Keep In Touch
For all the complaining we hear about airport security these days, the fact is this summer’s travel season went by with relatively few hiccups related to screening lines and wait times. Nobody goes out of their way to stand in a line because they love it; we queue up – at the bank, at the license office, at airport security – because we have to in order to achieve an end. But despite all the beefing, there is sense of relaxation that comes once that last landside hurdle is cleared and you find yourself on the ‘secure’ airside, all snug and safe. In fact according to a recent global survey, only about a third of business travelers (34 percent) say they’re nervous in an airport, as opposed to half who are most worried about being in subways and train stations.
Having spent the better part of this summer just past traveling by all sorts of different conveyances, I can relate. Travelers are left to fend more or less for themselves on crowded train station platforms. And driving in big city rush hour traffic is enough to make anybody’s blood pressure cuff explode.
By contrast once we’re in the airport we are guided (some cynics would say ‘herded’) and guarded (those same cynics would call it ‘policed’) as we docilely find our way to our assigned gate. In a way all this unsolicited solicitousness seems to be counterintuitive to the sense of anticipation that should be ours when we launch out on our voyages of discovery.
In the past few months my travels have had their share of transportation adventures. The autos of Classic Remise Düsseldorf inspired a bit of yearning (and a story, see Auto Magic, page 26) about the days when cars were sleek and powerful expressions in sheet metal and chrome and lots of glitz. More recently we journeyed to Colorado to experience the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. A trip up that mountain is an experience of real steam and real history.
Now I’ve returned to the here and now. Having made it through security, I’m sitting in yet another airport, snug and safe along with several hundreds of my closest friends. My aircraft has just pulled up to the gate, and soon we’ll all be boarding some snug and safe airplane. Then we’ll hurtle at nearly the speed of sound to some other snug and safe airport thousands of miles away. Nothing extraordinary; just another ho-hum day in the business of business travel.
But no matter how mundane it seems, travel is forever an adventure to me. The road calls and I for one am ready to answer.