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Thanksgiving Travel Tip

Just a tip for people traveling this week: get there early! I got there when I normally would (45-60 minutes before) and didn’t make it, thanks mostly to standing in the wrong line twice. Airports are in need of a usability designer far more than any software I’ve used in the past year. I generally fly a few times a month, so I’m not exactly a novice, but this is the first time I’ve been in the middle of the Thanksgiving rush.

6 replies on “Thanksgiving Travel Tip”

… You didn’t mention that the airport staff at SFO blatantly had you standing in the wrong lines TWICE. Ulgh. And they totally sent you back to the original line that you were in to begin with, and then you were far too late for check-in!

Curbside check-in is the only way to go. 🙂 If your bag is going to make it onto the plane, you HAVE to go with your bag. They can’t take your bag on the flight without you on it. A flight attendant’s son told me that once last year.

It could be lore, or it could be true, but given the TSA’s tight security measures, particularly towards passengers’ accountability for their baggage, I’d have to say it makes sense.

Good thing you didn’t end up on that flight to Chicago and got the flight to Denver instead. Fly safely!

Yep, the only line I usually have to stand in is the security checkpoint. I hate messing with the check-in counter so I do it at home, and I never check any bags if I can help it. I spent a month in Europe this summer and only took a single carry-on and it was plenty! 🙂

But Glenda, wouldn’t it be easier for them to boot your bags off the flight, than to hold the flight so that you make it? I get the bag/passenger parity thing, but I read that the opposite way than you did.

And about being late: If you ask security or a nearby attendant, they might bring you to the front of the line if you’re trying to catch a soon to leave flight. There is always a second, short line, entrance for airline personnel, VIPs and (in some airports) first class passengers. They can get you ahead of the line if they need to.

Not checking bags & online check-in is always smart if you’re interested in speed.

And on airport usability: the retrofitting of Nth-degree security measures has thrown design to the wind. They’re working in spaces not designed to do what they’re doing (and don’t have the resources to fix it). There are wayfinding things they can do (e.g. signage), but in most airports it’s an uphill battle given the security requirements.

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