Monday, September 26, 2005

Old Airports

Nowadays, in most airports, you are sucked through the jet way from the lounge, into the passenger compartment. Unless you look for it, you never see the outside of the plane and you don't have the feeling of actually having entered a winged craft.

I frequently fly in and out of the old terminal at San Jose, California airport, and I love it because I get to board the plane by climbing a staircase that had been wheeled up to the door of the plane. A few years ago, when flying with my young grandson, I was delighted when he actually had the experience of climbing into an airplane.

Sure, it means you have to walk across the tarmac and climb a flight of stairs carrying baggage. It's often windy and it can be rainy. It's a nightmare for disabled people. But I guess I'm influenced by old images of famous people --- presidents and kings, celebrities and heroes --- pausing at the top of the stairs, waving to their admirerers below, the women wearing fur coats and carrying bouquets of flowers.

I don't know how long it will be until this old terminal is modernized. But until it is, I'll savor this last remnant of the romance of flying.

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