Airports, transatlantic flights and a 60’s state of mind

Thu, Apr 16, 2009


I’m on a little to vacation in Spain this week.Transatlantic flights are, unless you’re a CEO flying on the company dime, uncomfortable, dismaying, inconvenient, and expensive.

Flying from Chicago to Madrid in what can only be called supereconomy class (narrow seats, back of the plane all night, no sleep) puts you in a strange state that only, perhaps, those who have lived through the 60’s can fully appreciate.

The clocks here in Madrid say it’s 8 A.M., but it’s really 1 A.M. as far as I’m concerned.

Here it is – an airport so modern, so spacious, so-I don’t know, so 21st Century-that it makes DIA look like a collection of quonset huts. And to compare it to O’Hare is like comparing a Ferrari to a Chevy Vega.

And, Madrid isn’t atypical.

Airports throughout Europe are clean, modern, convenient, and new – the product of the furious infrastructure investment that has taken place during the last 15 years on this ancient continent. And what did we do during the same period? Argued, consumed, and paid a few thousand bankers tens of billions to destroy the world economy.

In Colorado, we did our part to invest in airports-look at DIA and our ten year old terminal in Colorado Springs. But in the rest of the country? JFK, O’Hare, Dallas-we’ve scarcely entered the last quarter of the 20th century, let alone the 21st.

But maybe we should just forget about these big, modern, uncomfortable jets and go back to DC-6’s. Slow, comfortable, propeller-driven, stopping in Iceland overnight to refuel…now that’s my kind of geezer flying!

And we could just land ‘em on dirt strips somewhere, and hike to our destinations.

<- Back to

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Allen Taylor Says:

    Nice writing. You are on my RSS reader now so I can read more from you down the road.

    Allen Taylor