Is This the Wakeup Call For the Airline Industry….

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Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

  • Ah,Mr.Bond
    Participant

    Is this now the time that governments and the airline industry wakes up and finally realises that stuffing 500 people into a metal tube for 10+ hours is not only inhumane, but quite frankly dangerous.
    3-4-3 configuration with an inch between each others faces, sharing minimum number of toilets, armrests, uncleaned tables and touchscreen TVs etc etc… are we surprised we see what is happening now? Will we now see a shift in the business model with at least a seat free between pax as a mandatory requirement. Sure this will make travel more expensive but the time for cheap air travel for the masses must surely be coming to an end now.
    Come to think of it, the same applies to public transport, but is there really a need for hundreds of thousands of people to head into the city centre for 0900 just to sit infront of a PC in an office?

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I think one of the long term effects of this situation is firms will realise they can cut cost by reducing commercial work space and having people work remotely. When junior was asked to work remotely, I warned him his employer will see his efficiency as the times he is connected to the company server can and will be monitored.

    I also think the days of the cheap airfare will be over, with airlines finally realising, more about the disgusting unclean state of aircraft and investing more to create a more pleasant aviation experience and the only way that can be done is reducing the number of seats.

    Interesting comment ‘is there really a need for hundreds of thousands of people to head into the city centre for 0900 just to sit infront of a PC in an office?’ – perhaps a move to avoid the rush hour by offering the Scandinavian work model of 7 till 3..

    I feel very confident that the commercial sector will be very different in 2 years time – and the airlines will need to adapt to cleanliness and safety – makes you wonder if the 737-max will ever come out of this…..

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    BackOfThePlane
    Participant

    Is this now the time that governments and the airline industry wakes up and finally realises that stuffing 500 people into a metal tube for 10+ hours is not only inhumane, but quite frankly dangerous.
    3-4-3 configuration with an inch between each others faces, sharing minimum number of toilets, armrests, uncleaned tables and touchscreen TVs etc etc… are we surprised we see what is happening now? Will we now see a shift in the business model with at least a seat free between pax as a mandatory requirement. Sure this will make travel more expensive but the time for cheap air travel for the masses must surely be coming to an end now.
    Come to think of it, the same applies to public transport, but is there really a need for hundreds of thousands of people to head into the city centre for 0900 just to sit infront of a PC in an office?

    So you think that After This Is All Over, airlines, hotels, tourist boards, hotels, business in general and, er, the ‘masses’ will want to see an enforced reduction in travel?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    So you think that After This Is All Over, airlines, hotels, tourist boards, hotels, business in general and, er, the ‘masses’ will want to see an enforced reduction in travel?

    I don’t think the reduction will be forced on anyone. I think people will finally wake up and realise that sometimes what can be achieved by travelling half way across the globe could also be achieved through sophisticated conference calling. Perhaps one of the new service industries will be virtual banqueting where the delegates of a conference call are served (subject to time zones) simultaneous meals and drinks, with after meal speeches and presentations.

    I just love the Thai expression, ‘same same. just different’!!


    SimonS1
    Participant

    It’s an interesting multi-faceted discussion. Both the work/travel piece, and the obvious improvements that have been seen environmentally from cutting down on travel.

    I suspect that people will still want to travel, however at lower levels than before. Maybe some of the trappings of frequent flying may be reigned in. Perhaps personal behaviour will change, away from TP runs, ex-EU flights and other structures that incentivise people to take pointless flights to save money or get other benefits.

    Or maybe peoples memories are short, and a year from now we may have returned to normality particularly if oil prices remain low.

    I wonder what will happen on the manufacturing side. Boeing was hemorrhaging cash even before this began.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    nevereconomy
    Participant

    The company I worked for in the US had a forward looking IT manager and I worked from all over the world effectively over 20 years ago – yes dial up was slow but you could make it work – I had a co-worker who was a big NASCAR fan and she did her work from Florida that far back while the racing was on so it certainly is possible today.
    When I moved back to the UK for family everything had progressed to the point that it was virtually seamless for me to continue doing it all from here.
    Regarding travel, one of my most successful business friends almost NEVER visits customers – he develops his relationships with frequent phone calls and the very occasional trip.
    All that being said, I cannot see business travel going away entirely, but hopefully the current mess will see changes made, as the new reality becomes familiar.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    The company I worked for in the US had a forward looking IT manager and I worked from all over the world effectively over 20 years ago – yes dial up was slow but you could make it work – I had a co-worker who was a big NASCAR fan and she did her work from Florida that far back while the racing was on so it certainly is possible today.
    When I moved back to the UK for family everything had progressed to the point that it was virtually seamless for me to continue doing it all from here.
    Regarding travel, one of my most successful business friends almost NEVER visits customers – he develops his relationships with frequent phone calls and the very occasional trip.
    All that being said, I cannot see business travel going away entirely, but hopefully the current mess will see changes made, as the new reality becomes familiar.

