01/28/2009 02:17 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Getting the Most Out of Air Travel

Between skyrocketing ticket costs and security woes, air travel is becoming more and more of a hassle. But don't get nostalgic for the simple days of horse-and-buggy yet! I've gathered some great tips to make your next trip to the airport smooth and hassle-free.

Liquids: For travelers who are too good to check their baggage, the TSA's restrictions on liquids have become a real pain. But with a little bit of planning, you can bring more than 3 oz. of a liquid on your flight - and I'm not talking about pouring your shampoo in a vial and calling it "insulin." Here's what you do:

  • Pack an empty bottle.
  • Before you reach the security checkpoint, take out the full bottle of whatever liquid you want to bring on the flight and squeeze the contents into your mouth. Whether it's orange juice, Jack Daniels, or DEP hair gel, "the sky's the limit"!
  • In case you are questioned by security, keep a note in your pocket that says, "Just underwent jaw surgery. Mute!"
  • On the other side of the checkpoint, spit the liquid into your empty bottle. You're clear! Note: do not smoke with hair gel in your mouth.

No Meals: Passengers complained when airlines stopped serving in-flight meals. But aren't these the same people who were complaining about how terrible those meals were in the first place? Either way, don't worry! I have some fool-proof recipes to make you feel full on even the longest trans-Atlantic flight:

  • Lemon Lift: Ask the stewardess for a slice of lemon from the drink cart. Then, holding the lemon in front of your mouth, breathe in and swallow the lemon-flavored air. Repeat until you feel full or your stomach is distended.
  • Jazzy Salt Toss: Pretend to sleep when you receive your peanuts. Later "wake up" and tell the stewardess you're allergic to the peanuts so she gives you pretzels. Mix the contents of the two bags together and eat while listening to the airline's Smooth Jazz radio channel.
  • Seven Vodka Tonics: Because no one's hungry when they're asleep!

Getting Stuck on the Tarmac: Continental made news last year when it stranded a plane full of people on the tarmac for five hours. The travelers were left without food and toilet paper, and they staged a revolt. I know what you're wondering: if I'm stuck in such a revolt, how can I make it work for me? Easy! Just follow these steps:

  • Establish yourself as a leader: The best way to do this is to keep a prepared speech in your pocket, like this one I've started for you:
  • Citizens of (AIRLINE NAME) flight (NUMBER). When we boarded this plane lo these many hours ago, we didn't think much of ourselves. We didn't think we would be heroes or victims, but now we are both of those things. I'll tell you what: you are brave people. You are brave enough to sit in your seats and repeatedly press the stewardess call button over and over, no matter how annoyed the flight crew gets. And I promise you, good people, that if you elect me as your captain, I can and will provide you with toilet paper!

  • Following through on your promises: Nothing gets a leader ousted faster than empty promises. Before leaving home, fill your carry-on bag with toilet paper. If your flight doesn't have a revolt, don't worry! Your bag will make a great pillow.
  • Accept praise: All of the greatest leaders in history have had groupies. Che had his guerilla warriors, various kings of France had various French citizens, and Bill had Monica. In order to remain in power, take compliments humbly, and quickly deflect the focus onto your followers. For example, you could say: "Yes, I did ceremoniously burn a copy of Attaché Magazine. But the real heroes are you, the good people of row 23, seats D and E, who made barf-bag puppets to entertain the children.

That's it! Just follow these tips and I promise you that you'll have a happy, healthy flight. And remember: just like bees, airlines are more scared of you than you are of them.