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Thanksgiving Task Force Wrap-Up

Not only does the Transportation Security Administration get better with expereince, I have to say, so do our Travelocity Thanksgiving Task Force spotters. This year was our best ever. And not just because the weather cooperated in most parts of the country, or that the President opened military airspace around the nation to ease air traffic congestion, or even the fact that there were fewer air travelers this year. I owe our success to this great team of ten who walk some of the nation’s busiest airportsand report live with their findings and update the blog every hour from pre-dawn to post-dusk.

This year our spotters (who I like to affectionately refer to as Turkey Trotters) took full advantage of the technological advancements and went wireless with their PDAs, cameras, and computers to update this very blog with the latest and greatest news from the front-lines of air travel over some of the busiest travel days of the year.

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably read at least some of the others. (Weren’t the posts great this year?) And especially because this holiday is all about giving thanks…I’d like to take the time to thank each and every one of our turkey trotters for covering the airports so well. Jenn Gaines at LAX, Holly Burns at Las Vegas, Rachel Berg in Denver, Song Yang in Atlanta, Jeff Varhol in Miami, Joel Frey at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Michael Brophy at Washington National, Jenelle Blanchard at Chicago O’Hare, Jill Harrison in Phoenix, and Genevieve Brown and Charlie Davidson at New York Lagaurdia airport. — you guys rock! It’s because of all of you, and all of our fantastic behind-the-scenes helpers (this list is long, forgive me for not naming everyone on it but you know who you are!) that Travelocity is able to help travelers in real-time know what to do to ease their travels at the holidays and any time.

While 2008 was the best year post 9/11 for Thanksgiving travels with baggage and security lines averaging under ten minutes for most travelers. Even the peaks, which went briefly as high as 30 minutes in some places, didn’t come close to the hour-plus lines I recall from just six years ago when tempers ran high and people had to scramble for their flights in near panic.

None of this is to say that there isn’t room for improvement. There are always things that travelers, security, airport personnel and the airline staff can do better. Most of it is out of your control but as a travelers we did witness the five mistakes most travelers made this Thanksgiving. If you want to be sure to improve your own travel expereince pay heed to these common traveler errors:

1. Not using online check-in
2. Not having the right size bag
3. Not checking in advance to see if flight times have changed
4. Not allowing enough time to get through the airport
5. Not being ready for the crowds

With minimal effort you can be sure to nip any bad travel habits you have in the bud and make your next trip a bit easier. For many of you that trip is going to be Sunday when it’s time to go home. Remember that is the biggest travel day of the weekend so be prepared for longer lines that earlier this week, more confusion, and very crowded flights.

In the meantime, to all the Window Seat devotees and readers, thank you! Please keep the comments coming and have a very happy thanksgiving.


My name: Amy is my name, but I'll answer to Ame, Ames or Aimee.

How I earn my keep: My beat is travel, but my passion is collecting stories from people I meet on the road.

Hotel I could move into: Must I pick only one?! The Palacio Duhau a Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires tops my list. For the stunning restoration of the palace and tasteful new tower that create a thoughtful intersection of old and new. Every public and private space captivates. I'd move for the grand Alvear entry as much as for the manicured garden. For the wine and cheese tastings, the dulce de leche, the art gallery, the flower shop and for all the careful attention to detail that went into creating a hotel that is transcendent. If I were to pick a hotel that most felt like me, it would be The Inn at the Manor in the Cotswolds. Oh, I could definitely live there curled up with a book in a leather chair in the bar or outside among the English wildflowers. If I wanted to live in a land far away, the Ngoro Ngoro Crater Lodge would make a unique home with a view of the crater floor from every room (including the loo!), sumptuous beds, endless roses and the most unusual neighbors - massive water buffalo who won't bother you if you stay close to your Maori guide.

If I won the lottery, I'd live in: A historic farmhouse with an enormous barn and hundreds of acres tucked into a small town in New England or a Malibu beach house with stunning views and the surf just steps away. On second thought, winning the lottery means I could jet from coast to coast and enjoy them both.

Favorite way to get around: By foot. Whether in the city or country, I find the best way to get to know someplace is ambling around to discover and sample the distinct sights, sounds, smells, and tastes a place has to offer.

View that took my breath away: Looking toward the sky in Arusha and watching black and white Colobus monkeys scramble among the treetops, jumping from one tree to the next, floating through the sky like a primate version of Superman. Monkeys know how to have a good time!

My most beloved place in the whole world is: The place I visited last. What can I say? I'm fickle.

Follow me on twitter @amyziff



You’re welcome Amy! It was fun, as always! Have a great rest of the day!

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