The State of Travel – Journey like the Jetsons

On a recent trip from RDU airport (Raleigh-Durham), I had my first encounter with a Jetson-like restaurant, where you have no interaction with humans. I’ve visited plenty of fast food restaurants with the option of ordering from a machine, but when possible, avoid the machines at all costs.

I get the idea of reducing labor costs, but as a customer who avoids technology at any chance, I am not amused. Techno-idiots like myself don’t find it easy to navigate these self-service businesses, and imagine the frustration if your smart phone runs out of juice or just fails to function.

All in all, it took me 33 minutes to get a biscuit. That included 10 minutes of trying to figure out how to place my order, and 23 minutes more of waiting. I’d probably still be waiting it I hadn’t wrangled a staff member who just arriving at work for help. Thank goodness, I caught her before she disappeared behind the artificial screens where the humans go to hide from other humans.

Really…someone thinks this is an improvement? I’ve been through fast food hell before, but nothing like this. Since you have to pre-pay for your food, I can only imagine how hard it is to get your money back when you have to board your flight before your computerized food arrives. Typically, at the Raleigh-Durham airport, there are an array of choices, but this time, virtually every other restaurant had permanently closed. Someone on the airport staff responsible for this mess needs a wake-up call. If this is the future of air travel, I think I’ll be sticking closer to home a lot more.

3 thoughts on “The State of Travel – Journey like the Jetsons”

  1. Maryann Witalec Keyes

    I’m also old enough to remember the Jetsons on TV. You have my sympathies on your recent experience. It’s a shame that we are losing the human touch in so many parts of our lives.

  2. I’m still waiting on the self-cleaning house that I was promised back in the 60s.
    We are either going to have to get much better at various aspects of technology, or just give it up entirely. I vote for giving it up.

  3. Yes, this virtual food thing makes no sense whatsoever in little RDU. I read not too long ago that there was a glitch in renewing the licenses for a lot of the restaurants in RDU (shocking that a bureaucracy is glitchy) and they are closed until that is fixed.

    I used the virtual food thingy in Newark and it worked great. I ordered food from a restaurant in a distant terminal and I didn’t have time between flights to get there, wait in line, and get back. Also, I ordered cold food – not so sure about how this would work for hot food.

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