The Evolution of Air Travel

It’s 1986

You strut into the airport 30 minutes before your International flight, Doc Martens tightly laced mid-calf, and two wide belts looped around the waist of your pastel jumpsuit. Your backcombed hair is sprayed firm, with extra aerosol in your purse, alongside a Bic and two packs of smokes. ‘Cause it’s a long flight and you’re booked in the smoking section.

Your makeup is flawless, but you carry a tube of gloss in your hip pocket for touch ups. You’re a bit peckish but not worried, they’ll feed you a hot meal on the plane. The friendly stewardess is first class, joking that getting high is her job. Your flight doesn’t return until two hours before you’re expected back at work, but that’s fine – plenty of time.

Your soul is singing!

It’s 2022

You arrive at the airport the day before your flight. You’re wearing flops, shapeless sweats and a western shirt with snaps, making it easier for security to wand your bra. You’re freezing but your jacket is rolling down the conveyor belt with your jewelry and spare change. You jam pack a carry-on because checking a bag costs more than your ticket. You have an accordion file of printed QR codes, Health Passes, and vaccination proof stuffed in your purse.

Your hair is scraped back in a tight pony to keep ears free for mask straps. Your face is naked. You didn’t bother bringing makeup because it won’t fit into one clear baggy, and that tube of lube is now essential. An altercation with the flight attendant ends with a passenger being hog-tied to their chair, forcing an emergency landing in Lincoln, Nebraska. You quit your job before departing as you’re unsure if you’ll ever get back into the country.

Your soul is crushed.


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  1. Bonnie

    Sadly this isn’t far off these days! Cheers to a brighter travel future!

  2. Ken MacLean

    Good use of contrast to make me both laugh and cry.

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