While airplanes haven’t changed very much over the last twenty-five years, the travel industry as a whole certainly has!
Imagine rising early from your Texas home to catch a flight from Dallas to Los Angeles, CA. with nothing more than a suitcase and a photocopy of a map that was handed to you as you were headed out the door. As a twenty-one year-old, you are haggled at the LAX rental car facility because you are too young to rent the 1990 Chevy Caprice that has been reserved for you. Frustrated, you storm out of the center to find a pay phone and call your business partner in Dallas to help resolve the issue while you realize that you also need to call the Chamber of Commerce you are scheduled to meet and explain your delay. The whole time you are praying that you can scrounge up enough change in your pockets to afford the calls.
Once the car issue is resolved, you pull your crumpled map from your briefcase and wind your way south on the 405 toward Santa Ana, gulping down the one taco you had purchased with the lint covered change you had mustered from one of your coat pockets.
Such was the life of Jimmy Cusano when Your Chamber Connection first arrived on the scene. Lorraine Deitchman’s experience wasn’t much better.
Cell phones like those of today were non-existant and travelers were at the mercy of the large, clunky bag phones or a pay phone booth. There were no GPS navigation systems or Google Maps, but instead a simple cartograph printed and stuffed in a briefcase.
In 1990, the TSA was yet to be and boarding a plane was as simple as grabbing a cab. Lose change and oversized belt buckles easily made it through security and you could show up at the airport thirty minutes early with your boarding pass, keep your identification in your wallet and breeze through the metal detectors with your soda pop or bottled water.
In November of 2001, TSA was formed and, thankfully, today there are much greater restrictions and screening of passengers and baggage to prevent disasters. Yet, at times, the long security lines and frumpled passengers are discerning. Individuals are required to go through the security check points no less than forty-five minutes prior to boarding and must remove all large electronics from their bags, take off their shoes, coats, and any large jewelry. No liquids over three ounces are allowed and passengers are randomly subjected to pat downs and palm tests. Imagine this process while dressed in a lime-green zoot suit.
Travel has certainly transformed for Your Chamber Connection over the past twenty-five years, mostly for the better. You still must be twenty-five to rent a car, but fortunately, that’s no longer a problem for Jimmy.
Celebrate with us as we continue to remember the past twenty-five years!