Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Transportation Home  |  Discussions  |  Traffic  |  Columns  |  Q&A     |      Twitter |    Facebook   |  phone Alerts
Posted at 9:15 AM ET, 11/29/2010

How were your travels?

By Michael D. Bolden

Fears that people protesting the use of new body scanning machines would wreck Thanksgiving travel never materialized over the holiday weekend.

The TSA reported minimal wait times at most airports on the day before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year. In fact the Transportation Security Administration reported that few people opted out of what some have deemed the virtual strip search because of the scantily clad outline it provides of the human body.

I flew out of Dulles on Thanksgiving headed for San Francisco and saw none of the body-scanning machines in use. The ones at the checkpoint I went through appeared to be shut down and were roped off. People were breezing through security, and I saw no one get a pat-down.

(My trip wasn't without delays, however. My connecting flight to Minneapolis diverted to Pittsburgh when the pilots reported a smell of smoke and an instrument problem -- nothing says Thanksgiving like landing on a runway lined with emergency vehicles! I ended up connecting through Detroit Metro Airport and was surprised at the number of people there who were also traveling on Thanksgiving. ).

The return trip from the West Coast was the same. There were no body-scanning machines in use at the checkpoint I went through at Terminal 3 of San Francisco International Airport.

Travelers who were driving north on Interstate 96 may have seen some of the worst of it. Backups extended for several miles on Wednesday, and the Delaware Department of Transportation waived tolls to help move traffic along.

Whether you flew across the country to visit friends or drove to Grandma's house, what was your experience with Thanksgiving travel? Post a comment below.

By Michael D. Bolden  | November 29, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Airports, Aviation, Driving, Highways  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The week ahead for traffic, transit
Next: N.J. has 30 days to pay tunnel bill

Comments

We traveled via Amtrak from Metro-Detroit to Minneapolis/St Paul. With me 6 mos pregnant and a 19 mo old, we thought this would be the less stressful option. The trip out was smooth, but the trip back took two extra days. The train was delayed for numerous reasons and the customer service was hit or miss - some really nice agents and some awful ones.

The worst part was when they had us board at St Paul and then shut the power off for 40 minutes - no food and no way off the train. This after waiting 7 hrs for the train!

They did offer us an 8 hr bus ride to Chicago, which we declined (pregnancy/toddler = bad combo). Not sure when we'll travel by train again, but it won't be soon.

Posted by: mgal | November 29, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Our trip up 95 to NY early Wednesday morning was slow only near Northern NJ while traffic on the Beltway early in the morning was frantic.
We left NY early Sat and had no problems coming home.
It was an easy trip.

Posted by: dileomo1 | November 29, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Our trip to NYC was ok. We left on Thanksgiving morning around 5:30 am. We took 95 north and had no problems whatsoever. We got to NYC by 9:15ish. We left on Sunday around 3pm. I had checked traffic prior to leaving the NJ turnpike was already backing up, so we took the alternate route you recommended (I78-I81-I83-I95-I495) and we really enjoyed the scenary. We probably would have made it home 5.5 hours but they was an accident on 95 South right before the beltway that caused all lanes to be closed. We had to get off 95 on Powder Mill Rd, to New Hampshire avenue.

We appreciate the advise you gave us to take the alternate (and cheaper)route thru PA. We enjoyed it.

Posted by: FloresFan | November 29, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I flew in and out of Dallas and was not groped by TSA. I consider that a good trip. In fact, I didn't even see any of the body scanner machines in National or DFW. I'm convinced that TSA decided to back off using them as a result of the protests. No one else I knew was even asked to step into a body scanner this week. Now, if they can keep those screaming howler monkey cbabies off the planes, everything would be just fine!

Posted by: PepperDr | November 29, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Our trip to NYC was ok. We left on Thanksgiving morning around 5:30 am. We took 95 north and had no problems whatsoever. We got to NYC by 9:15ish. We left on Sunday around 3pm. I had checked traffic prior to leaving the NJ turnpike was already backing up, so we took the alternate route you recommended (I78-I81-I83-I95-I495) and we really enjoyed the scenary. We probably would have made it home 5.5 hours but they was an accident on 95 South right before the beltway that caused all lanes to be closed. We had to get off 95 on Powder Mill Rd, to New Hampshire avenue.

We appreciate the advise you gave us to take the alternate (and cheaper)route thru PA. We enjoyed it.

Posted by: FloresFan | November 29, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Amtrak was wonderful between DC and NYC on Wednesday morning. Uneventful trip and I slept most of the way.

On the way home, it was uneventful aside from the fact that the train was very obviously sold out the entire way. People were scrambling looking for seats at every stop. Most people eventually found them. But at BWI, I think they oversold the train just to get people home from the airport. So between BWI and DC there were a lot of standees.

Overall, great trip, and not sure why I ever even considered driving.

Posted by: thetan | November 29, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Travels were fine leaving. Nude scanners were gone from departing (Monday) airport when I arrived on Wednesday. Magically they were there Monday morning.

Posted by: seraphina21 | November 30, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company