    One of my son’s friends is a paramedic. He married a lady from Caifornia and they live in Israel, which is 10 hours behind Israel. She is a Consultant Radiologist and has kept her job in the USA for several years.

    He works during the day and she works during the night, which of course is daytime in California. The hospital send her the radiographs they take which need interpretation and she writes the reports and sends them back. As she said to me, it’s no different to when she worked in the hospital itself – she received the radiographs there by email.

    I think that once this terrible virus is controlled (it will never completely go away) we will see a very different working world, from the experience so many people have gained from remote working.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    During my career, I did a lot of business travel, worldwide. Reading many of the comments on this forum, I realise that mine was minimal compared to many of you, but by most standards, mine was a lot, enough to get me a LH Senator card and retain it for 3 years, even though LH was only one of the carriers I used.

    Some of my trips necessitated face-to-face (can we still say that!) contact with small groups of people for seminars and trainings, many of the meetings were purely political and I can remember flying to SCL, RIO, YVR, JNB, BKK, MNL and numerous short haul trips purely to make a statement (in both senses of the word) or to satisfy someone’s (not mine) sense of importance.
    I once had a self-important prick of a boss who loved to say : “I’ll send one of my team.”
    He got very upset when I challenged him once when pointed at me, and I said :
    “Excuse me, you’ll ask me if I am prepared to go,” and as a matter of principle I sometimes refused to go on trips that he ‘sent’ me on.

    Most of this was +12 years ago and could have been achieved by video or telephone conferencing, both of which are now vastly improved.

    I think we will see a huge reigning in by companies of business travel when (if?) things get back to normal, for both financial and ecological reasons. Although I no longer work, I welcome both, partly because, even if this is selfish, it might mean that the leisure travel I plan once I get my wings back will be a more pleasant and exclusive experience.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    TominScotland
    Participant

    This is a fascinating topic and it will be great to return to it when the dust settles, maybe in a couple of years time. Clearly, it is reasonable to anticipate many changes to work and travel. Working at home may become more of a norm but that could come at a cost in mental health terms with folk increasingly isolated from the social contact that going to work brings, especially in routine job roles. I work in education and the idea of all university courses moving online so that young students rarely interact with tutors or their peers in person is horrific to me – so much unintended but valuable learning takes place in social/ coffee shop settings.

    In business travel, I can certainly see a world with much less of it, yes. Fewer trade shows and conferences. Leisure travel is an interesting one. If access to this is price rationed (as is implied when we talk of it being more expensive to deliver and to buy), this will exclude large sections of the population and create all sorts of other social- and health-related problems. Will current Government financial benevolence then extend to subsidised social tourism (as in the past in countries like the Soviet Union and France)? I think ultra-large cruise ships will struggle to regain market as will some of the mega resorts, maybe even Disney.

    Of course, I may be totally wrong…..

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I seem to recall an article, in BT I think, that most people would rather be cramped in a metal tube and pay a lower fare than have more space and pay more. Less seats would be more comfortable, hygienic etc, but would also cost the passenger more.

    I remember my first long haul to South Africa in 1969 in Economy with UTA. Spacious seats, good food. Drinks bought when you pressed the bell and I remember the fare as being £500 return. 50 years later the fare is the same despite inflation, but the seat space has been drastically reduced and free baggage is now virtually a thing of the past!

    The only way I think to have more space is by government regulation, and that would push the fare up and probably something no-one really wants.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    most people would rather be cramped in a metal tube and pay a lower fare than have more space and pay more

    I am not convinced, hence the popularity of premium classes. I think ‘most people’ automatically select the cheapest fare without much thought about it, until the reality kicks in as they start the journey.

    Every time the price of a commodity (cigarettes/alcohol/fuel ….) increases, there is a temporary drop in purchases and then equilibrium returns. If air fares went up in line with increased space and comfort, and this may well happen when/if normal life returns, there would be an initial resistance and then people would pay up and travel. Some people might be squeezed out at the bottom end of the market, and if that sounds elitist, it probably is, but considering how many destinations have been ruined by cheap mass tourism, that would be a good thing.

    I would welcome higher fares and greater comfort.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
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