speedbird747BA
Posts: 1312
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:47 am

What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:05 am

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
How long do I have to climb, up on the side of this mountain of mine?
 
B6JFKH81
Posts: 1982
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:35 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:22 am

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"
 
futurecaptain
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:54 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:26 pm

Routes have to be viable commercially, corporations have to turn a profit for their shareholders, and there are fewer government subsidies to go around.
AirSO. ASpaceO. ASOnline. ASO.com ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO.
 
707lvr
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:41 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:27 pm

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.
 
Curmudgeon
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:19 pm

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:51 pm

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
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:01 pm

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.
 
Pe@rson
Posts: 16031
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:33 pm

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."
 
VEEREF
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:55 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:23 pm

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

[Edited 2006-11-15 14:23:58]
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
isitsafenow
Posts: 3413
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:17 am

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.
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1574
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:28 am

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.
 
Jaws707
Posts: 667
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 10:45 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:37 am

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.
 
planespotting
Posts: 3026
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:54 am

RE: What Happened To Commercial Aviation?

Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:27 am

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.
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