Advice from seasoned travelers

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mayor
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Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby mayor » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:31 pm

I'm leaving on a business trip tomorrow from DFW to California. It's been many years since I've been to the airport - last time was right after you had to remove your shoes and belt. I'm not carrying anything that I have to worry about - liquids, knives, handguns. Only one carry on containing my clothes and my meds, an iPad with charger, a cell phone with a charger, a jacket and a few items in my pockets - wallet, change purse and a rechargable flashlight. I'm not worried but would like some advice about anything that might make my boarding as stress free as possible or anything i might want to leave at home.

thanks!


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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby strogg » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:22 pm

Yeah, just no bottled liquids, knives, or anything obviously a weapon. Also make sure your toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, etc) are not aerosol and don't exceed 3 oz. Oh, and make sure you take your laptop out of the bag and into its own bin. Flashlight will be fine. I've always carried my Streamlight on me without issue.

DFW airport is very good and very quick. The most I've ever waited was 5 minutes. There are 2-3 TSA checkpoints per terminal (5 terminals), so things go very quickly. And if you fumble, don't worry. The agents there, at least at terminal A, are very kind. I've never had a single issue. Hell, one time a TSA agent went, "Nice XD cap. My wife has one of those guns. They're great!"

CA on the other hand... Hopefully you're arriving at a smaller airport. Bigger airports like SFO typically have a TSA line of 30-45 minutes. Or more. My record was an hour. Since then, I've never flown via SFO ever again. Not worth it. Also, my experience with CA TSA agents haven't been astonishingly great. Think of DFW as your practice run for the CA TSA agents. But as long as you're just being the regular Joe, you won't have an issue at either airport.

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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby pbwalker » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:11 pm

It may not help you now, but if you're going to Cali, avoid the major airports. If you're going to LA, try flying in to Burbank, Orange County, or the other smaller airports. LAX is a train wreck to be avoided at all costs. If you're going to the bay area, avoid SFO (as strogg said) and fly in to San Jose.

Depending on your age, you may not have to take your shoes and coat off. If you're going to be flying more and more, spend the $100 on Global Entry. It gets you TSA Precheck, and allows you to avoid the headaches of CBP when you get back stateside. It's good for 5 years.

I fly over 100k miles a year and can share any airport-specific tips and tricks if you're interested, as well as just travel tips. I've gotten to the point where I arrive at DEN 1 hour before departure and I still end up waiting to board. Smaller airports usually have me arriving 45 mins before.
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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby pbwalker » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:18 pm

And here's a good laugh for you before your flight.

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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby WTR » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:45 pm

You will need to put your iPad in a separate bin when you go through x-ray. I also have to take my boots off even in the pre-check if I am wearing the ones with the metal shanks inside the sole.


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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby mayor » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:54 pm

pbwalker wrote:And here's a good laugh for you before your flight.




that's great and somewhat disturbing.

I'm arriving at Ontario International. Thanks. Everything except the video already relieved some early stress.

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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby Pawpaw » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:11 am

Ontario is (or at least used to be) a great smaller airport. I used to fly into and out of the LA area frequently. Ontario was my choice.
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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby pbwalker » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:43 am

Pawpaw wrote:Ontario is (or at least used to be) a great smaller airport. I used to fly into and out of the LA area frequently. Ontario was my choice.


I love the smaller LA area airports. Not only for the convenience, but for the fun noise abatement take-off! Launch like a rocket up to ~3k AGL, throttle back to idle until you're over the ocean, then power back up to climb to cruising altitude. The Av geek in me loves it.
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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby BBYC » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:53 pm

Something I do is empty my pockets while waiting in the security line and put the contents in a small pocket in my carry-on. I think it's more convenient than using the dog bowl. I pocket my wallet after going through, but I don't need my keys until I get home. When I do, I know exactly where to find my keys and parking stub. I hold my ID and boarding pass in my hand going through the scanner No problem with metal detectors or the new ones.

Maybe too late for this trip but seatguru.com can help avoid unpleasant surprises.
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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby RPBrown » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:47 pm

If you have been to the range lately, clean your shoes or wear different shoes. Their sniffers can detect the gun powder residue. Ask me how I know this :oops:
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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby stroo » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:04 pm

I have flown in and out of Ontario a fair amount. I liked it better than any other LA airport. That said, it has been years since I have been to California.

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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby Vol Texan » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:32 pm

Oh yeah, and you can't use your LTC for ID here in Texas...but the folks in California usually accept it. It's quite the conversation starter.
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Re: Advice from seasoned travelers

Postby SQLGeek » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:00 am

Even before flying with pre Check, I never had a problem leaving my iPad in a bag. They only want laptop sized electronics and larger in it's own bin.

It's too late now, but a TSA approved laptop bag is great to have, even with pre check. With those, the laptop sits in its own compartment but attached to the bag. You just unzip the flap and unfold it. The laptop can be scanned but stays with your bag.

I lived in the Bay Area for years and found that depending upon where you were, flying in and out of Sacramento was easy. The drive is a bit longer but it's a small airport and easy to get to and out of.

Have a great trip.
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