As a result, Abbie and I and assorted other stranded passengers have created a Do and Don't list to help keep the nightmare out of your next travel adventure:
Do put solution in your contact case and keep it in your carry on. Don't pack your glasses in your checked luggage . Don't put your contacts in a bottle of Dasani.
Do put the following in your carry-on bag: cards, a NEW book, a sandwich, three days of medication, a toothbrush, clean underwear, lots of Advil. Don't forget your cell phone charger.
Do add the airline's reservation number to your cell phone so you can get yourself on another flight when they cancel your flight at 2AM and you’re sitting ON THE PLANE! Don't believe the airline when they tell you to get your baggage before joining the long line at to the counter to get a new flight (use the cell phone).
Do sleep near the airport's administrative offices if you find you're in for the long haul. It's quieter and warmer on their carpeted flooring. Do sleep with the sleeve of your coat over your eyes to block the light. Do put guided meditation on your iPod. Don't try to go without sleep--right honey?
Do travel in comfy undies. If you're 17, just wear your pajama pants on the plane. Don't wear that new underwire you just bought.
Don't spend more than 5 minutes trying to explain to your child why her Build-A-Bear animal's imbedded sound might appear to be an incendiary device when X-rayed.
Do have Santa review all of the TSA restrictions and new airline costs so that he understands why you want him to develop a "Plan B" if you're traveling on Christmas Eve.
Don't wear stinky *golf socks.
Do warn your child not to ask, "Where did you pack the glow sticks?" in front of the TSA inspector when she's questioning you about liquids.
Don't pack glow sticks.
Do teach your child how to put her arms back down when nervous about being wanded.
When the security man asks if that's a shirt under your over-shirt, don't say, "Yes." Say, "It's my bra."
On long flights, do buy the crappy, over-priced plane snack, if offered. In all likelihood, it's slightly less crappy and slightly less expensive than the crappy airport food. Besides, the flight attendants won't give you the mad face when you present them with your super-sized trash.
If you think you probably shouldn't, don't.
Do ask for a whole can of whatever you like to drink on the plane (Don't spread this around...we "can" people LOVE this.). We deserve it, damn it!
Don't be appalled to find a card stating that TSA has raided your luggage (that's not the appalling part) ... and the card is date stamped "December 32, 2008" (yeah, that's the appalling part).
* a hole in one.
Image from Dreamstime.