Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Luxury at 40,000 feet

Born Rich looks at the world's most luxurious airlines.

Nice if you've got the dosh (and you'd better have a heck of a lot of it to throw around), but I remember a time when I could get a third class seat and still be treated as something other than two-legged cattle.  True, I understand the economics at play, but I can't help feeling that something else has been lost by both the providers and the purchasers of today.  Airlines do everything short of putting up wooden benches and scattering straw on the deck while passengers show up dressed like sloppy children and acting like them as well.  I often wonder which is encouraging which.

oh, for a more civilised age.


Anonymous said...

This phenomenon is well described in Tom Osenton's book "Death of Demand". Air travel has reached the downtrend - the phase of diministhing returns on logistics curve. Air travel turning from luxury liner into carrying live cargo is basic example of Capitalism, saturated markets and diminishing profits and returns.

Since all air carriers have the same product as market commodity - travel from point Alpha to point Bravo - there is no way of carving one a distinct ecological niche. The only way to compete is price.

The final punch came when air travel was de-regulated and low cost no-frills flights came to market. When air travel was regulated, many carriers competed with quality and extra services, such as meal and free drinks. When the cheapo airlines entered the market, they undermined the whole concept of quality. The only means to compete is price and cost savings.

Airlines operate already now on the profitability limit. That is why the passengers are treated as cargo instead of paying customers. It's all about Capitalism and staying in the business.

Sergej said...

On the other hand, if I want to get from Alpha to Bravo (preferably without having to do a two-hour layover at Charlie), I can put up with an hour or so of crowding. Several books loaded up on the iThing to pass the time. Figure out how to smuggle a flask of something past the government employees at the security kiosk (no, three ounces are definitely not going to be sufficient), and the time will fly right by.