Do You Remember Your First Time?

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Do you remember your first time?

Mileage running, that is.  I remember my first international mileage run vividly.  It might be because of the incredible people I met (many who I am still friends with).  It might be because it was one of my first (and last) times to fly on American Airlines in a premium cabin before they started cutting services.  Or it might be because 9/11 happened before I made it home.

Points Princess was reminiscing about an earlier trip report this week.  I decided to follow her lead and walk down memory lane too.  (I’m also going to try to not feel old because my walk down memory lane is a full decade older than hers!)

TPE-SJC on September 9, 2001 - American Airlines 777 Business Class

TPE-SJC on September 9, 2001 – American Airlines 777 Business Class

My original trip report is housed on FlyerTalk, so I’m not at liberty to copy it over in it’s entirety since , but it’s worth a jump over there to read it.

A few of my own observations after re-reading it myself (and recalling the trip):

* I used to fly in business class in a t-shirt and denim shorts (if photographs are to be believed, see above).  I will remind myself of this the next time I find myself in a heated conversation about appropriate dress on airplanes.

* American served caviar and lobster in international first.  (This ended about a month after 9/11 – I remember a flight attendant telling me it was “because the caviar tin could be used as a weapon to take down the plane” – apparently they made things up as they went along back then too!)

* Heck, in general catering looked better back then!

* DFW used to have a Flagship Lounge. And SJC had an Admirals Club – and was a mini-hub for international flights. That seems implausible now.

* I used to have much more energy, I think!

* I also used to be much more eager to meet new people. I need to figure out how to get that back.

Finally, a quote from another poster on that thread that I loved: “I do hope most of us do feel similarly about the places and people we visit, when we read such stories in the newspapers. Travel should make us appreciate and better understand the way others must live from day to day, but also be thankful for the way we have been so fortunate in our own lives.”

That last one sits with me, day-to-day, in my present. There has been a lot of sniping later about various travel bloggers and “Vendoming” and “anti-Vendoming” and “how dare he/she personalize what happened to that Malaysia/Air Asia/Air Algerie flight”. At the end of the day, travel is a very personal and intimate experience to each of us. We each carry our own memories and experiences as strings in the larger global web. I am reminded how long after the events of 9/11 haunted me. I am ever aware of the footprints that travel experiences leave, both for us and others. And I’m still smiling about my eighteen hours in Taipei.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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  1. Your first MR was slightly more memorable than mine. In 2005 I was doing an AA status challenge and found myself just a few points short, so I did a same-day (same aircraft) turn DAL-AUS. Less than an hour each way in an RJ, and I never left the airport.

    Not luxurious, memorable, or exciting in any way. No caviar or sundaes. No new friendships. But it got the job done…

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