travel adventure presents a great opportunity for some terrific people watching, which is always a lot of fun.

To elaborate on that last one, my favorite way to pass time is by playing a celebrity lookalike game – the contestant who spots the most realistic ones wins.  Many years ago, my wife and I observed everyone from Henry Kissinger to Willy Nelson as we endured a delay-ridden journey from JFK to Hawaii. But, the story gets better.

As we were heading back to our hotel room on the first day, we crossed paths with Don Mattingly, the New York Yankees first baseman and current Los Angeles Dodgers manager. I immediately called out, “Hey Donnie Baseball,” and as if I were crazy, my wife exclaimed, “Ok, you win! That guy is a spitting image.” However, this was no lookalike and the whole week we ended up rubbing elbows with players including Keith Hernandez, and future Hall of Famers, Paul Molitor, and Dave Winfield at Major League Baseball’s annual Players’ Association meeting.

Since Mattingly was the real deal, I ended up losing the contest. My wife’s spotting of faux James Earl Jones during our LAX connection was the winning entry that had me shelling out for the fancy French restaurant in the hotel, versus the burger joint in town. Oh well, our little game did make the 13-hour journey to Hawaii go that much faster.

As you embark on your trip this week, stay loose and have fun. You might even catch a glimpse of some young punk with shaggy hair who is a ringer for the AMA Artist of the Year – or, even the Bieber himself.

Carrying On wishes you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings.

Entry filed under: hotels, Security, TAP, Tony's thoughts, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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