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John

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Just so you all know... [Dec. 22nd, 2008|08:15 pm]
John
While driving in tire chains, all of your traction is under your chained tires. If they're your front tires, you *can* fishtail.

And if you do that on a sufficiently slippery highway, you can do a fascinating 180 when you hit a snow drift.

But, it is possible to do so without panicking.

And if the highway is mostly abandoned (as it was), no one gets hurt, and you can still make it to your parking reservation and the flight with plenty of time to spare.

So you can sit and wait for close to two hours while they de-ice the plane. Two or more times.

By the way: all airlines charge for checked baggage. As a result, *everyone* uses carry-on bags. *Do not* let yourself be in zone 7 (or whatever zone boards last). They *will* take your carry-on bags. (If you're smart enough to have a re-usable grocery bag, you can throw your laptop and food into the grocery bag so they can't be destroyed by the folks who handle checked baggage.)

Did I mention they don't do beverage service while the plane is on the ground, but even if they did, US Air charges two bucks for water? Or that one of my water bottles was in my now-checked carry-on?

But, I'm safely in Philly (well... Ambler). And they have a Trader Joe's here, so I even have some Cotswald to munch on. The non-travel parts are good.

(Except for the forgetting to pack my underwear. I remembered socks - which, note, are in my underwear drawer! - but not underwear. Thankfully, there are stores in Philly.)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: 64tbird
2008-12-23 01:43 pm (UTC)

THANK YOU

You have no idea how you saved my life with this post.

All airlines charge for checked baggage? What a load of hooie! Bastards! That's ridiculous! ARGH!

And you reminded me that I always bring an empty water bottle through security so that I can fill it on the other side.

Can I still bring food on the plane?

I'm glad you made it safely despite the hassles. And underwear are overrated.

ETA _ Oh yeah - and those of us who live with snow should have told you:
Chains on ALL FOUR TIRES or not at all.
ETA the second: Gregg says I am wrong - he says drive tires only. Maybe it's studded snow tires that are all four or not at all.

Edited at 2008-12-23 01:47 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2008-12-23 08:14 pm (UTC)

Re: THANK YOU

re: chains, yes, drive tires only is what I'd been taught. But a car handles very differently. It seemed to me that the chains were better at moving me than stopping me, so that in a lot of places where my instinct was to slow down, it was better to push forward, maybe even a bit harder. And, of course, there is the whole fishtailing thing.

In this case, though, what happened was I realized I was on a path towards the wrong exit ramp, so I had to angle back towards the main highway. Well, the exit ramp was packed down, and the main highway was packed down, but in between was a drift of about 6" of snow. I hit that at an angle, and the front wheels just locked, but the rear wheels were still moving at an angle, which spun the car.

One other thing to consider bringing in to the airport: a small cup. If the sinks or water fountains aren't able to fill your water bottle, you can transfer water from cup to bottle to get your bottle filled.

And, yes, you can carry food on the plane.

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[User Picture]From: brooksmoses
2008-12-27 03:04 am (UTC)

Re: THANK YOU

All of the "traditional" (or whatever it is one calls them) airlines charge for checked luggage -- that's United, US Airways, American, Continental, and so on. US Airways is currently the only one charging for beverages, as far as I know, but who knows how long that will last.

The airlines that serve a small number of airports (such as Virgin America, Frontier, Alaska, Jet Blue, Southwest, and so on) seem generally not to be charging for luggage, and otherwise to be providing actual customer service.

Unfortunately, my visiting-of-family travel involves going to a little airport that none of the smaller airlines serve.
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