As John Millar sees it, business travel was a much more civilized experience 50 years ago. Especially flying.
Millar, a retired British aerospace manufacturer and former TWA captain (he flew DC-2s in 1935-6) is president of the World Solar Power Foundation. He now lives in Monte Carlo and has been an inveterate first-class traveler since 1936.
‘Prewar one traveled by boat in the greatest luxury. The German line had the Bremen and the Europa, the French had the Normandie and the France and we had the Aquitania, the Mauritanea and later, the Queen Mary. There was none of this standing about in line for hours to show your passport and tickets. You went down by train to Southampton in great comfort. Then straight aboard the boat with your baggage delivered straight to your cabin. At the other end, Immigration was on board, so that when the boat docked at pier 96 on the Hudson River, your baggage was put under your name on long tables. The customs officer marked them and a porter would take them to a taxi or car. There was none of this awful business of hanging about for hours. When one thinks of the beginning of trans-Atlantic and continental air travel in the U.S., it was a simple business too.’ Click here