tofur
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What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:32 am

I remember placing hats, (not baseball caps), and folding sports coats or suit jackets for passengers in the overhead bin on the 747-100/200 and DC-10-30 in economy class. It was a different time. I started flying with Wardair, linen table cloths, Royal Doulton china, filet mignon cooked to your liking, (we even had rare medium or well done sticks on the steak!), roast chateaubriand, lobster thermidor, canard a l'orange and dessert trolleys were the norm in economy class.

Now I work with some amazing colleagues and see great customer service happening everyday. Complimenting someone's attire, taking an interest in their children or their travel plans, all small gestures but greatly appreciated. Not much different than the old days. I am really pleased with the new hire cabin crew, they are truly the reformation of flying as it should be.

Last week a gentleman that travelled with us in J to Dubai from Los Angeles on a 3 day trip was on his way home. I had him on the outbound flight as well. It was great to see him again and asked if he would like to visit the flight deck before take off. We went up and he had a great tour of the flight deck and he took a selfie with the pilots on the Dreamliner. He was thrilled, and so was I about how simple gestures can make a difference.

I realize that linen table cloths, Royal Doulton china and dessert trolleys will not make it back to economy class, but what are your thoughts? As cabin crew we do not have the resources available to us as in the past. We do the best with what we have and our inter personal skills. What does it take to make flying special again?
 
32andBelow
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:02 am

The airlines don't kill your anymore. That's a big improvement.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:29 am

tofur wrote:
What does it take to make flying special again?

ANSWER: people paying anywhere near what they used to pay back in the day, taking inflation into account.

Hell, if air tickets tracked the inflation of milk from 1978 (dereg) onwards, the average NYC-LAX fare would be more than $600 each way for Y.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:46 am

LAX772LR wrote:
tofur wrote:
What does it take to make flying special again?

ANSWER: people paying anywhere near what they used to pay back in the day, taking inflation into account.

Hell, if air tickets tracked the inflation of milk from 1978 (dereg) onwards, the average NYC-LAX fare would be more than $600 each way for Y.



They actually wouldn't have to get that far back WRT ticket prices. What people lamenting the devaluation of air travel seem to forget is that volume of ASMs are enormous compared to those days.

I would agree though that an incremental price increase would be necessary to get back to those "good old days". Which is why I'm ok flying B6 and AS so much...
Much like a GE90, I'm a huge fan of Big Twins...
 
spacecadet
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:17 am

On the one hand, the answer is nothing. Flying is passe; we all do it all the time, and it'll never have either the cachet or the novelty it once did.

On the other hand, almost everything that made flying special in the old days is still available if you either pay for it or use your miles/points to get a higher class ticket. Modern economy class is just a lower class that didn't really exist in the old days. Yeah, we had something called "coach" in the 70's and 80's that evolved into modern Economy, but it wasn't really the same thing. Domestic Premium Economy is closer to Coach of the 1970's. And Business or First class are closer to what you'd have seen in the 50's.

The point is, that level of service is still available, you just need to pay for it one way or another. (If you do it on points like I do, you've already paid for it some other way.) And even if you pay cash, the price isn't usually much different than it would have been in the old days when adjusted for inflation.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
n729pa
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:35 am

spacecadet wrote:
On the one hand, the answer is nothing. Flying is passe; we all do it all the time, and it'll never have either the cachet or the novelty it once did.

On the other hand, almost everything that made flying special in the old days is still available if you either pay for it or use your miles/points to get a higher class ticket. Modern economy class is just a lower class that didn't really exist in the old days. Yeah, we had something called "coach" in the 70's and 80's that evolved into modern Economy, but it wasn't really the same thing. Domestic Premium Economy is closer to Coach of the 1970's. And Business or First class are closer to what you'd have seen in the 50's.

The point is, that level of service is still available, you just need to pay for it one way or another. (If you do it on points like I do, you've already paid for it some other way.) And even if you pay cash, the price isn't usually much different than it would have been in the old days when adjusted for inflation.


Totally agree. Very well said, you've hit the nail on head.
 
MalevTU134
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:41 am

spacecadet wrote:
On the one hand, the answer is nothing. Flying is passe; we all do it all the time, and it'll never have either the cachet or the novelty it once did.

