How long does it take, from door to door, to fly from LA to New York?
I bet you can’t do it in less than eight hours.
Despite all the progress we've made since the 1950s, it takes longer to get between the coasts than it did in 1956, if you include the time it takes to get through the ground processes at our airports. The jets move faster, but we lose the benefit of that speed from the congestion at the airports, and the time we spend on the ground dealing with security and making connections.
Air travel was very different in the 1960s. The new jets came on line at that time, replacing the Queen of the Sky Lockheed Super-Constellation propeller-driven airliners. "Connies" hauled passengers from LA to New York in eight hours. It was a different time for ground operations — the service was like railway ticketing, and passengers could arrive at the airport 15 minutes before flight time and still make their flights.
For the past few months I have been working on a project site. I've been making weekly round trips from the East Coast to the West and back, using the same airline, United, on each trip. United has a new on-board safety video. If you have not seen it before, you should. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
I remember when I started to fly for business in the 1980s. I flew enough early in my career to rack up lots of round trips on Braniff and Eastern, airlines that had died by the end of the decade. Not many airlines had video tubes in their aircraft in the late 1980s. It wasn’t until...