As we move from winter slowly into spring, more and more Servicemembers will be taking to the road, and the skies to travel. Many times we take the time to plan carefully our travel, but at other times we let a wing and a prayer be our guide. Well, there are a few steps that one can observe to ease stress in dealing with travel arrangements. These are items that if you observe them can reduce conflict, make travel safer, more stress free and enjoyable. Here first are some steps recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration:
Arrive Early. A great deal depends on the day of the week, and the time of day that you travel. You should observe extra time in the schedule for travel, especially if you are traveling with anyone that needs extra time, special assistance, or travel with children. Get there early! With the current security at the airports, it will take more time than it used to go through all the steps. If you are arriving by car, build even more time into your plans. Do Not Abandon Your Car. There is absolutely no tolerance with current tensions and security at our airports, if you leave your car even for a minute, you may wind up having it towed, seized or having an interesting conversation. Don’t assume it will be okay to “run in just for a second”. In a word: DON’T.
Have Picture ID Ready. All travel desks and airlines require you to have photo identification. Consider getting one of those clear clip on badges that you can insert your photo ID in while at the airport, and securely fasten it to the front of your shirt or coat. Or, keep it literally in your hand while you go through the steps of security.
Keep Eyes Open. Its just good common sense, if you see anything that is alarming or dangerous, report it immediately. Don’t Abandon Your Bags. After arriving at the airport do not abandon your bags, not even for a second. And, report any unattended bags you see to airport officials. Be prepared to be questioned about your luggage and who packed them, and if you don’t leave them alone at all, you can answer questions about that honestly. And if you DO leave your bags, don’t say you didn’t. All it will mean is an extra search, and it is better safe than sorry. Do Not Joke While in Security. This may seem like a no brainer, but there are people every year that spend hours or almost a whole day being given the third degree, and in some cases strip-searched. All because they thought they would attempt humor, and say something silly like. “hehehe maybe I have a bomb in my bag,”. Again, DON’T. It literally can result in huge fines, and in some cases- a prison sentence. Finally, Don’t forget to SMILE!