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What to pack?

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Being a Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant I have to pack for quite a few different scenarios.  It is not uncommon for us to have one overnight in Providence, RI and then another one in San Diego, CA the next day.  Here is what I pack:  I ALWAYS pack 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of shorts, a couple of T-shirts, a long sleeve shirt, other uniform pieces, and of course my undies and socks.  I also include in my toiletry bag two different kinds of cologne.  Why?  I have no idea, except I don't want to wear the same fragrance twice on one trip.  🙂  Also, with a new security directive that has recently started, don't forget that you have to remove ALL electronic devices and place them into a bin and send them through the x-ray machine.  In addition, don't forget about the TSA's 3-1-1 rule311_header.jpg What do you all pack and what are some things that you don't leave home without?
40 Comments
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1. A good attitude. 2. throwaway rain poncho
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Hi James, Can you share more info on how the new electronic devices security directive works, or is it one of those top secret rules travelers can't know about but still must follow? Do we have to take our iPods out of our carryons now? Do we have to take any protective cover off? If so, can we put them in a clear plastic baggie so they don't get scratched and smudged in the x-ray bin? TSA appears to have neglected to update their website. I found nothing in the "For travelers - Things to know" section, or any August press releases. Thanks.
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I never leave home without my camera. Earplugs are also a good idea, because you never know who your neighbors will be in the hotel.
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1. Laptop 2. Earplugs 3. Drink coupons (for treating other passengers) 4. Chewing gum 5. A pen and paper to note the names of exemplary Southwest employees for commendation letters
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Just out of curiosity, are Flight Attendants and Pilots excused from the 3-1-1 Rule?
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Colin, The TSA's improved *cough* electronics policy is detailed here: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/sop/
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I never thought of the rain poncho, but a very good idea indeed. Colin - I too looked at the TSA website to see if I could find any more details for you and I couldn't. Suffice it to say, all I know is that any electronic device must be taken out of its case, and put into a seperate bin and screened individually. Nicholas - yes, F/A's and Pilots are exempt from the 3-1-1 rule.
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If I am going to be driving somewhere away from my final flying destination, I always throw a good Road Atlas in my bag. The rental car company maps are okay ,but they don't show a lot of detail like a good atlas does. And an atlas is so flat that it doesn't take up any room in a suitcase. Blog Boy
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All the above suggestions are good. I always bring along a clear plastic freezer bag. I'll find a table someplace before entering the "TSA" line and empty alll the junk I usually carry around into the bag. Wallet, cell phone, car keys, pocket change, pens, etc. Once I get into the secure area, I'll reverse the procedure. I bring along a small package of peanut-butter cackers, and a paperback book to keep both my mind and my tummy occupied in the event of a delay or two. And if where you're going is on a toll road, it's not a bad idea to bring a handful of quarters. Once a Boy Scout, always a Scout!
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Gary writes, "And if where youÃ
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Here are some things I pack: 2 bottles of perfume, lotion, body splash, shower gel, all my other toiletries, my book Nuts, (as well as another one), paper, my Walkman, camera, batteries, & other things. Also, I always bring my cell phone & charger. I always make a list of what to pack, & I make a list of what goes in my carry-on & what to put in my check in bags.
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Haven't flown in several years so don't know what to expect. In the past I would always put daily medications in separate small plastic bags along with a few over the counter pills I need. All this to avoid carrying the full bottles of each medications. Would this cause any problems-not having the bottle to prove it is a legal prescription? I'm a Senior so unfortunatlely there are quite a few plastic bags.
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I have one more thing I want to add. When I travel in the summer, I pack my Eeyore hoodie in my carryon. That way, if it's cold in the airport or on the plane, I have something warm. Also, if it happens to be raining when I arrive & or leave, I'll be ready! 🙂
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Robert, I assume your medications are pills. You shouldn't need to keep them in the original bottles. If you have liquid or gel medications, those should be kept in the original, prescription-labeled container, separate from your "3-1-1" liquids bag, and declared to the TSA at the security checkpoint. More information is available here: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/specialneeds/index.shtm
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Sorry, you don't need to remove all electronic devices from your bag to be screened individually. Only laptops (as they've been for years), and large electronics like full size DVD players and XBox's (why you would fly with these I don't know). Ipods, cameras, etc, can remain in their bags.
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I pack my family. ;-) It's a little room up front where the pilots sit, but thats not important right now. Ding! boy Joe
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Great suggestions of things to pack, many of which have accompanied me for years, too. But, here's one more for you Road (and Sky) Warriors for those many nights in hotels: pack a small flashlight. (I use one of those knurled black metal ones that comes on by swiveling the head) Following a less-than-pleasant experience inside a house that was on fire one night, and having endured quite a few power outages in hotels, there is nothing quite as comforting in the middle of the night as a strong beam of light. And for most of us, that would NOT be coming out of our lightsaber. ( http://www.blogsouthwest.com/2007/08/30/luke-i-am-your-father/ ) I call my trusty flashlight my own personal "Debby Boone". Some of your blog readers who are very young will not get that joke. Ask your parents to explain it. Jim, if you could let me know when you're heading back to DAL next time, I'll swing by and let you just give me the rest of your quarters so they don't go to waste! Kim External Blog Boy 🙂
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Don't tell me that you remember "You Light Up My Life?" Signed, sorry that he is old enough to know what you are talking about
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I always want a small amount of medicine with me when I travel, so I was cruising thru Walgreens and discovered Thera-Flu comes in those strips that melt on your toung! Wow! Just like the little breath fresheners. This is a travelers dream. Very little space and a good medicine to have when you need it. DP
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Kim - Not sure when I will be there next, but my beautiful wife respectfully requests that the quarters come home next time. BTW - good idea about the flashlight, I could have used one recently in Atlanta when the electricity went out as we were leaving the hotel. I'll keep one with my quarters from now on.
