In random order:
Arrive at the airport early. I would say that I don’t consider 1 hour early enough. A little bit of traffic on the way in, and now you are pushing the envelope. Some airlines close checked bagaage check in 45 minutes before fllight time. Personally I shoot for 1.5-2 hours for a domestic flight.
If you are going to check luggage, put all your liquids in your checked luggage. If you ckeck luggage, when they tag the bags look at the airport identifier code on the luggage tag and make sure it is going to the correct airport. (agents can and sometimes do grab the wrong tag off the printer)
If you are traveling with someone, and you want seats together, don’t forget the airplane is numbered seqentially and alphabetically. 13B and 36E are not next to each other. If you want seats together, get to the airport extra, extra early and ask. Acting shocked when you get on board that 13B and 36E and not side by side will not make you the most popular person on the aircraft. if you want to know what the seating arrangement is for your flight go to http://www.seatguru.com/
If you are taking a bottle of wine or booze as a gift you will have to check luggage.
Books and MP3 players are wonderful. Bring more than you think you will/can read.
Don’t lock your suitcase. If you do, and TSA wants in, they will break it. You can buy TSA approved locks if you wish.
You can carry food through security, but not more than 3 ozs of liquid. All of your liquids must fit in a 1 qt. ziplock bag (available at some some security checkpoints, not at all). If you are checking luggage just put all your liquids there and save yourself some hassles.
Never board the plane hungry.
You will have to take your shoes off. Wear shoes that are easy to take on and off.
Despite its rather misleading name, the metal detector detects metal. Do yourself a favor and empty all your pockets into your carry on before you get to the metal dector. It will make the process go faster. Along the same lines, leave the clothes with the metal studs in the suitcase for wearing when you get there. Likewise don’t wear 14 lbs of bling (Jewelry)
Do not put your ticket into the bin to go through the X-ray, the TSA person will want to see it. I know you showed to someone 10 yards ago, doesn’t matter. If you are traveling with someone, hold your own ticket.
You can buy sodas and bottled water after security to carry on a plane.
You must turn off your cell in the aircraft. Some alirlines permit use of your cell after landing before you get to the gate. Others don’t.
If you are renting a car, make damn sure you get all of your stuff out, and leave the keys in the car!