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You know you can't have: liquids

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If I'm to believe my parents, it appears that "liquid" was my first word. Sentimentality aside, I've always accepted that liquids would be instrumental in my life. But I was never sure how...I'm quite certain that everyone in this country is painfully aware of the apparently infinite guises of liquids-that-must-not-pass-airline-security. And it's possible that at one point or another, some of you have been informed of the necessity of a plastic baggie. Now, I'm so completely fine complying with federal safety guidelines, but I do find it irksome and maybe even troublesome when different airlines have their own, entirely changeable conceptions of what, precisely, constitutes a liquid.

For instance, today I was traveling with my one carry-on and purse, the contents of which revealed: a vial of eye drops and three different kinds of lip glosses (in my kind of OCD, I make my drug store purchases in triplication). And though I have--very recently!--booked travel out of almost all of our country's starting line-up of airports, I've learned to properly and even expertly utilize my baggie for any contraband, and I have never been sequestered for lip gloss (though, read on: I should have been). After they confiscated my triumvirate of glosses and my eye drops, I was free to leave, but then one of the officials returned my eye drops. (I later learned that under 4 fl. oz is okay, but all of my glosses were way under 4 fl. oz and eye drops are just--I don't know--much more representative of liquid! Maybe there was a special fatwa issued just for beauty gels today. Who knows.)

But it seems I actually was getting away with murder before, since according to this list of US Government Guidelines, you definitely can't have lip glosses of any kind. I once sat next to a woman on a plane who was bragging about all the kinds of liquids she still retained on her person, and people didn't really know what to say to her. Have any of you walked away from airline security confused about what just happened and/or have you ever "gotten away with" (in the inadvertent, you-did-just-X-ray-my-bag way) liquids/gels?

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Mapped: The 10 Airports Where You’re Most Likely to Get Stuck Over Thanksgiving
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William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Every year, some unlucky Americans end up stranded at U.S. airports trying to get home for Thanksgiving. But your risk of getting stuck at the airport for hours on end varies depending on where you’re flying. Using five years of data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Elite Fixtures collected statistics on the worst airports to travel through around the Thanksgiving holiday, a time when airports are traditionally at their busiest.

The results show that delays aren't necessarily tied to the airports where the weather tends to be worst or those that see the most passengers. What airline you are flying, whether you’re on a regional flight, and the route you’re traveling can all affect your likelihood of getting stuck, and so the percentage of short-haul flights or the number of, say, Delta flights out of a certain airport might affect its overall score negatively. Still, you might want to avoid airports like Chicago’s Midway or the Oakland airport. Good luck with Houston or Dallas, too.

Below, the 10 worst:

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Hate Waiting at Baggage Claim? Here's How to Make Sure Your Suitcase Arrives First
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Air travel involves plenty of waiting, from standing in long security lines to preparing for takeoff. And even after you land, your trip is stalled until you locate your luggage on the carousel. Luckily for impatient fliers, there are several ways to game the system and ensure a speedy suitcase delivery once you step off the plane, according to Travel + Leisure.

To score true VIP luggage treatment, ask the representative behind the check-in counter if they can attach a “fragile” sticker to your bag. Suitcases with these kinds of labels are often loaded last and unloaded first. (Plus, they receive the type of kid-glove treatment that ultimately helps them last longer.)

Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need a new tag each time you fly. If it looks old, or was issued by a different airline, the crew might not pay attention to it, according to Condé Nast Traveler. Also, consider upping your suitcase game, as quality, hard-shell bags look like they contain delicate or important items. Their appearance—along with the fragile sticker—will inspire baggage handlers to give them special treatment.

Another trick that can shave a few minutes off your wait time is making sure you're the last person to check in, instead of rushing to be first. If you can't resist getting to the airport early, try asking if you can check it at the gate. This could make your bag one of the last on the plane, and thus one of the first taken out. This method isn't surefire, however, as loading and unloading systems vary among flights.

And if all else fails, Thrillist advises that you try upgrading your flight. Some airlines give priority to bags that belong to elite travelers and business class, meaning they’ll be stored separately from other luggage and come out first. Good luck! No matter what happens, at least you can't have it worse than the lady who had to wait 20 years for her bag to show up.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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