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What Happened To Commercial Aviation?  
User currently offlineSpeedbird747BA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3833 times:

It seems to me more and more these days, flying on a commercial aircraft is like a busride, except more cramped.

Whatever happened to those golden days, the era of TWA, Pan Am, and British Airways (when they were super-magnificent, not just the best  Wink )?

Does anyone else share my sentiments?

Cheers,
Kyle

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineB6JFKH81 From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2896 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3814 times:

Well, two thoughts come to mind. The first would be deregulation here in the states. Also, commercial aviation went from being travel for the rich to a regular mode of transportation for all. The more amenaties you offer, the higher the cost to fly each person from point A to point B, and in this day and age many folks are looking for a cheap ticket. Let's face it, people aren't putting on their Sunday best to go flying anymore either...a t-shirt and shorts suffice for most folks flying now.

Now, I wasn't around for the olden days (I am only 26)...but I know enough people who were and there has definitely been a change based on what they tell me.



"If you do not learn from history, you are doomed to repeat it"
User currently offlineFuturecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3731 times:

Routes have to be viable commercially, corporations have to turn a profit for their shareholders, and there are fewer government subsidies to go around.

User currently online707lvr From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 585 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3700 times:

It's interesting to read about your impressions, those of three very young people. I first flew in 1945, and the first trip I can remember was in 1952. In the 50's, 60's and into the 70's you wore what you would wear to shop at Nordstroms; otherwise you'd be treated just like you looked - a bum. Flying was not exclusively for the rich, but frequent flying was. My grandmother flew out west to see us, and I know it cost her considerably more than a month's Social Security. It wouldn't now, of course.

Part one is that flying costs far, far less today, adjusted and actual for that matter. Part two is that we've let our civilization slip considerably. I know something about economics, but it still mystifies me why the airlines want to fly slobs around for $99 and make No Money and even cut everything out but the john to try and lose as little as possible. At the other extreme, only movie stars and freebies can afford to fly with any degree of class. Maybe you guys can help make it sensible some day.


User currently offlineCurmudgeon From Australia, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 695 posts, RR: 22
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3689 times:

The widebody is the culprit...the device that made flying affordable for the masses. Our civilization in general has changed, and what used to be commonly understood 'standards' have all but disappeared. And people still ask me about my user name  Wink


Jets are for kids
User currently offlinePhilb From Ireland, joined May 1999, 2915 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 3680 times:

Flying stopped being the exclusive preserve of the rich, famous, those on government and company business and those who had saved for a once in a lifetime trip and became what it was meant to be, a fast, safe, efficient and relatively cheap method of mass transportation.

User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19236 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3662 times:

Quoting Philb (Reply 5):
meant to be, a fast, safe, efficient and relatively cheap method of mass transportation.

Hear, hear! And for those who want the bits of the olden days, they can pay for it and fly first class.



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlineVEEREF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3606 times:

Wal Mart happened to commercial aviation.
The airlines did it to themselves.

[Edited 2006-11-15 14:23:58]

User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3546 times:

We need a book, not a few posts to explain this. Take it from a greyhair who has seen and used the airplanes, airlines and airports since the mid-50's, and worked for three majors in the 60's and 70's, we need a book.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2248 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3535 times:

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 8):
we need a book.

Get busy writing man. When the consolidation settles out in 4 to 6 years, you'll have a best seller. I'll take an autographed copy please.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineJaws707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 708 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 6):
Hear, hear! And for those who want the bits of the olden days, they can pay for it and fly first class.

I don't think most of us want that kind of luxury. What I think of though, is maybe raising the faires just a little bit, like 5-10% and actually giving a decent meal, 1 free drink, just doing more of the little things that make the flight special. Once I flew on SAS pre 9/11 from ORD-ARN, the food was awesome, had 2 meals, came out with beverages like 3 or 4 times, and at the end of the flight the pilot stood at the door giving everyone a chocolate. That was in coach, and it was the best flight I have ever been on due to the little things.
Next month I am flying Alaska Airlines from ORD-SEA. I am pretty much expecting a drink (hopefully I get the whole can of pop) and a little bag of peanuts. I've never flown Alaska, so let me know if I am missing anything. This flight is 4 hrs. To make is "special" maybe they could give everyone a free sandwich, or have a movie play in flight, or give 1 alcoholic beverage. Or a little snack, just increase the little things that seperate a flight on an airline from a busride.


User currently offlinePlanespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3529 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3438 times:

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 8):
We need a book, not a few posts to explain this. Take it from a greyhair who has seen and used the airplanes, airlines and airports since the mid-50's, and worked for three majors in the 60's and 70's, we need a book.
safe



Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 9):
Get busy writing man. When the consolidation settles out in 4 to 6 years, you'll have a best seller. I'll take an autographed copy please.

Interesting that you mention a book...the title of this thread is basically the premise behind my Masters Project. I meet with my committee for approval the week after thanksgiving and start TONS of research over christmas break. Research that entails traveling to Norfolk to visit an Air Wisconsin F/O buddy of mine who lives with three other F/O's, many interviews with industry folks past and present, and reading lots of books about the past 40 years or so of the airline industry.

The project itself will be ten to fifteen thousand words, but I could possibly be turning it into a book in the future, given the right publisher and a lot of time on my part. We'll see. For comparisons sake, 60,000 words is around 250 pages, and there is definitely a wealth of information out there for a much longer book...

we shall see what happens.



Do you like movies about gladiators?
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