I received this email today from Continental Airlines congratulating me on my 19 years as a One-Pass member.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been flying around the world for that long. And actually, Continental was not the first airline I flew. I started with United about 22 years ago when I lived a few miles from O’Hare in Chicago. Just a few things have changed in the past 22 years 🙂
- The Transportation Security Administration did not exist.
- I carried on full-size containers of shampoo, hairspray and toothpaste.
- I wore my shoes and jacket through security.
- I did not have to remove my laptop from my bag. Laptops didn’t exist yet!
- Cell phones did not have to be turned off in-flight, as they did not exist yet either!
- I never left home without my AT&T calling card.
- I traveled with my own hair dryer as it was common for hotels to not provide them. I even had (actually still have) a portable iron for hotels that didn’t have these either.
- I brought rollers for my hair (long gone are the days of daily one-hour hair routines!)
- I packed enough clothes and shoes for twice as many days as I needed (and my bag usually got labeled with a ‘Heavy’ tag).
- I could arrive at the airport 15 minutes before my flight and get my bag checked in time.
- I could buy an airline ticket with just my first initial, last name so the ticket looked genderless. If I couldn’t make the trip, a co-worker would use my ticket.
- Paper tickets were used for all flights and came from a travel agent or an airline ticket office.
- Bags were checked for free and airline change fees were very low.
- Back-to-back tickets were commonly used to get lower fares and meet the Saturday-overnight stay requirement.
While the new rules are a lot more restrictive than my early travel years, I’ve gotten a whole lot smarter in the areas that I can control. See smartwomentravelers.com/pack-n-go for articles on today’s pack-and-go lifestyle. Even with all of the new travel rules, most things have changed for the better.
And speaking of things getting better, I’m going to pour a glass of California Red and sit and wonder how the years have flown by so fast . . .