I miss it all. I miss thinking about an upcoming trip, choosing the flights and picking my seat. I miss the excitement of walking into a busy terminal and in Europe checking the huge screens that in my head still go “click, click, click” like they did decades ago. I miss being a smart traveler and taking everything in my carry-on luggage so matter the destination. Dare I say it, I miss the almost always crummy food. And I even find myself longing for that pushy person who believes that by pushing to the front of the line he will arrive at our destination sooner. I miss it all.
Like many of you, I had quite a 2020 planned. My April and May were consumed with board meeting, business in Europe, visiting friends on the East Coast and wondering how I was going to fit everything in. And then one day in March, my meetings were cancelled, United gutted its schedule and Amtrak kept paring down my options. I found myself driving from Washington DC to my home in Montana because honestly everything else was fraught with uncertainty and chaos. And now everything is quiet.
My quiet Spring has morphed into a quiet Summer and that may well slide into an uneventful Fall. A big family get together is on the back burner, and Zoom calls are substituting for business as usual. I worry about the airlines and I wonder what it will be like when I step back on a 737. A recent article from Bloomberg said that the future of air travel will be like having open heart surgery. Ugh.
Will future air travel mean that everyone is dressed in some variation of a spacesuit? Will anyone speak to each other? Will flight attendants be more like hall monitors and scold people for violating others’ space? Will we be able to use the bathroom? For those of us who travel commercially, I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. I just know I miss it all.