I was talking with a friend recently about how much airport security has changed over the years. About how strict it is now… and how lax it was when I was younger.
I shared the story of how my brother and I got a personal tour of an airplane when we were kids. He was probably around 9 and I would’ve been 12. My family made the 90-minute trip to spend the day in Des Moines.
My dad thought it would be fun to check out the airport. We parked for a while at a great spot to watch the planes take off and land. Then we went up to the terminal to see the action from inside.
I don’t remember any sort of security. We watched a few planes land and unload the baggage. My brother and I were fascinated by the experience.
After all the passengers had disembarked one of the planes my dad asked a stewardess if we could get a quick look inside the plane. She walked us right down the portal and into the plane.
We got to go into the cockpit and sit in the pilot’s seats. I was amazed at all the lights, levers, and gauges. As we left the cockpit and walked back up the portal, the stewardess handed a pair of gold, plastic wing pins to my brother and I. We both thought they were the coolest things ever.
An experience like this could never happen today. If you don’t have a ticket you can’t even get past security to go to the terminals.