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Blackhawk144
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Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:01 pm

I apologze for my depressed mood-like tone in this thread, but I have to ask...

I keep hearing NW, DL, and AA's service lacking. I've flown on all of these carriers and with the exception of AA (which I just had a bad experience, it happens to all airlines.), I never remember their service being so bad.

I used to fly them a lot, but I haven't flown both carriers in years, especially NW. It really pains me to hear of how much their cutting back. I'm only using the above airlines, because they are the ones I mainly flew on as a kid.

I'm not a very old person, I'm only a teenager, but it seems like, with the rapid "depression" of the legacy carriers, I remember my own "golden days of flying, and I'm afraid I'll never be able to relive them.

With the higher prices of oil, and the growth of LCC (which I'm not saying is a bad thing at all, if you assume that), will there ever be a time where we can fly on a flight that's 2hr 30min and expect a steak dinner, etc.?

Anthony
Time is the best of all teachers. Unfortunately, it kills all of its students!
 
goboeing
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:16 pm

Quoting Blackhawk144 (Thread starter):
will there ever be a time where we can fly on a flight that's 2hr 30min and expect a steak dinner, etc.?

During regulated commercial aviation the prices on routes were the same and so the only way that airlines could attract passengers were things other than price, like service.

Fares are no longer the same and competition has resulted in less service and cheaper airfares. The golden days that you mention aren't likely ever to come back. Flying could, however, become a little less common for the public if fuel prices keep going up and up and up.
 
superhub
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flyi

Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:27 pm

Well, there are still airlines in the world which offer such services on short-haul flights. CX and SQ are those I have in mind. And those two airlines, especially SQ, face heavy LCC competitions. In Europe, the likes of BA still offer excellent services despite competing with EZ. I believe it's all down to the airline management. Competent mangement will make a competent airline, no matter who else is in the market.

For North American legacy carriers, it is sad to see that a LCC (Jetblue) is voted the best US airline. Sad not only because an LCC is voted as one (a LCC in theory should provide less services than legacy carriers, but in the US it's the other way around), but I actually find B6's product average by international standard. It does show the dire state of US legacy carriers.

I must say though, it is not as if legacy carriers do not want to upgrade their products, rather, many of them are prevented to invest because they do not have a lot of money. Cutting cost is just a way to help them go back to profitability relatively quickly. And if they can start making profit in the long run, I believe they will start improving their inflight services again.

Yes, it can be a bit of a vicious cycle - if airlines cut services, that might drive away customers to better airlines, which in turn will hurt profitability. But nowadays, Americans are generally more price-sensitive in choosing flights, and I feel that cutting services for the time being will not drive passengers away en masse from the airline.

I don't think you should worry that you will not go back to the glory days of flying again. Some airlines are making attempts to upgrade their services. For example, UA's p.s. service is an attempt to glorify flying again (at least for JFK-SFO/LAX routes). And p.s. is doing pretty well. Delta too, is trying to upgrade their services ironically by making Song the standard for inflight services. So you will start to find Personal TVs in some Delta domestic flights. As for inflight meals, I am sure they will try to bring it back if airlines become more profitable. Although I am somewhat sad that B6 is the best airline in the US, I am glad they are around to give a kick to the legacies to improve their products.

[Edited 2006-02-13 04:35:31]

[Edited 2006-02-13 04:37:06]
 
stirling
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:41 pm

What is the definition of "Golden Days".

Why can't more people flying than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Why can't aviation being safer now than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Those two points alone lead me to believe that we are in the Golden Age right now, this very moment....
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hodja
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:51 pm

Quoting Stirling (Reply 3):
What is the definition of "Golden Days".

Why can't more people flying than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Why can't aviation being safer now than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Those two points alone lead me to believe that we are in the Golden Age right now, this very moment....

Agree completely...