On the other hand, almost everything that made flying special in the old days is still available if you either pay for it or use your miles/points to get a higher class ticket. Modern economy class is just a lower class that didn't really exist in the old days. Yeah, we had something called "coach" in the 70's and 80's that evolved into modern Economy, but it wasn't really the same thing. Domestic Premium Economy is closer to Coach of the 1970's. And Business or First class are closer to what you'd have seen in the 50's.

The point is, that level of service is still available, you just need to pay for it one way or another. (If you do it on points like I do, you've already paid for it some other way.) And even if you pay cash, the price isn't usually much different than it would have been in the old days when adjusted for inflation.

Not quite. You would be amazed of the "quality" of people you find in F nowadays, more often than not. And I'm talking international F not the joke of F that is on domestic US flights. As the OP said...not hats but baseball caps...not suits but Nikes... It's just the way the World has changed, I guess.
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:57 pm

A little tag to all of the above I would add, etiquette ! Say the word to 50% and they would not know what you were talking about.
That's the "mordern world" for you. Nice to see a rise of online companies offering courses on the subject.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
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Dahlgardo
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:38 pm

Not sure you can make flying special again, but it depends on how you define "special".

But one thing that makes flying a poorer experience is the mad race to the bottom the likes of Ryanair and Spirit are stimulating.
They constantly move the barrier of what is acceptable and tolerable, like the way Ryanair is now deliberately splitting up groups to make people pay for specific seats.
Nickel and diming is something I detest, and I feel it is basically a dishonest way of making money, and it certainly take some shine of airtravel for me.

I also think there need to be some legistation that demand the airlines to be more transparent about their products.
There are huge differences in Y products, but as a passenger you have no chance of knowing, so most people just choose by price and by that way reward the airlines that cramp most seats into their aircraft.

Another thing that for me has made travelling in general a bland experience is the insane amount of tourists you now encounter in most major European cities.
I have come to prefer car travel when I take the family on holiday. It takes out a lot of stress and allows us to visit more authentic and interesting places.
Some European cities are now so over sauturated with tourists they are implementing restrictions.
leave your nines at home and bring your skills to the battle
 
oceanvikram
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:11 pm

In summary, tickets are cheap (inflation, cost cutting, packing in the passengers), a lot more people with diverse cultural backgrounds (national, religious and socio-economic) are flying, flights over 8 hours are more common and so are long lines at security and customs combined with the global cultural trend towards being informal, precipitates to only one conclusion, that flying is not special.

My own children don't find flying special. They have seen many planes on youtube, most of their friends have flown and they know enough how a plane can fly and car can not. All of them have been on a plane well before they could play with a smartphone or even crawl.

However, my mother in-law is in her late 70's had never flown nor she speaks English. So when we (family)went to India recently we brought my mother in-law back with us for her first trip to Australia and outside of India. At first she thought it would be expensive, but once she found out the cost, she was horribly surprised by the cheapness and should have travelled sooner and more often. She also was under the impression that only the rich, VIPs or business people travelled and would feel uncomfortable around such people. So on the said day when she was making her history, she was dressed in her finest and added a few kilos of jewellery for a good measure. I kid you not, on that day, at that airport and at that time, I would say she was the best dressed person. As the plane started to accelerate down the runway, 2 of my kids were fighting with each other, my other kid was crying trying escape my wife's hold and my mother-in law ... just smiling. And as the plane rotated and went airborne, I could see something in my mother in-law. A feeling of excitement, adventure, freedom and mysticism rushed though her. She said she was closer to the heavens, she could fly as good as any bird. Looking into this old ladies eyes at that moment, anyone could tell that she experienced something special.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:37 pm

The difference is that back in the day only the very rich could afford to fly, it was very expensive and therefor by far most people never flew. The number of total passengers was very low compared to today.

