Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Looking ahead

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Sadly, I've shot myself in the foot by thinking ahead to my trip to New Orleans next month. Photo / iStock
Sadly, I've shot myself in the foot by thinking ahead to my trip to New Orleans next month. Photo / iStock

Anticipation is one of the great things about any journey.

It's like double-dipping on the "happy glow" of a holiday buzz: you get to enjoy the holiday (of course), but in the weeks or months beforehand you can warm up by researching your destination or even just flicking through photos online. For a third dip, we've got warm-fuzzy memories after the trip is done and dusted.

In fact, through the joys of early anticipation and later rose-tinted memories, a disappointing holiday might come to be regarded as a triumph.

Sadly, I've shot myself in the foot by thinking ahead to my trip to New Orleans next month.

The US Transportation Security Administration has been caught short by reducing staff numbers just as domestic passenger volumes soar. The result: excruciatingly long queues for security checks across the Land of the Free.

US airlines are blaming the TSA, which had banked on passengers making more use of the pre-screening programme, TSA PreCheck, to speed up security checks.

Those queues are unlikely to get any shorter in the next few months. The airlines are expecting 231 million passengers to fly domestically in the States during the busy summer period from June to August, up four per cent from the same period last year.

And therein lies the other great thing about anticipation: finding out in advance about potential hassles and being able to do something about them. The TSA's PreCheck (tsa.gov/tsa-precheck) costs $126. I think I'll take my chances with the queues.

- NZ Herald

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Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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