Project Jetway

Last week’s trip to California took me through four different airports. What a great opportunity for people-watching, one of my favorite activities. I don’t understand some travelers. Kudos to those who wear comfortable clothing, easy-on/off shoes, and are ready for the security check point. The problem is there is a fairly large number of travelers who make me wonder what they were thinking. Did they forget they were going to the airport when they got dressed that morning? Did they not think about getting through security and sitting on a plane? I just don’t get it.

This week, I am offering some travel advice. No life lessons, just a little advice (and maybe a few laughs).

I saw a deluge of women wearing very short skirts. I don’t get it. You are going to spend the majority of your time sitting down. I wear skirts, so I know that when you sit, the skirt rides up. And it seems the shorter and tighter, the more it rises. And when you stand up after a long flight, it’s not exactly a piece of cake to pull that skirt back into its original position, especially if you can’t stand up straight until you are in the aisle. Besides the impracticality, some were just wrong. A fashion faux pas at best. One of those extra-short, super-tight skirts was a yellow plaid with matching cap. Maybe she was on her way to work at one of those Irish pubs…by plane. Poor choice.

Lace-up, knee-high boots. You have to take them off to go through security. I don’t get it. To make matters worse, you wore them with very tight pants, making it much more difficult to bend over far enough to get the boots off. I hate to see you struggle. It brings back bad memories from the ‘70s.

Metal hair clips. Dozens of them. Yes, it’s very colorful and a nice style for you, but really, you didn’t think about security, did you? Yes, you have to take them out. Yes, that holds up the line. I don’t get it. Again, where did you think you were going? And the jewelry, too. Not to be outdone by the amount of metal in your hair, the bling hanging on every part of your body may make our plane overweight, delaying our flight. Not cool.

Heavy coats. I often fly in the winter from Philly. I leave my winter coat in the car and run into the terminal before being flash frozen. I can understand taking your winter coat with you if you are flying to another wintery climate (don’t do that—go somewhere warm). But last week I flew through Phoenix. Arizona. In September. It was the people leaving Phoenix wearing the parkas. Wearing them, not carrying them. I don’t get it. Are they already freezing? If they are freezing in Phoenix, their only destination should be Death Valley.

Then there was the guy dressed in shorts, some sort of character crew socks, loafers, a brightly colored golf shirt, and a fake-straw bowler-style hat. This guy had done a lot right, even though he has clearly never watched a single episode of “What Not To Wear.” He looked comfortable. He wore easy-on, easy-off shoes. He wasn’t carrying anything that looked suspicious, which might cause a hold-up in security. The problem here is that his kids aren’t going to pick him up. They will see him at the curb, waving and jumping, and they will keep moving, circling around and around. They will ignore him until no one is left and no one can see that this man is with them. Guaranteed his checked bag has some identifying mark, like his initials printed in red on an 8×11 laminated sheet of paper, attached with bright orange camo duct tape. Trust me. Parents visiting your children, dress not to embarrass.

There were many more that made me laugh, question, shake my head, and wonder aloud. Sometimes I am in such awe, words fall out of my mouth without me realizing until they hit the air. Oops. I used to get mad at these people who would hold up the security line with their coats and laced boots and hair clips. But not anymore. I paid for TSA Precheck—no removing jackets, shoes, hair clips, or even laptops. Just get in the short line and go. Best travel purchase I have ever made! Come on over, you travel-fashion nightmares. For $85, you can wear whatever you want for the next five years and not hold up anyone else. Happy travels.

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