Yep. Global airfares have never as affordable as they are now!
 
turnit56N
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:51 pm

Issues of service and fuel prices aside (although they definitely have a huge impact), I don't think we'll ever see it again. Ignoring the economic changes, the attitude won't be the same because aviation has become too commonplace and has lost its fascination with the flying public. Part of what made the Golden Age of Aviation "golden" was that it was an event for everyone involved. Then it was relatively new, it was special, it was something that your grandparents could never have dreamed of at the turn of the century. Now, chances are men have been flying for as long as your grandparents have been alive and they remember when it was a whole lot better than it is now.

If we see anything like a Golden Age of Aviation again, I think it will be if and when commercial space travel becomes an industry of its own.
Aviation is not so much a profession as it is a disease.
 
UAL747
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:08 pm

Also, comparing long international routes to short domestic hops results in a difference in service. The US carriers may seem crappy from DFW-ICT, but DFW-NRT you will see a difference.

Then again, one has to realize that travelling is more affordable now than it has ever been (which is still why I don't understand why more Americans don't take advantage of international travel.!!!). 450 bucks OKC-ORD-LHR isn't that bad considering I just spent 350 bucks at Wal-Mart.


Also, if you haven't noticed, some American carriers are opening up some pretty interesting routes nowadays. AA ORD-DEL, ORD-PVG, DL to JNB, CO to TLV, HKG, PEK.....If aviation in the states stays "terror-free", I'd imagine a few neat routes opening up in the next few years. Perhaps we can once again see the day when US metal flies to all sorts of exotic destinations, a la Pan Am.
UAL

[Edited 2006-02-13 05:12:08]
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Tango-Bravo
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:12 pm

Quoting Hodja (Reply 4):
Yep. Global airfares have never as affordable as they are now!

Totally true. But no one can honestly deny the reality that service quality in the U.S. domestic context has dropped at a faster rate than inflation-adjusted fares.
 
satx
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:15 pm

Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 1):
Fares are no longer the same

Thank goodness!

Quoting Stirling (Reply 3):
What is the definition of "Golden Days".
Why can't more people flying than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Why can't aviation being safer now than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Those two points alone lead me to believe that we are in the Golden Age right now, this very moment....

Wow, I agree with you completely on this! (That's a very rare event for me)

Also, I just wanted to point out that you can STILL get everything you ever wanted on a flight, you just have to charter it yourself now. So, we have standard air carriers who cater to the will of the many (lower fares) and executive charters and 'time shares' that cater to the will of the select few (anything you want, at a very steep price). I'd say this is truly the golden age of aviation, if not the golden age of industrialization period.

Personally, I think this may be about as good as it's ever going to get. We're long overdue for some serious calamities such as truly destructive plagues and world-wide wars. Just give it some time. Life is about to get even more interesting in the next few decades and we'll all be looking back at these years as the golden age.
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OttoPylit
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:22 pm

Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 1):
During regulated commercial aviation the prices on routes were the same and so the only way that airlines could attract passengers were things other than price, like service.

Fares are no longer the same and competition has resulted in less service and cheaper airfares. The golden days that you mention aren't likely ever to come back. Flying could, however, become a little less common for the public if fuel prices keep going up and up and up.

Bingo!!!

Quoting Stirling (Reply 3):
Why can't more people flying than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Why can't aviation being safer now than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Those two points alone lead me to believe that we are in the Golden Age right now, this very moment....

Golden Age usually refers to days past. BTW, in 3 years, even more people are predicted to be flying. Will that be the "Golden Age" too?

Quoting Hodja (Reply 4):
Yep. Global airfares have never as affordable as they are now!

And as long as you don't mind sitting on a bucket with 3 inches of legroom, they will get even more affordable.

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 6):
450 bucks OKC-ORD-LHR isn't that bad considering I just spent 350 bucks at Wal-Mart.

Which begs the question, SHOULD it be that cheap? Things that are inexpensive are good, but if I'm flying halfway around the world for less than $500 bucks, something seems not right, considering I can't even sleep at a 5 star hotel for less than a week at that cost.

Just my 2 cents.



