- Smart ID. All US passports have had RFID chips in them since 2007. And more recently, plans have surfaced to potentially upgrade e-passports to include flexible wirelessly-powered screens that show a 360-degree rotating view of your head instead of a boring little photo.
- High-speed direct rail connections. We take them for granted now, but fast, convenient airport rail lines didn't become commonplace until the 1980s. And superfast maglev trains -- like Shanghai's Transrapid system, which debuted in 2003 with a top speed of 311 mph -- are still only found in Europe and Asia, not the United States. (Although not for lack of trying.)
- Robots. Again, Asia has us trumped: RoboPorters (yup, that's really what they're called) were deployed in Japan's Kita Kyushu airport in 2008, each capable of schlepping up to 100 pounds of luggage. Then again, we have robot pilots. Beat that!
- On-demand entertainment. In Braniff's film, passengers are delighted to have a whopping three movies to choose from. These days, we'd consider such limited choices as grounds for a refund. And before long, in-flight broadband internet service will make even VOD seem quaint.