Freshman Survival 101: Air Travel

This column speaks to all air travelers and so will simply be an advice column on the following matter regarding holiday traveling: don’t.

However, if you have no other way to reach your home for the holidays, such as a personal helicopter or teleportation, then the following points should be followed:

1. The following items may not be carried on board: ice picks, meat cleavers, nunchucks, pool cues, hatchets, ninja throwing stars, and of course, the ever-popular cattle prod. The reason these items are outlawed is because people use them to harm others; and by others I mean those in that 300 mile-long line to the security checkpoint. By the time you finally reach the metal detector, you’re ready to smack anyone with a screaming kid – or just anyone, for that matter. I’m not sure why you’re allowed to bring a walking cane but not a cattle prod, because they’re both used for pretty much the same thing: to beat the living daylight out of fellow air travelers. I guess the ninja stars will be left behind.

2. Always wear your seatbelt on the airplane. Because that little strip of fabric is really going to save you if the plane plummets 16,000 feet into the unknown.

3. Always keep your seat in the upright position. Because that two inch difference is really going to save you if the plane plummets 16,000 feet into the unknown.

4. Never get an aisle seat; you will undoubtedly be stuck sitting next to the man with the bladder issue who will crawl over you every hour. This is especially fun on a transatlantic flight, when you’ve finally dozed off to sleep – only to wake up to a man sitting on top of you claiming he’s trying to get to the bathroom. It’s best to get a window seat so you can be that man (or woman).

5. “Chicken or pasta?” Both look equally disturbing and trying to cut any airplane meat with that plastic knife is like trying to carve into a piece of concrete. It tastes the same too, and since the body digests differently at higher altitudes, the delicious, processed concoction will leave you – and consequently, your seat neighbor – incredibly uncomfortable.

6. Never fly on New Year’s Day with a hangover. Not only will people eye you suspiciously when they notice you haven’t touched your corn chips, but they will begin pounding on the bathroom door when they notice you running toward it for the third time during the in-flight movie. Every possible annoyance on an airplane will bug you a million times more. Think of the kid sitting behind you, kicking your seat and screaming “I’m going on vacation!” whilst you spill ginger ale all over yourself.

Lisa Magedler is a freshman majoring in creative writing. She may or may not have been that girl running to the bathroom every ten minutes during the in-flight movie. She may be contacted at