What changed is that more capacity became available that needed to be filled somehow, but that was impossible with the high price level from before. People weren't willing to pay that much money for it. The only way to fill those seats was to sell them at a lower price and at a lower service level. Airlines started to see they could replace one high paying customer with several low paying customers and still make the same amount of money. Today capacity isn't an issue anymore, there's plenty of it. Getting it filled is the problem and the only way to fill it is to lower the price. Seats just don't sell for a higher price, the customer will go to the competitor that offers a lower price.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:11 am

I don't want to make flying special again, and I say it as an enthusiast. I enjoy the feeling of flight. That is enough for me. I don't need lunch and a glass of wine on a 2.5 hour flight from MSP-BDL. I want to be able to get a ticket at a decent fare while getting there safely. The rest is just a bonus. Hell I was able to fly from JFK-DUB a few weeks ago for 500USD. That to me is special. When my father was my age, adjusted for inflation it would have probably been 3x that.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
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NameOmitted
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:40 pm

Anyone who has spent much time on Greyhound will find flying special. Riding The Dog through Gallup in a blizzard worth no heat, cuddling with someone you have never met to stay warm... Nikies on first class can't take the special out of flying.
 
alggag
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:12 am

jetblueguy22 wrote:
I don't want to make flying special again, and I say it as an enthusiast. I enjoy the feeling of flight. That is enough for me. I don't need lunch and a glass of wine on a 2.5 hour flight from MSP-BDL. I want to be able to get a ticket at a decent fare while getting there safely. The rest is just a bonus. Hell I was able to fly from JFK-DUB a few weeks ago for 500USD. That to me is special. When my father was my age, adjusted for inflation it would have probably been 3x that.


I was going to post something similar. For my parents, a trip to Europe would have been a once in a lifetime trip for a big occasion like a honeymoon or a wedding anniversary. In contrast, I'm posting from Italy thanks to a great fare on AA and already have several return tickets booked to visit Scotland, Switzerland, Germany, and Spain later on in the year. Making multiple trips to Europe in one year would have been inconceivable for someone in my family back in the era of steak and wine glasses in Y.
 
citationjet
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:15 pm

MalevTU134 wrote:
You would be amazed of the "quality" of people you find in F nowadays, more often than not. And I'm talking international F not the joke of F that is on domestic US flights. As the OP said...not hats but baseball caps...not suits but Nikes... It's just the way the World has changed, I guess.


I just flew First Class on AA from Granada to DFW via Miami a couple of days ago. The guy in first across the aisle wore shorts and T shirt and flip flops. He immediately took his flip flops off and flew the entire flight in his bare feet.

Regarding what would it take to make flying special again, there are many things the airlines could do that doesn't cost them anything. On the other hand customers always want the cheapest price, then complain about the poor service and the lack of amenities.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
RamblinMan
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:26 pm

Buy your own used 172 and learn to fly it. It will be very special.

Alternatively, score a super cheap basic economy ticket just to have dinner and see a show in a different city. Return the next morning all the while marveling at the privilege you enjoy to be able to go to another state just for the hell of it, a trip that would have taken your grandparents several days at great expense.
 
Yflyer
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:00 am

spacecadet wrote:
On the one hand, the answer is nothing. Flying is passe; we all do it all the time, and it'll never have either the cachet or the novelty it once did.


And this happens with pretty much everything; it's not unique to flying:
If you owned a car 100 years ago, that was something special. Now most people have them; there's nothing really special about having a car unless it's a really nice one like a Bentley or something. And arguably flying in first class is still special (international at least) for the same reason.
Having an opportunity to use a computer in the 1960s must have been something really special. Can you imagine how mind blowing it must have been for the person who sent the first email to be communicating with someone thousands of miles away over a computer network? Now we're all doing exactly that right now without giving it a second thought.
Cell phones were really special in the 1980s. Now everyone has them.
I could go on and on.
 
ACDC8
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:04 am

Get rid of IFE, ban tablets and iPads - get people to look out the window and read a freakin' book or converse with fellow humans on the plane.

Passengers who can't be away from watching TV for more than 5 minutes are a big part of why flying is no longer as special as it used to be.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
BC77008
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:40 pm

It’s people like YOU that make flying special. Please don’t ever forget that! Flying at one time was a novelty that people didn’t do very often, so when they did, they really took in the whole experience and the amazement of the world below them. Today, many people fly weekly or monthly, and so what they consider “special” has changed. They want the 200+ movies at their disposal, they like being able to lie flat in a pod on a long-distance flight, they don’t really look to their flight attendant for entertainment or to chat him or her up, they’re not there to drink brandy, play cards and make friends with fellow passengers. So when people like you take the time and opportunity to make someone feel good about being on your airplane, you are indeed making flying special.
MY favorite airline and hub is bigger and/or better than YOUR favorite airline and hub!
 
