I was inspired to write this post after visiting the new airport terminal at Raleigh-Durham International. Sometimes technology moves at light speed and I was a bit blown away but the whole process (this coming from a former travel girl). But if that was remarkable, even moreso is the fact that I’m currently on an airplane using $5 wifi to get this post. It’s a crazy world, isn’t it?
This is a first for me. I’m writing my post somewhere over the United States. I have no idea where. And I’m not writing this live in Wordpress. Another first for me.
I’m on an airplane headed to Seattle. I’m thrilled to be working with Nintendo as a Brand Ambassador and by the time I publish this, I should be safely on the ground at home having had a wonderful time (see how I assume like that).
Today has been pretty weird. I haven’t traveled in quite some time. I flew in February 2010 to Orlando. It was a quick and easy flight to Disney. This is different. RDU has a new terminal.
It’s big and shiny and modern (with glass and steel 😉 ) and full of big security lines. No big deal, right? No. It was a big deal. Check-in is virtually a people-less process. I predicted this day. Looked forward to this day.
I worked in the travel industry many years ago and remember my clients complaining about having e-tickets as we called them back then. They wanted and needed the security of the paper ticket in hand. Now look at us.
It’s a do-it-yourself society. And I don’t really mind. I think I’m more efficient than the average person so I’d rather help myself through the process.
And then the security line. It wasn’t anything terribly new. Shoes off. Laptop out. Everything in a bin. And then I had to stand in this big Total Recall- looking booth. Feet on the yellow footprints. Arms raised overhead. Part of it felt like I was training for a new Charlie’s Angels movie. Other parts of it felt like something out of a Ray Bradbury novel. The future has arrived.
You know what? This post reminds me that we have really come a long way from post 9/11, and really, things have gotten a lot better. I guess I get so used to complaining about traveling that I haven’t taken the time to give airports credit for their growth!
I actually like traveling a lot more now! I just hate that it takes so long 🙁
Im really starting to take notice of technolical advances in general these days. Around the holidays, I was at Kohl’s with a friend. She forgot her coupon, so pulled it up on her phone by email, and the cashier was able to scan the barcode on her phone! That blew my mind a little!
I take my phone everywhere and use it for everything! I helped a couple on the plane last night figure out what gate we were arriving at, what gate their next flight was out of, and how to get there – all from my phone!
Funny RDU story: I had flown into RDU just before they updated the terminal and then again right after. I got off the plane and the change was so drastic I thought I was at the wrong airport. I stopped in my tracks and had to double check that I was indeed at RDU!
I like the new technology…mainly because customer service for jobs that are customer service orientated suck! But you know this…you’ve done many a post about it!
I didn’t even feel like I was in Raleigh. I felt like I was in a REAL city!!
And you mailed it. The people who work customer service don’t really like serving customers. I prefer a machine most of the time 🙁
I love ticketless travel- it is so easy and convenient.
And less people to deal with!
It all sounds so sci-fi… Like The Jetson’s. The I’m more efficient part I can totally relate to.
I’m STILL waiting for the bubble cars and dinner at the press of a button. Until that happens, my vision of the future hasn’t been achieved.
One of my fiction works in progress is set in the not-too-distant future. Say, 30 years or so. One of the biggest hurdles I have with it is making the technology sound realistic. I’ve been working on this story for the past ten years (sad, I know), and the technology is what I have to keep tweaking because stuff in “the real world” is constantly updating. If I don’t finish that book soon I’m going to have to change the dates. :-
I often think about going back in time 50 years ago and telling them what our world is like now. It would be so incredibly unbelievable. I think the biggest areas in which technology is evolving is: less face to face human interaction, more on demand services, and choosing instead of waiting.
None are really too bad in my book.
I remember trying to convince a friend that the e-ticket was “safe”. I don’t fly often. I don’t LIKE flying. But it’s just so much easier to get through check-in now…I really do appreciate that.
I used to be in the travel business and was working with travelers when e-tickets first came out. So many people opted out of them because they felt like they needed a ticket in hand. It wasn’t until more and more people started losing their tickets that they truly appreciated the value of ticketless travel!
A brand ambassador! How fun!! I haven’t traveled in yearsandyearsandyears. I think If I went to the airport it’d be too futuristic for me and I’d stand there confused and never reach my destination. 😉
I just pretended like I knew what I was doing and then secretly asked the TSA guy what I needed to do before I got up to the line. Then I looked like a pro.
I know I feel safer now when I travel. Even though I get the really INVASIVE pat down because of my pacemaker. I’ve been touched by some VERY interesting people. hee.
Wow – you have a pacemaker? Yeah, I’m sure that sets them off. I don’t really feel any safer but I never really felt unsafe. We’re always at risk somewhere, somehow. I got the full body scan and didn’t mind it one bit. In fact, I hope I gave them a show.
this makes me think of flying into laramie, wyoming in ’08. i could see m waving from the airport before we landed. the ticket handler is also flight control, baggage claim, and i’m pretty sure she cleans the bathrooms, too. it was like flying into the past after being used to atlanta!
Oh yes. I’ve been to those airports. It’s like a do-it-yourself airport but not in the high-tech sort of way. I remember once sitting in an 18 passenger turboprop plane. I was right behind the cockpit CURTAIN and kept wanting to tell the pilot to pay attention!!
It’s amazing how far we’ve come even in the past few years. Sometimes it still blows my mind! I’m waiting for the Jetson’s cars to start appearing! 🙂
PS – I’m from NJ, but my cousins live right by RDU! I’ve gone by there a ton of times during my visits there!
If you haven’t seen RDU recently, you should. The new terminal is gorgeous. And yes, I’m still waiting for the bubble cars (although I think the AMC Pacer came close).