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Editor's Note | December 2003

I've never stopped loving flying, as occasionally problematic as it has become. I've sat everywhere in the plane—the worst spot was in the back row near the restrooms one Christmas on a flight to Colorado that was packed with families; the best was up front in first class, in unbelievably commodious leather seats, heading to Auckland on Air New Zealand eight years ago. Thanks to some fortunate ability I have to zone out (my husband, John, it should be said, does not view this as a plus), I am capable of ignoring all manner of jostling, crowding, and generalunpleasantness that go along with security and boarding procedures. The only experience that raised my blood pressure recently (exacerbated by John's being in attendance andthe hour, exceedingly early) was waiting on an endless line at Malpensa in Milan last month to get my duty-free forms stamped; it hadn't been a shopping trip, and huge sums were not involved. Nonetheless, I rejected John's suggestion that I walk away—that our sanity was more important than the refund owed me. I may be insensate at times, but I'm also dogged.

It is with great pleasure that I welcome James Fallows to the pages of Travel + Leisure, with his intriguing report on the future of flight. Indeed, there are some positive changes ahead in both the business and science of aviation. The whole process on the ground and in the air promises to be more efficient, more comfortable, and safer. Advancements in airplane design and new technologies will mean better equipment and pricing and, ultimately, a greater range of options for getting around the globe—and beyond it.

One thing's for sure about the world of travel: nothing ever stays the same. In a few short years, Spain has usurped France as the pilgrimage site for serious food lovers, and Barbados has become something of a restaurant haven in the Caribbean. (Years ago, when my family and I vacationed on Barbados, the only restaurant we liked was Chinese—oddly enough, it was the sibling of a favorite of ours in London's Chelsea—but it closed.) And who would ever have thought that a Best Western, even one designed by that maestro of Fontainebleau flamboyance Morris Lapidus, would be resurrected by the Rubells, whose name is forever linked with Studio 54?You'll find these stories and much more in T+L this month.

—Nancy Novogrod

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