This week marks my twentieth 12 months as editor in chief of Travel Weekly, that means that is someplace within the neighborhood of my 1,000th weekly column. I’m penning this one at 33,000 ft, ORD to LGA.
When making my connection at O’Hare, I walked previous the Prairie Tap, and that bar jogged my memory of a column I had written shortly after turning into editor. In that article, I recounted a dialog I had overheard between two Prairie Tap patrons speaking in regards to the hassles and uncertainty of post-9/11 journey, believing it to be the brand new regular.
The truism that historical past repeats itself is often uttered following calamity. And within the aftermath of calamity, patterns of pessimistic thought are additionally prone to be repeated. Indeed, the considerations I heard voiced then have parallels to apprehension expressed by vacationers at the moment.
So, indulge me in reposting that column under and revisiting a few of the anxieties expressed by vacationers virtually 20 years in the past. As you learn it, remember that, regardless of the fretting over that period’s journey uncertainties, trepidation gave method to twenty years of renewed pleasure and unprecedented journey trade development (albeit with just a few velocity bumps alongside the way in which). Although the passage of time did not absolutely remove each concern expressed then, we continued, by way of innovation, adaptation and acclimation, transferring ahead.
From the Window Seat, Feb. 4, 2002: “Eavesdropping on Phil and Chad”
I’m sitting on the Prairie Tap in O’Hare’s Terminal 3, consuming a portobello mushroom sandwich that is each too salty and underpeppered.
A person sits to my proper, heavyset, glasses, his hair additionally with extra salt than pepper. He adjusts his sweater vest with just a few pulls and orders a Leinie’s Red. Mike the counterman fills a plastic cup for him.
To his proper sits one other man, youthful, additionally heavy, his glasses thick, sporting a sweatshirt with the phrase “Abercrombie” throughout the chest; what’s left of his hair is roofed by a hat emblazoned with the emblem “Polo Sport.”
They sit in silence till the youthful man’s meals arrives.
“Want some fries?” he asks the person within the sweater vest. The older man declines, however it’s a gap for dialog, which begins with the youthful man offering up to date soccer scores.
They focus on coach firings and sportscasters’ Super Bowl predictions, however the dialog turns into extra full of life when the subject strikes to journey.
“Where’re you headed to, sir?” the youthful man asks.
“New York. And the title’s Phil.”
“I’m Chad. New York? Where’re you staying?”
“Not unhealthy! You journey in type. What line of labor are you in?”
“Legal. I symbolize a securities agency.”
“This journey enterprise or pleasure?”
“Business. There are not any pleasure journeys anymore. Even when I’m on trip, I do not get pleasure from touring.”
Chad says nothing, however the curiosity on his face encourages Phil to proceed.
“Security’s driving me loopy. Crazy! I journey 40 weeks a 12 months. I worth each hour at dwelling.
“So — Thanksgiving weekend, proper? Every information report says I’ve obtained to get to the airport early. I’m flying out of Midway, and I test in three hours early. I breeze proper by way of safety … and find yourself conversing in a bar for two-and-a-half hours.
“So, I feel it is all hype, proper? I’m flying again out of LaGuardia. I get there an hour and a half early. The first-class check-in line takes a half hour, then safety’s an hour and a half. I miss my flight.”
Chad nods sympathetically. “You know what I miss, Phil? Meals. Meals on flights. You by no means know anymore whether or not you are going to get fed. I do not learn about you, however I get grumpy after I get hungry. Believe it or not, I miss the previous Bistro bag.”
“You ever been pulled for a random safety test on the gate?” Phil counters. “I’ve obtained standing with American. I’m Executive Platinum. I get to board early, and I prefer it — I by no means test luggage and all the time have carry-ons.
“When you board early, there’s all the time room above your seat. But twice now I’ve been pulled out of the boarding line for a random safety test. By the time they’ve gone by way of all my issues, there is not any longer room overhead, and I’ve obtained to test a bag on the gate.”
“To be sincere, I do not thoughts the more durable safety,” Phil says hesitantly.
“Of course. But it is a problem. You fly internationally?”
“Just wait till you go abroad. Leaving America, it is hit and miss — you simply by no means know the way lengthy it will take. But coming again on a U.S. service — everybody’s freaked out. Just get to the airport method early, that is all I can say.”
Phil paused and ordered one other Leinie’s. “Chad, this will likely sound humorous, however I truly used to love to fly. I truly preferred it! I do know they have to do all this. But I miss the previous days. I actually do.”