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I carry an ethernet cable and a travel alarm clock so that I don't spend 20 minutes figuring out how to set the hotel clock. I also agree about the flashlight. I also include a small Sudoku book and a pencil which I use between pushback and 10,000 feet when electonics can be used.
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I fly with Southwest at least 10 times @ month and I have never had a problem with my Camera or I Pod. I only screen my LapTop individually. Thank you Southwest for the Clear Plastic Bag with the Zipper , the plastic is really thick and it lasts longer so that I do not have to keep changing my Regular Zip Bags so frequently. Ricardo
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Do you have any insight as to why camcorders with tapes must be separately screened whereas other devices like digital cameras are not? I just got back from a trip to Orlando, including a Disney cruise and these new regulations don't make sense to me. By the way, i was able to save more than 40% on my airfare by booking through Southwest instead of Disney,
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Flew last week to Albany and then returned from Albany thru BWI on my way back to Chicago. When I got my luggage back I notice my outside pockets were open. There's 3 outside pockets, a large one and a smaller one and a ticket size pocket. I had my Green Bay Packer's Bart Starr hat in the medium size pocket. It was a limited edition hat and it was gone. I'm really bummed about that. What drew my attention is that my zipper handles on the small pocket have been gone for a long time and it would have been difficult to open. But some one did take the time to open all of them and leave them open. I had a TSA notice in my bag, so someone looked the bag over. Not really pointing the finger at SWA, but who's watching the TSA people as they go thru bags? So bummed about the hat, but that's all that was missing.
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Ricardo, I'm not positive, but i know at one time, film, had to be handled seperately so the x-ray machines would not ruin them. Not sure if that is the experience you are talking about...but if so, it was for your film's protection. 🙂
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What a great posting.....when I travel, I always carry my ticket/pass holder and inside I always keep a current flight schedule, pen, and small note pad to make notes on. This is handy when trying to find a way home from LAS! or anywhere else. I also travel with a pack of gum, and if the kids are with me, ALWAYS activies for them such as crayons and books and plenty of snacks.
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Your flight 532 is CONSISTENTLY delayed week after week by at least 1.5 hours. IÃ
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Livia thanks for your thoughts. After over 30 years in the airline industry, I know its hard for a third-party like you and me to know exactly what happens in situations like this. However, Southwest Airlines was responding to a concern about Ms. Ebbert's revealing attire on the flight that day. As a compromise, we asked her to adjust her clothing to be less revealing, she complied, and she traveled as scheduled. When a concern is brought to our Employees' attention, we address that situation directly with the Customer(s) involved in a discreet and professional manner. Keep in mind that we serve over 96 million Customers a year, and these situations are extremely rare.
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When I saw Ms. Ebbert's story, and outfit, this morning on Today, at first I thought she had been treated unfairly. Then I saw the MSN video. Matt Lauer asks her to stand up to show her clothes, and when she sits back down there is a pretty obvious view of her underwear. On the t.v. broadcast, NBC edits this out- at that second, the camera focuses in on Matt's face before returning to his innocently seated guest. Why the discrepancy? Perhaps NBC felt that showing her undergarments was offensive? If I had been on that plane and caught a glimpse of her knickers, I probably would have ogled without complaint. But I wouldn't defend her, because I can understand how someone could be shocked and upset by it.
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You might check out this website. www.rightforflight.com
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Livia thanks for your thoughts. After over 30 years in the airline industry, I know its hard for a third-party like you and me to know exactly what happens in situations like this. However, Southwest Airlines was responding to a concern about Ms. EbbertÃ
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I have a question how hard is it to get employed for a flight attendant position fof southwest? How does senority work? like what if you want to transfer to your original home instead of a hub does that take very long?
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I'm not sure how the hiring is going to go next year with us slowing our expansion plans...go ahead and apply online at www.southwest.com/careers and see where it leads ya....We have eight bases, BWI, MCO, MDW, DAL, HOU, PHX, LAS and OAK...so you can really live wherever you want...I live in OKC and commute to MDW. Good Luck! James MDW FA
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Are Dvd players allowed on a flight ? and if so do they need to be in a special dvd bag? thank you
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Hi Burilla Yes they are, and you can play portable ones during flight once the Flight Attendant tells you that it is okay to use portable electronic devices. No special bag is needed. Brian
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the last time i flew SW, probably a couple of years ago, i was allowed to bring my knitting on board. are we still allowed to do so? also, i use a pair of rounded point scissors and i was allowed to bring these. are they still allowed?
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I don't eat Solid food due to medical condition.. is a small carton of milk and packet of powdered instant breakfast allowed for carryon?.. this important to me and since I don't use hair gel I'll have room.. thanks
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Hi StaciaO, The TSA still hasn't reduced their restrictions on liquids being carried in checked bags. However, they do make exceptions for medical purposes like yours. Just to ensure that you won't have a problem, it would help if you could bring a note from your doctor. Also, in most of the airports we serve, you can purchase milk on the other side of the checkpoint.
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