OttoPylit
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petmbro
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:25 pm

Quoting UAL747 (Reply 6):

Then again, one has to realize that travelling is more affordable now than it has ever been (which is still why I don't understand why more Americans don't take advantage of international travel.!!!). 450 bucks OKC-ORD-LHR isn't that bad considering I just spent 350 bucks at Wal-Mart.

From a pure price standpoint, this IS the golden age (keep in mind price only). As a kid my flying was limited to the once a year trip to Florida using all the FF miles my dad earned from business across the world. Thanks to what I like to call the "FlyI effect" (taken from the southwest effect but I feel it had a greater impact than Southwest usually does) which made flying on the legacies cheaper, I was able to do BDL-DCA-FLL on US 5x in 2005 for around $100-150 rt! The low ticket prices also allowed me to travel to places like SJU and MAD on CO and YYZ on AC at very reasonable prices. Now I do miss the inflight meals and the perks the airlines offered during the 1980s-1990s but when I can do JFK-SAN on AA for $288 (my next trip, btw) which was around the cost of BDL-ORD-PBI in 1998, then I really don't mind the absence of a few amenities if it means the presence of a few more dollars in my pocket. Hopefully the big boys and gas can keep the fares down without hurting too much
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lehpron
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:34 pm

The Golden age was more about service that the fare I think, having the comforts of a yacht but not paying that much, comparatively. I think also that was a time when the middle class folks were just getting into it, flying was not cheap; it was the 1960's. If there was a way to get those cheap-fare seekers out of the airlines market, then maybe way may get those days back. Or, in a few decades (if enough people blieved it was worth investing in) we may have space-based flying with Point-to-point, economically-useful and massive versions of X-43. Then it will be more than a fare, as it will be pricy, there better be good service, especially since flights may not last longer than 6 hours to anywhere on the globe. I personally do not believe people should pay more to go faster, but then that is me.

Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 1):
Flying could, however, become a little less common for the public if fuel prices keep going up and up and up.

I honestly doubt it. How? Do people who own cars drive less due to fuel costs? No, in fact they drive more, especially in the United States where ther happens to be the largest concentration of LCC's. By themselves LCC's are the very reason more people can and will fly. The famous old saying applies, "If you build it they will come", due to the fact that those that invested in it believed it would work without a doubt.

That said, I think the cost of flying will rise very slowly and will only be apparent if one fly's far and/or fast. LCC's will allow for things like air-taxi's within a few decades. The sheer number of people flying will deter any high cost of fuel.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
supa7E7
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:50 pm

ask a Gulfstream owner if he or she wishes it was the 1950s again.

ask a Jetblue passenger if they wish it were 1955 and the fare cost $1000.

ask the safety people at the FAA if they wish we had accident rates from the 1960s again today.

there has been a lot of progress...
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
satx
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flyi

Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:50 pm

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 11):
The sheer number of people flying will deter any high cost of fuel.

What? The more we use, the more it costs. The more it takes to extract, the more it costs. The less there is available, the more it costs. There is no way to prevent the price going up over the long term unless we start conserving it, and Americans apparently consider any serious conservation measures tantamount to treason. Thus, the price will probably rise no matter what. There is no simple way to avoid it at this point. Honestly.
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Blackhawk144
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:23 pm

Quoting Stirling (Reply 3):
What is the definition of "Golden Days".

Why can't more people flying than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Why can't aviation being safer now than at any other point in the history of aviation be the Golden Age?
Those two points alone lead me to believe that we are in the Golden Age right now, this very moment....



Quoting Hodja (Reply 4):
Yep. Global airfares have never as affordable as they are now!

The Golden Days were usually referred to as the zenith of what made flying a truly special thing. I mean a lot more comfort, and a lot more care than there is that you would usually find today. Of course there are exceptions, but for the most part, it was more special from what I remember it back then, when I flew, than it is today.

Anthony
Time is the best of all teachers. Unfortunately, it kills all of its students!
 
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centrair
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 3:48 pm

US carriers are glorified buses and trains. There isn't a massive public transportation network so planes have to do the job.

