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What Would Emily Post Do?

True story: Back in the 80s, a friend of mine flew home from the Dominican Republic with her Spanish-speaking grandfather and a gallon-size container of honey from his farm. As if he were traveling with gold bars, he carefully placed the jug of honey in the overhead bin a few seats away. About half-way through the flight, the unlucky man beneath said bin found himself completely doused in honey, which seeped into his ears, covered his eyes, and slid down the space between his collar and his neck. As everyone on the plane turned to see what the shrieking was all about, my friend–who was eight at the time—became the impromptu translator of some colorful language from the flight attendant to her grandfather.

A Big Day Ahead

Editor’s Note: Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is monitoring crowd conditions ahead of the holiday at 10 of the busiest airports in the country: Atlanta-Hartsfield; Chicago O’Hare; Dallas-Fort Worth International; Denver International; Phoenix International; Las Vegas McCarran; Los Angeles International; New York La Guardia; Orlando International; Reagan National. Check back here through Nov. 22 for airport updates from our editors.

It’s a little after 5 a.m. in Texas, and as I prepare for the hectic travel day ahead, I can’t help but think about the sleep I lost last night and the turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes that I’ll stuff myself with tomorrow! But until then, I’ll be fielding calls from our on-site reporters at the nation’s top airports to learn about crowd conditions throughout what is traditionally known as the busiest travel day of the year.

Travelocity’s on-site reporters have already been at the airports for two days, monitoring wait times and surveying travelers about their experiences at the airports. The overall traveler sentiment? So far, so good. Seventy-two percent of travelers are satisfied with their experience getting through security with only 10 percent of travelers reporting that they’re unsatisfied, an indication that the TSA is well staffed and prepared for the busy day ahead.

We expect Thanksgiving crowds to peak today, so travelers should be prepared to wait in longer lines at both security and check-in points. AAA predicts 4.8 million air travelers to take to the skies this holiday season, a 3 percent increase over last year. Check back here throughout the day for updates on crowd conditions.

On a lighter note, our on-site reporters also asked travelers what celebrity couple they would invite over for Thanksgiving dinner. Despite their weekend wedding in Italy, TomKat (not surprisingly) is the most unpopular couple with 10 percent of the vote, while 28 percent of travelers would welcome Jennifer and Vince to their turkey day feast. Other contenders: The Clintons (24 percent); The Bushes (20 percent); and Brangelina (18 percent).

Turkey Day Turbulence at the Nation’s Airports

Editor’s Note: Travelocity’s Thanksgiving Task Force is monitoring crowd conditions ahead of the holiday at 10 of the busiest airports in the country: Atlanta-Hartsfield; Chicago O’Hare; Dallas-Fort Worth International; Denver International; Phoenix International; Las Vegas McCarran; Los Angeles International; New York La Guardia; Orlando International; Reagan National. Check back here through Nov. 22 for airport updates from our editors.

Thanksgiving is nearly here — yum! But before you can eat your turkey feast, you first have to get to your destination. Whoever said “getting there is half the fun” certainly didn’t try to navigate the crowds at the airports during the holidays.

The million dollar question this year: how long will it take to get through security? At least that’s the question I keep getting asked by all the media who know that the latest TSA changes means more headaches for travelers. My prediction for Thanksgiving travel: long lines at security. I’d plan for at least a half an hour, maybe more. With record high load factors this year, you can’t afford to miss your flight for fear of missing your fancy dinner. To make it through the gate and board the plane on time, make sure you arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance for domestic flights (three hours for international), and bring plenty to do in case you end up with extra time on your hands. (Or, check out unique finds at airports across the country!)

But, what is really happening out there right now? I have on-site reporters stationed at 10 of the busiest airports for this Thanksgiving holiday to report back with those very details. After a day of surveying the scene, here’s what they’ve found…

Packing a Punch

I’ve taken 13 flights in the past two months, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned – besides mastering that “Lost in Translation”-like blank stare on people movers, escalators and airtrams – it’s that good things really do come in small packages. By small, I mean 3 oz. or less.

This really crystallized for me after watching a woman, who was undoubtedly somebody’s mom, cause quite a ruckus at security because she was forced to check her designer purse (or risk having the nearly $300 worth of beauty products that it contained tossed in the garbage). Then, there was another passenger who accused security of stealing her jewelry (while her husband moseyed toward the gate). I had a good chuckle because she was merely being asked to remove her necklaces before walking through the metal detector.

Travel-Worthy Fourth of July Celebrations

As American traditions go, this one might just be even more American than Apple Pie. The custom dates back to 1778 when the Continental Congress decided to honor the nation’s third birthday – and to do so boldly with a grand display of fireworks. More than two centuries later, the tradition continues with communities around the country celebrating America’s independence with a bang, and maybe a bite or two of Apple Pie.

When the rockets red glare this July 4, where will you be celebrating? Travelocity editors compiled this list of fireworks spectaculars, revealing some of the country’s best displays for 2006.