Blast From The Past – Big Jet Plane

What comes to my mind when I hear the word “suitcase”? Traveling of course. Going somewhere and looking forward to it. Making new memories, going on an adventure and having fun. Those are the first things in my mind but then, pretty quickly, I start thinking of all the other things that are involved with traveling. Here’s a little Blast From The Past, also inspired by yesterday’s Daily Prompt – Suitcase and funny enough (I promise, it’s a coincidence) I wrote it just about one year ago:

I’ve just returned from a little trip and thought a lot about how traveling on a plane has changed over the last years. When I read Mojoshawn’s post today all those thoughts came right back to me again.

When I was younger I traveled a lot. In the beginning due to the fact that my back then boyfriend lived in Brazil and later for work. I always loved flying. It was just magic and easy and enjoyable. When I traveled to Brazil I usually had dinner at the airport with a friend of mine who used to work at the airport. Check-in was quickly done and there was plenty of time for a relaxed dinner. Security was usually a passport and boarding card check and then a quick scan of the handbag or backpack or whichever carry on you used.

Everything was easier and faster and when you were lucky and asked nicely, you could also visit the cockpit on the flight. I remember one time traveling to Australia and actually spending almost an hour in the cockpit. Oh no, not what you are thinking! The door was open and the pilots just chatted along, talking about the different ski areas they’ve visited in Switzerland and telling me what I should go see in Australia.


Now today it’s a different story. And not only because I no longer travel solo. Of course there are the kids to look after but it’s all the other stuff that makes it difficult. Get used to it? Sure! If only you could get used to a specific way. But everyone does it slightly different.

Airport Security – Did you know…

… That wait times at security checkpoints have increased from an average of 13 minutes in 2003 to 15 minutes in 2004. The average wait time at large airports is 16 minutes, 15 minutes at medium airports and 13 minutes at small airports. Today the estimated waiting time for New York, JFK, is up to 21 minutes… I wonder how long it was in 2001.

Crazy, right?

Shoes on or off…

I thought it is now normal to take your shoes off. But it’s not. Apparently it’s something that might or might not be requested. Kids don’t have to take their shoes off. Why? Honestly, I really wonder why… If you want to blow up a plane then you probably know by now that kids don’t have to take their shoes off. So what would be the logical thing to do? Yes, you put it in your kids shoes… And we all know that there are people out there who are crazy enough to do it.

The rule with putting the little things with a little bit of liquid in it in zip lock bags…

Now sometimes you have to take the zip lock bag out of your handbag and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you have to put lip balm in and sometimes you don’t. What is it now? Is there really no clear rule? I remember when we were traveling to Australia, moving from Switzerland, I had a bottle for my son on me. Up until the moment we actually boarded the plane in Zurich it was not an issue at all. But by the time we had to re-board a plane again in Singapore things had changed and you were no longer allowed to take liquids on board. The incident had happened while we were on our flight to Singapore. We had no clue and it caused a little bit of a disturbance at the safety check. Any way. We made it on the plane and the bottle got refilled quickly again. Things can change fast. Something I’ve learned then…

Laptops and iPads out or not…

Even the ‘take your computers/laptops out of the bag’ rule seems to be different. On this trip we had to take them out on 5 out of 6 occasions. That one time they told us not to. The iPad is a 50% thing. Now I wonder. Why would you do it or why wouldn’t you. Why is there no clear rule. I thought there was a clear rule to take them out of your bag… apparently I am wrong.

TSA locks on your suitcases…

Something a lot of people who don’t travel to or within the US are not aware of the fact that they need to have TSA approved looks on their suitcases. For me it makes kind of sense as you can still lock your suitcase but the TSA can still unlock and check your bags. On the other side it also offers the opportunity for people to steal stuff from your bags. Well, you know, I was never bothered about people stealing stuff from my bags. What worries me much more is the fact that people could put something in my bags… And now I’ve heard that you actually don’t have to provide TSA locks as you can simply provide them with the keys to your lock and they can open them then. Well… I don’t buy it. Yes, that is the case when you do immigration/customs. But what if they want or need to check your bags when they are already checked in? Surely they will not call passengers and get them to go somewhere where we should not be only to unlock a suitcase. So I kind of loved watching this video but I’m not sure if it’s really true what he says about TSA locks.

So many things changed. It’s not just the security side of flying. On the plane it’s the same. Now you are on a red eye. And back in the days you used to get a bottle of water before they stopped serving you for a while. Nowadays you need to get up in order to not get dehydrated. Or you need to purchase a bottle of water before boarding the plane. Yes, they walk through with some water every now and then but not enough to keep you hydrated. And maybe it’s because I’m getting older but those seats sure seem to get smaller every time I step foot on a plane… And remember the time when you were not allowed to have your iPhone on at all? Remember the time when you were not allowed to have switched it on during take off or landing? Now you can have it switched on (on flight mode of course) all the time. Sometimes I wonder if they changed something really or if they just have given in… Maybe we better don’t know.

Anyway. Once you arrive everything is fine again and cruising along above the clouds is still something magical. Especially when the sun is about to set or raise. The way the sky changes color… the stars… the clouds, the shear idea of traveling in such a way is simply amazing. And as much of an effort it is to get on that plane, as much pleasure you get from a trip in the end.


36 thoughts on “Blast From The Past – Big Jet Plane

  1. Interesting points. I have traveled a lot for business, before and after 9/11, and attest that it became an annoyance as we waste so much time waiting, being checked, etc. and rules vary from country to country. I love arriving. It’s a relief from all the hassle


  2. The security check feels not that annoying anymore as it used to. I think everybody meanwhile knows what to do. Also, the immigration procedure into the US is a lot quicker since they have the Kiosk system. But then again the last time I arrived at LAX it took me 1 1/2 hours from first lining up until I finally could leave the airports after 3 more (!) places to line up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I flew solo to see family last spring. My oldest told me before leaving, “I hope you don’t end up on that plane crash show.” I guess we shouldn’t watch “Mayday” on the Discovery Channel any more. I do love traveling and flying though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: NaPoWriMo – Day 14 – “Flowing With Affection” by David Ellis | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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