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Suburban Island

Up in the Air
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004, 7:46 p.m.

QUESTION: What did I forget to pack?

WHAT I LEARNED: Don't count on meals or bathroom breaks in the big blue sky.

Things are changing in the friendly skies...

For instance, I Ė an average traveler of the airways Ė know by now that I am going to have to take off my shoes and sashay barefoot or be-socked through the security area. It changes your foot logic if you know what I mean Ė good socks or at least flip-flop-ready feet are in order winter, summer, spring or fall when it comes to airport security walk-throughs.

I know some other important things too like not to bother with jewelry, wear a bra that doesnít have a metal underwire even if underwire bras are your very lifeblood. Thatís what plastics are for on flying days. Tweeze, clip, cut, and snip pre-travel because you canít bring those basic grooming tools with you anymore. Gotta go? Better hit the bathroom before you get on the plane because you arenít getting out of that seat for 30 minutes on either side of the ride. Iím a big believer in pre-flight bathroom stops so this is no problem for me. Crawling over 2 other seated passengers to get to the potty and peeing with the sound of air rushing away right under my butt is not my idea of high flying anyway. Iíll wait, thanks. Sadly, another poor woman was not as wise as I. She was asked to sit back down - the unfortunate collusion of turbulence and in air hydration had put her in an uncomfortable situation for that last 1/2 hour of the flight.

Remember all that whining weíve done about the lousy airplane food for so many years? No worries. You just donít get food anymore unless you've got some cash on hand, grab some carry out before take off, or pack your own. Did you know that Wolfgang Puck has a catering gig going on US Airways? I didnít. Ten dollars, please.

And hey, have a great flight.

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