CCGPV
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:50 am

I'll take flying today over flying at any time in the past.

Cheaper fares, NO SMOKING, much safer, more destinations, better entertainment.
Stay curious
 
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WROORD
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:59 am

For me it is simple - do not nickel and dime me for everything. If I pay $1200 round trip ticket to Tokyo why do I have to pay $25 for the bag (do you expect me to fly half around the globe with no luggage?). Incidentally not charging for the first bag would speed up the boarding and the fight for the overhead space. Another thing is the boarding process what was wrong with the row loading from the back row. Now it is bronze, silver, gold, platinum, sapphire and by the time they are done there is hardly anyone left to board. In the old days FAs took their time and tried to acknowledge each passanger, now they want to rush through the service so they can sit in the galley and gossip for the rest of the flight.
 
ei146
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:28 am

For me it is two things:
1. Give me the impression to be a honored customer. Don' t give me the feeling to be driven through the airport like a herd of livestock. Don't find ever new reasons to let me queue, search me and check the paperwork. And as an airline employee, security person or fellow passenger treat me with the same dignity and politeness you want to be treated.
2. My own attitude helps a lot. In an earlier job I had to fly a lot. The whole trip was just part of the tedious procedure to get to the places of work or back home after some days or weeks abroad. Now I fly for leisure. Flying is part of the process to get to my family, to my friends or this special place I always wanted to see. I enjoy these trips so I enjoy flying.
 
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Adipasquale
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:02 pm

jetblueguy22 wrote:
I don't want to make flying special again, and I say it as an enthusiast. I enjoy the feeling of flight. That is enough for me. I don't need lunch and a glass of wine on a 2.5 hour flight from MSP-BDL. I want to be able to get a ticket at a decent fare while getting there safely. The rest is just a bonus. Hell I was able to fly from JFK-DUB a few weeks ago for 500USD. That to me is special. When my father was my age, adjusted for inflation it would have probably been 3x that.

I couldn't agree more with this. The thrill of flying for me comes not from wearing a hat and three piece suit and being served steak and an Old Fashioned when flying BUF-ATL, but from experiencing the feeling and sound of a fully loaded 747 or 777 taking off for a tpac flight, or the spectacular nighttime view of Manhattan I got last week on approach from to LGA from MIA. The thrill of flying comes from having had the opportunity to fly to Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, and many more domestic US destinations in the last year and a half as a student with a limited budget. If I had to pay what a ticket used to cost, I wouldn't have had those opportunities to travel.

Furthermore eliminating the wait for TSA and immigration, one of my biggest annoyances cost all of $50 for five years of Nexus. Now I'm through security in less than five minutes.

Lastly, I know a.netters love to complain about the infrequent flyer types, but these are people who would not have been able to experience flight before. People who are taking a vacation they would never have been able to afford before, or people visiting relatives they never would have been able to visit in the past. I know it can be frustrating watching someone who clearly hasn't flown before trying to stuff an overstuffed bag into a CRJs tiny overhead bin, but we all had to start somewhere.
DH8A DH8B CR1 CR2 CR7 CR9 E45 E70 E75 E90 D93 M88 319 320 321 333 343 712 732 733 734 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 77L 77W
 
devron
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 6:49 pm

I still think flying is special. I just love a takeoff and I am happy to land. All I need is a beer for the eveing flight home and a decent meal on a long flight. If you want an even more special feelign fly business. A choice netween two beers in economy would my flight "special" .
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:20 pm

From the airline staff: a smile, a hello, and a sincere thank you.

From the other passengers: don't dress like you're homeless, don't be drunk and disorderly, control your kids, and please shower or use deodorant before sitting next to me.

In other words, simple things. This is all true no matter which class cabin one is flying in.
 
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cranberrysaus
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Re: What Does It Take To Make Flying Special Again?

Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:12 pm

I don't think it will to be honest for the same reason that using a computer isn't special anymore. Air travel has been around long enough and is common enough that it's now just another way to get around - same as riding in a car or a train.

Autonomous cars and maybe one day spaceflight will be the new exciting way to travel.

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