Sequester Pester: Twisted Flight Schedules Predicted

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano reported that government budget tightenings are already presenting problems in the air travel industry. It’s because of possible orders to reduce TSA staffing and overtime, as well as hiring freezes. She says they’re starting to cause delays in some of the busiest U.S.  airports.

At the same time, many major airport authorities are denying the claim, and say all is going as normal. That is, if you consider long departure waits and late arrivals as normal. Of course, the so-called sequester plan to reduce spending throughout the federal system hasn’t yet hit with full force. When it does, and if it requires severe personnel cuts, TSA will have to do some belt-tightening.

Therefore, if you anticipate travel by air in the coming months, when flight day approaches be sure to keep in close touch with your travel agency, airline and local airport. If government cutbacks affect your plans, prepare alternative ways to get to your destination and back home again.

Q: Why Do I Always Get Very Gassy When Flying? PDF Print E-mail

It’s embarrassing, especially when I’m in the middle seat of a very crowded aircraft. How can I prevent the gas attack or at least keep it quiet? PLJ, Denver CO

A: Gas happens to seniors and other flyers due to increasing air pressure that causes your stomach to bloat. You can reduce the pressure before you fly by avoiding carbonated beverages and fatty foods. Also, when you feel gassy, leave your seat and move around the cabin to get rid of bloating. Sip water to reduce gas attacks.

Avoid Wearing Jewelry While Going Through Security PDF Print E-mail

Airport lines are too often long and inconvenient. You can make the routine easier by not wearing jewelry when you check in. In some cases, it could set off the metal detector alarm.

This may require putting your valuable jewelry in the open bin, where it passes along the moving belt for all to see and possibly grab. Also, if you’re wearing items containing metal, it may result in an uncomfortable pat-down from security.

For best results, avoid wearing jewelry while checking in. Pack it in your suitcase or carry-on bag instead. Or leave it all at home for a much less disruptive journey.

Survey Says These Are The Worst U.S. Airports PDF Print E-mail

Website maxim.com lists the ten: Luis Muñoz Marín Puerto Rico, Houston Hobby, Cleveland Hopkins, Armstrong New Orleans, Laguardia NYC, SW Florida Ft. Myers, Detroit Wayne County, Ft. Lauderdale FL, Orlando FL and Chicago Midway.

Reasons for the negative votes are familiar. Lack of cleanliness, long lines, employee incompetence, inefficient facilities, few restaurants, overpriced shops and much more. Internet criticism listings are unlimited on the subject, depending on many factors. Of course, a senior traveler may have a bad experience at the best airport, as well as a satisfying one at the worst.

It all depends on weather, traffic, security and, of course, having a lucky or unlucky day. However, the bottom line is that most of us don’t have much choice in airports. We can’t fly from the best ones if they’re hundreds or thousands of miles away. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, we usually must fly in and out of our hometown field. So, have a safe, satisfying next flight! For more info, www.maxim.com/news/best-and-worst-airports-in-america

Hollywood CA: Biking Along Santa Monica Boulevard PDF Print E-mail

Seems that just about everyone here is having a peddling good time getting their kicks on famed U.S. Route 66. It’s also called the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America and the Mother Road. The bikers are just a few minutes away from where the highway completes its 2,448-mile length from Chicago to the Pacific Ocean beaches.

Q: Now Retired And Plan To Fly To Philly Family Frequently PDF Print E-mail

I’m living in Los Angeles and expect to visit my married kids in Philadelphia at least every other month. Need some advice on how to deal with getting the most comfort and economy during long airport stays and flights. PLJ, Burbank CA

A: Quick thoughts. Keep checking ticket prices and fly cheaper nights (redeye) during midweek. Get TSA PreCheck and Global Entry for quicker processing. Fly business class with access to airport lounges. Uncrowded and comfy, they often offer free food and drink, magazines and newspapers. Avoid pre- and post-flight checking bags by traveling only with a small carry-on containing essential clothing and meds.


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