This post may be a little ill-timed, considering that many classes resumed today while others won’t start until two weeks from Monday. But I’m flying home on Saturday, so that’s all that counts.

Here are a few tips if you are traveling on a plane:

  • Remember the TSA’s 3 oz. liquid rule. I was burned by this flying from Providence to Seattle over the break because I had a 4 oz. container. The whole practice is absolutely absurd, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Already having your liquids in a plastic bag ready to whip out can also expedite the process.

  • Try to get upgraded to first class. It’s not going to work every time, but boy it’s nice when it does. Since most of the the attendants working behind the counter, guys are going to (naturally) have more luck being upgraded. Wear something decent but not overly fancy. Be polite and not “I’m so important so I’m being rude to you, you blue collar worker.” Ask about an hour before the flight takes off if first class has checked in full. Who knows, you might get lucky.

  • Don’t joke about blowing up the plane. This is usually a no-brainer, but the U.S. on terror alert ORANGE, so you’ll probably get the death penalty for calling USC’s Rose Bowl performance “the bomb,” and you should anyway.

  • If you didn’t get upgraded to first class, get comfortable. Make sure you take control of your armrest for maximum relaxability. Order an exotic drink when the drink cart comes by, like orange juice.

  • Strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Whether they are geriatric travelers or a super model, talking to someone is usually more interesting than reading for a few hours straight. If you’re lucky, the delinquent will make you feel better about yourself. The easiest way to start a conversation with someone you don’t know is to offer them something, like your pillow or pretzels.

  • If at all possible, check-in online and only bring carry-ons. Any respectable (and some lousy ones, i.e. United) allow you to check-in online up to 24 or 48 hours in advance and print out your boarding pass(es). If you only have carry-ons, you can just head straight to security once you arrive at the airport.