As a result, air is just a mode that gets you from A to B. You can take a Shinkansen in Japan from Tokyo to Osaka (2 hours). You can buy a meal and there is no in-train entertainment. It is just like a plane without the security check. Do I complain? No. It is a mode of transport. Does it cost more? Almost the same as a plane...about $200...one way. But I get to my destination and no problem. I would take it anyday over a domestic flight on that route.

The only way that U.S. carriers can bring back service is if people are willing to pay for it. Most will not. US legacies have to set new standards that get people's attention and show that they have "years of experience and know-how".

My grandfather always said, "Cheap doesn't mean quality and inexpensive means a little better."
My name is Centrair but HND is closer. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
planemaker
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 4:31 pm

Quoting Centrair (Reply 15):
US carriers are glorified buses and trains.

Bang on!

Quoting Centrair (Reply 15):
The only way that U.S. carriers can bring back service is if people are willing to pay for it. Most will not. US legacies have to set new standards that get people's attention and show that they have "years of experience and know-how".

There will never be a return to a domestic Golden Age... as others have already pointed out, there has been a continued growth in biz av, particularily in frax ownership. And in the next few years they will be joined by the first air taxis and limos which will continue to eat into the legacies biz and full fare Y pax share in a huge way.

Bear in mind that domestic first/biz class fares were outrageous in the "Golden Age" and subsidised to a certain extent the service in Y class. And in the old days, companies did not bat an eye to pay for first class and unrestricted economy for their staff... now they shop around for the cheapest fare.
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Glareskin
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:06 pm

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 11):
I honestly doubt it. How? Do people who own cars drive less due to fuel costs?

 checkmark  And in Europe we pay about 4 times the amount of money that you pay in the US. But still traffic keeps growing and growing...

Quoting Blackhawk144 (Thread starter):
will there ever be a time where we can fly on a flight that's 2hr 30min and expect a steak dinner, etc.?

In the Golden Days of aviation, as you referred to, it was more about the flying experience. Now it is transportation from point A to B. And this made flying affordable for a broad public. This is what I call the Golden Days! And if you like your steak, choose a premium airline and fly first class....
There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...
 
viv
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:43 pm

Airlines are in the transportation business, just like bus lines and car ferry companies.

As Juan Trippe said, it's all about "putting bums on seats".

If I can have cheap, safe and reliable air transport to the destinations I want, i'll bring my own food on board.
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AirlineAV8tr
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:28 pm

Even though I fly for a US carrier that is ranked high in customer satisfaction, the rest of the world makes our service look pitiful. As mentioned above, US penny pinching has caused most, if not all of it. US crews are becoming more, and more unhappy with their management as a result of these cut-backs, and their attitude is reflected in their service. Ticket/gate agents, and flight attendants are sometimes the only contact that a passenger has on their trip with the airline that they're flying on- and when either one of them has a sour attitude, they view the entire airline as having the same attitude, which is terribly unfortunate. Pay has been greatly reduced (adding in inflation) over the last 30 years, and part of the "golden age" of flying was when pilots were viewed as "stars". Now pilots are getting hired with certain regionals that pay only $17-$19 an hour for flight time only, which ends up being an average of 80 hours a month. Flight attendants are about the same! With pay in the US that low, you're not going to receive employees that are bending over backwards to provide top-notch service. I know that there are exceptions, but the death of respectable salaries in the US coincides with customer services downward spiral.
If we went into the funeral business, people would stop dying.-Martin S. (PanAm CEO)
 
Blackhawk144
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:32 pm

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 17):
In the Golden Days of aviation, as you referred to, it was more about the flying experience. Now it is transportation from point A to B. And this made flying affordable for a broad public. This is what I call the Golden Days! And if you like your steak, choose a premium airline and fly first class....

Well I would say I can't afford it...but then I know what you'd say back. Heh, you got me there.

Anthony
Time is the best of all teachers. Unfortunately, it kills all of its students!
 
nkops
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Mon Feb 13, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting Centrair (Reply 15):
There isn't a massive public transportation network so planes have to do the job.

