Dreaming of a Flight Christmas

Pittsburgh International Airport, winter 2019

Dear Reader,

Have you ever travelled over the winter holidays? As one may expect, holiday travel is busy, however, to me, if there are no problems, it can be the most exciting time to travel.

My boyfriend and I are taking a trip this season. We got to the airport this morning to see serpentine lines in front of the check-in counters and security. While apparently long, at least these lines moved rather quickly. Near Christmas time, the Boston Logan airport is decorated with Christmas trees, wreaths and lights. Wherever you go you will hear all sorts of Christmas tunes playing over the speakers, you have the epitome of Christmas pop with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” religious Christmas like “Mary Did You Know,” and jazzy Christmas like the instrumental version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it is undeniable that American airports become something special around Christmas.

Walking through airports around the holidays allow me to imagine alternate holiday plans. After passing through security, I remember hearing a final boarding call to Cancun, Mexico. I have never had a tropical holiday adventure, but recall stories of friends who have taken their holidays to warmer climes. Spending Christmas in a hotel always seemed kind of sad to me as a kid, however, as an adult the promise of white sand and blue ocean have a certain allure. I also saw signs for flights to many average American cities, including Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh. How many of us Bostonians are transplants returning to our roots for the holidays? Is the number of us leaving Boston greater than the number of us coming to Boston in the days before Christmas? How many of us are spending the holidays with friends and relatives? And, how many of us are traveling for completely different reasons and get caught up in the holiday swell?

A few thoughts about holiday air travel:

• Always arrive at least two hours before your flight. This goes without saying, but I wanted to send a reminder to those who only arrive at the airport 1hr to 90 mins early under normal circumstances.

• Do not pack wrapped presents. The TSA has a right to search wrapped presents. You may as well just wrap them at your destination.

• Plan all flight connections to allow yourself enough in-between time. When there is more foot and air traffic it can be even more of a challenge to make those closely scheduled flights.

• Leave some room in your suitcase for gifts. If you are expecting to receive a few gifts over the holidays, it is only reasonable to leave some extra space in your bag for your new toys. While traveling light has always been my style, it is always an option to bring an empty carry on for holiday acquisitions.

Whether you are celebrating the holidays at home or away, I wish you a pleasant and relaxing holiday season.

Love,

Raven

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