It's the time of year once again for us to reflect on the True Meaning of Thanksgiving. This is a momentous time of year, to be looked forward to with joy and excitement.

Thanksgiving is not a time to give thanks. Thanksgiving is a time to get bumped.

For where many see overcrowded airplanes and many more see traffic jams that legends and comparisons to Los Angeles are made of, one can see pure opportunity if one steps back from the fray and reflects on the True Meaning of Thanksgiving. With a careful selection of flight schedules, plenty of reading material, a lot of food, and an understanding with all family and friends that the obligatory Thanksgiving dinners are to be held on Friday, not Thursday, one can reap the greatest rewards of this special time of year--hundreds of dollars in free travel, courtesy of overflowing airlines.

Last year, I had regained the Faith by flying America West Airlines, the golden standard of zealous overbooking. And I was rewarded with free travel and a flight the next morning arriving well after any special Thanksgiving meal might pass. Perhaps someday they will realize that children and thin people cannot just double up two to a seat on an airplane, and then the bonanza of riches will stop.

But this year, some might say I've lost my way. I'm merely flying, not Oversale Adventuring on America West. For the first time ever at this momentous time of year, I will be taking a most decadent nonstop flight on a reputable carrier--the antithesis of ensuring excellent bump opportunities. I can only whimper a weak excuse that time is too limited these days. Surely I will know I've chosen the wrong path when I hear the freebies flowing forth from the nearby gates as I leave town.