You are absolutely correct. When it becomes easier and CHEAPER to take a plane from NYC-BOS than a train or bus (not to mention a better schedule), then its obvious that this will become mass transit.
Turn left heading 080 contact departure
 
lehpron
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:43 am

Quoting SATX (Reply 13):
What? The more we use, the more it costs.

Are you familiar with the concept of mass transportation?  Smile Compared to automobiles, jet airplane may use more fuel for their trips, but because of the payload they carry, they do it more efficiently. The more airplanes that wlll exist that are filled with payload, like ones where the fares are cheap, will make much better use of fuel than a bus or car would carrying the same load, accords the same distance for the same period of time. More people flying means you can pay for the more fuel you use. I'm pretty sure the cost to regular folks who fly will get really cheap over the next few decades, which unfortunately, there will be way too many hyper-efficient aircraft in the world doing it.

Quoting SATX (Reply 13):
The more it takes to extract, the more it costs. The less there is available, the more it costs.

I think there is enough fuel; that there is less, to me, is pure hype which causes demand to skyrocket. Aircraft propulsion systems have been getting more and more efficient over the decades. The supposed point where our oil would run out has been moving away from us. Do you have any clue how efficient an airplane's engine from the future is compared to now? Bypass ratios are key to me, we have 9 now and 30 years ago we had 4. 60 years ago we had bypass ratios of zero, meaning they were pure turbojets that burned a crap load of fuel!

Remember when all flights were grounded for a few days after 9/11 happened? The price of gas dropped by 10% per gallon; that is the impact of thousands of airplanes. If you want to worry about running out of oil, go after the source of major loss: automobiles. Flying is probably the cheapest and most fuel-efficient method of transportation, apart from walking.

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 17):
And in Europe we pay about 4 times the amount of money that you pay in the US. But still traffic keeps growing and growing...

The infrastructure placed there allows for more growth. I get the impression your economy sustains your high (relative to me) cost of driving.

The revolution that are LCC's, as much as I hate them for spoiling people, make up the future infrastructure to allow for ridiculously cheap fares. As more peopel fly, I doubt the cost of fuel will get in their way.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
aa757first
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:00 am

Quoting AirlineAV8tr (Reply 19):
Now pilots are getting hired with certain regionals that pay only $17-$19 an hour for flight time only, which ends up being an average of 80 hours a month. Flight attendants are about the same! With pay in the US that low, you're not going to receive employees that are bending over backwards to provide top-notch service. I know that there are exceptions, but the death of respectable salaries in the US coincides with customer services downward spiral.

I don't see it as a problem with lower ticket prices entirely, but as natural forces of the market. With 16:1 ratios for flight attendant hiring, you are going to get paid $16,000 a year. I'm sure pilots have similar ratios, leading to decreased pay. Even the less sought after positions (CSRs, ramp agents) have a lot of demand due to the travel benefits.

AAndrew
 
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malaysia
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flyi

Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:16 am

I will call it a Golden Day in Aviation if I get my own Airline off the ground

And in addition it would be a Full Service/Low Fare carrier where all pax are created equal (no upgrades, no purchases for additional services, and full meals and snacks on all flights) that would be pretty much the golden age to me bringing back some of the features in the 70s

[Edited 2006-02-14 03:17:57]
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swissy
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:17 am

[quote=Lehpron,reply=22]I think there is enough fuel; that there is less, to me, is pure hype which causes demand to skyrocket.
Agree there is more than we know or they want to tell us......
Who is controlling the prices??
How is it going to work in the future since Alberta Canada has about 5 x more
oil than the middle east together........ hmmmmmmmm why is fuel so expensive?
Politics, politics and nothing more
Ask you father or grandfather they know what cheap fuel is (was), it is just a
question of time when the fuel cost for an airline will be higher than payroll.

