Modern day travel questions and… back in America!

I love traveling outside the US and exploring new places. However, I also like coming home and seeing this:

Orlando International Airport – JoAnn Ryan
Orlando International Airport – JoAnn Ryan

It’s just such a wonderful and comforting thing. Nothing like coming home.


The last several years, whenever I travel by air I marvel at how much it’s all changed since the 80s when I used to fly from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas to see my grandparents, who lived just over the border and into Arizona. Back then, friends, family, neighbors, the mailman, and anyone else who wanted to come along could park their car(s) and walk with you through the airport to your gate. There would be lot of hugs, kisses, and waves goodbye and typically they would hang out and watch the plane take off until it disappeared into the sky.

People on the plane were friendly, too. Introducing yourself and chatting with the passenger next to you was the norm. Flight attendants were always female and looked like models. Flying was exciting and fun. I was young and never thought of the danger.

No so anymore! A lot has changed.

These days, I take my headphones and tune out until it’s either snack time or time to land. And these days it’s just security, security, and more security, especially if you’re flying international! Whoever drives you to the airport has to kick you to the curb and you’d better do your kissing and hugging quick, quick, quick because at airports like Orlando or JFK those security people live to yell at people and blow their whistles plus they get paid to do it. It’s a great job to have if you enjoy taking your aggression out on other people.

I understand all the security is an absolute necessity now but it’s still sad that the old way is gone and will never come back. Ever!


In relations to this, here are modern day air travel questions that never even entered my mind back in the 80s:

  1. Where can I get my COVID PCR test?
  2. Does my sanitizer bottle count toward my liquid allowance? (Answer: No, at present you can take up to 12 ounces and it doesn’t have to be included with your liquids/gels.)
  3. Just how much can you stuff into that quart-sized bag? (Answer: Seemingly, as much as you want as long as the bag seals and doesn’t burst open.)
  4. Why did I have to take that can of French Vanilla slim fast in my carry-on? (Bad idea!)
  5. Why am I always the one who gets who gets chosen for the random search and what’s the freakin’ point of searching one person’s belongings at random while a whole crowd of people go by?!? Is it because I look so completely harmless that they think: yes, she would be the dangerous one!? (By the way, in Trinidad they search everyone’s bags, twice, and not just at random.)
  6. Is mascara considered a gel? (Answer: yes)
  7. What time do the airport restaurants open?
  8. Can I take one of those metal pointy nail files in my carry-on? What about nail clippers?
  9. Does Audible work without an internet connection? (Answer: Yes, once a title is downloaded)
  10. Can I board a plane with jumper cables in my carry-on? (Yes. Long story but I decided against it anyway)
  11. Why doesn’t my Pandora app work outside of the US?
  12. Why do some counties drive on the left side of the car and the right side of the road while others drive on the right side of car and the left side of the road? (yeah, I know we’ve been asking that question way further back than the 80s.)

What are your modern day travel questions?

6 thoughts on “Modern day travel questions and… back in America!

  1. Glad you’re back for a little while, JoAnne!

    What a fading memory that is, accompanying people to, or welcoming them at, the boarding gate. One of pop culture’s enduring images is someone, usually a driver, waiting at the gate for a departing passenger, cardboard sign in hand, bearing the passenger’s name. Not…any…more!

    Another element lost to circumstance is the dressiness once common among air travelers. Flights were a public occasion, and people attired accordingly.

    Back in the 70s, my dad paid to have his parents, who lived on the East Coast, fly out to L.A. to visit. As passengers boarded, the grandparents had somebody (either a fellow passenger or, as they were called then, a stewardess) snap their picture.

    My grandfather wore a jacket and tie, and my grandmother, a dress and gloves. Yes, gloves! Anyway, the photo also captured many of the people around them, and my grandparents weren’t noticeably overdressed. In fact, they were a close fit.

    Nowadays…not so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazing how times change! Nice that you have a photo to prove it, too. I’m sure that it’s proven to be a great keepsake.

      There are pros and cons to not dressing up anymore. It’s much more comfortable to wear stretchy clothes and loose-fitting shoes but it does suck out all the charm and eradicates the excitement of a special occasion. Far from this, such travel can often feel grueling.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point, JoAnn. A nice positive is that airfare is much more affordable, relatively speaking, than it was once.

        Of course, as a result of that commonality, we’ve lost the distinction and many of the amenities once typical of air travel.

        More about that, perhaps, on my site – one of these years.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, as far as security is concerned, here in Europe there is the same big fuss at airports, but you can carry all the explosives you wish completely unchecked onto a ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo with about 1500-2000 people on board, and trains aren’t checked either. I wonder if one is more dead went being blown up in an airplane than when it happens on a ferry or in a train? I can’t really take this seriously. In the statistics, the number of people dying through a terrorist attack is less than the number of suicides (scary that). It is still much more probable that you die of bad lifestyle than by a bomb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s right. Typically no one checks trains, ferries, or buses. Such changes don’t seem to occur until there’s some huge disaster and there is mass public outcry. Kinda scary.

      Liked by 1 person

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