[quote=Lehpron,reply=22]The revolution that are LCC's, as much as I hate them for spoiling people, make up the future infrastructure to allow for ridiculously cheap fares. As more peopel fly, I doubt the cost of fuel will get in their way.
There are already quite a few LCC's crying about the fuel prices.......


Cheers,
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:34 am

Quoting Planemaker (Reply 16):
Bear in mind that domestic first/biz class fares were outrageous in the "Golden Age" and subsidised to a certain extent the service in Y class.

In 1979 the round-trip fare SFO-JFK-SFO was:

$588.00 First
$490.00 Coach
$343.00 SuperSaver peak
$294.00 SuperSaver off-peak

Government regulation of both routes and fares didn't allow for the wide disparity we see today. First/Biz fares didn't go up to the high multiples over a simple coach advance purchase fare until the early-mid 80's, just as the "Golden Age" of yore was beginning to fade.
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Blackhawk144
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:47 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 26):
In 1979 the round-trip fare SFO-JFK-SFO was:

$588.00 First
$490.00 Coach
$343.00 SuperSaver peak
$294.00 SuperSaver off-peak

Government regulation of both routes and fares didn't allow for the wide disparity we see today. First/Biz fares didn't go up to the high multiples over a simple coach advance purchase fare until the early-mid 80's, just as the "Golden Age" of yore was beginning to fade.

Is that adjusted for inflation? If not, then I'm sure that number would be quite a bit higher, but I'm not sure.

Anthony
Time is the best of all teachers. Unfortunately, it kills all of its students!
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 3:07 pm

Quoting Blackhawk144 (Reply 27):
Is that adjusted for inflation?

Nope, those were the actual round-trip fares cross-country in the summer of 1979.
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AirlineAV8tr
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 3:29 pm

Quoting SATX (Reply 8):
Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 1):
Fares are no longer the same

Thank goodness

Thank goodness?? Sure it may be great for travelers, but it's relentlessly killing airlines, and careers. If everybody simply raised fares $20 a ticket, most carriers would do well. The problem lies in the competition for the "lowest fare". When a person clicks on one of the major travel sites and looks at flights, they're going to go with the cheapest because that's what appears first! They see the same routing, same time, and same airport. Why would they pay $20 more? It's a "dog eat dog" world in the airline biz, and it's gotten ridiculous.
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 7:48 pm

Quoting AirlineAV8tr (Reply 29):
Thank goodness??

Yes, of course. Just like bus travel.
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RE: Will We Ever See Another "Golden Days" Of Flying?

Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:16 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 26):
In 1979 the round-trip fare SFO-JFK-SFO was:

$588.00 First
$490.00 Coach
$343.00 SuperSaver peak
$294.00 SuperSaver off-peak

Government regulation of both routes and fares didn't allow for the wide disparity we see today. First/Biz fares didn't go up to the high multiples over a simple coach advance purchase fare until the early-mid 80's, just as the "Golden Age" of yore was beginning to fade.



Quoting Blackhawk144 (Reply 27):
Is that adjusted for inflation? If not, then I'm sure that number would be quite a bit higher, but I'm not sure.

Anthony

Let's test it out!

Let's assume an average inflation of 3%. And assume those fares are from 1986, so we have 20 years. Using compound method:

We would have in today's prices, under govt regulation:

First $588x(1.03^20) = $1062
Coach $490x(1.03^20) = $885
SS Peak $343x(1.03^20) = $619.50
SS Off peak $294x(1.03^20) = $531

As a simple comparison, I took a sample of a similar flight on AA.com to travel on the 21st and back on the 23rd February (so about one week from now). What we get now is:

Full fare+Restricted First: c.$4000
Full fare+Restricted Business: c.$2000
Full fare Economy: c. $1600
Restricted Economy: c.$300.

Yes. You are right about the wider disparity. First, Busness and Full fare Economy are more expensive than it would have been if govt regulation had stayed around. The only benefit from competition is just the Restricted Econ passengers. However, you may want to bear in mind that a lot of First/Business passengers are upgraded and may not have paid the fare mentioned above

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