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remymartin11
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Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:54 pm

Growing up in the early 70’s, boarding a plane and flying somewhere was a special occasion. I have to wonder if flight reductions and social distancing measures will make it so again? Flying may become a more expensive proposition and perhaps something aspirational for leisure travel. Maybe that trip to Vegas for the weekend is now $400 and not $59. Maybe airlines need to decrease seats and increase pitch? Will force some to save more for their trip, business will have decide if a trip is really necessary or can it be Zoom/Skype instead? Temperature monitors in airports? Unprecedented times indeed.
 
Ishrion
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 6:56 pm

Thing is, once capacity begins to recover, will people actually want to immediately travel? With that in mind, load factors will likely remain low for some time, so airlines will likely continue to offer cheap tickets.
 
BTV290
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:03 pm

I mean, maybe for a year or two... But people aren't easily going to forget how "life once was". I suspect in the 2-3 year trajectory, at first glance you won't be able to tell anything had happened, aside from there possibly being fewer airlines, or the airlines being slightly more strategic about their offerings.
 
devron
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:04 pm

No, short term too much capacity to little demand. Long term we will get a vaccination that will reduce social distancing.
 
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aerolimani
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:07 pm

Now on? Doubtful. Even if no vaccine is ever produced, eventually herd immunity will be sufficient. Scientific estimates on that are mostly in the 18-24 month range. Even though that still seems like a long time, I don’t see the world’s airlines reconfiguring their fleets. Perhaps for a time yet, they will sell less seats. For example: https://blog.westjet.com/why-were-tempo ... istancing/
 
F9Animal
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:13 pm

Things will rebound eventually. People will get back to work soon, and it may take some time to replenish their bank accounts... But.... We will see things get back to normal. I questioned this after 9/11. I didn't think the industry would ever recover from it.
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Kiwinlondon
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:35 pm

In a word......No.

Kiwinlondon
 
ltbewr
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:38 pm

F9Animal wrote:
Things will rebound eventually. People will get back to work soon, and it may take some time to replenish their bank accounts... But.... We will see things get back to normal. I questioned this after 9/11. I didn't think the industry would ever recover from it.


Airlines are going to have to be very nice to passengers to get back their business, especially frequent flyers. I suspect airlines will be slow to return to former schedules, some will be gone, merged or substantially smaller, especially internationally, having retired many aircraft and not receiving new ones, due to the economic affects. Fares may be higher in the initial return to recover their finances, fewer fights and thus net seats.
 
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ojjunior
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:38 pm

I see tickets Brazil to US below USD 400 r/t direct flights both legs as from May to Nov, except July, of course.
Once people is allowed to travel and no quaratine will be needed this will be a very good moment to travel and airlines will fight for every single pax.
 
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ua900
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:41 pm

remymartin11 wrote:
Growing up in the early 70’s, boarding a plane and flying somewhere was a special occasion. I have to wonder if flight reductions and social distancing measures will make it so again? Flying may become a more expensive proposition and perhaps something aspirational for leisure travel. Maybe that trip to Vegas for the weekend is now $400 and not $59. Maybe airlines need to decrease seats and increase pitch? Will force some to save more for their trip, business will have decide if a trip is really necessary or can it be Zoom/Skype instead? Temperature monitors in airports? Unprecedented times indeed.


It was and I miss it. Blue air from the thick smoke and people drinking, eating nice meals and playing cards, all while relatively dressed up compared to today. IMO the flight reductions won't last as demand comes back, not least because of promotions. I look at the current $35 coastal tickets, the US3 extending statuses while simultaneously lowering the requirements for this year, and it sounds a lot like the car manufacturers offering no payments for 90 days, 0% interest for 84 months *plus* $10-15k in rebates. Says a lot about the sudden shock on the demand side (my intercontinental flights up to late February were as full as ever, the 'rona wasn't a subject matter in Europe for Valentine's Day) and the willingness to match that with promos.

Demand won't come back overnight, but I haven't seen a single carrier plan on increasing pitch in coach because of this, nor any stoppages on the high J conversions for say UA on the other end of the scale. For now, I'd say it will be fewer planes in the short term, sending old planes to the desert, and taking delivery of new ones once demand comes roaring back. If I were in the leadership team of an airline, I'd be careful with cutbacks though in order to be able to scale back up once demand comes back.

As for destinations, markets like Vegas and Orlando were fairly low yield as long as I've been flying, it seems to me that every time someone gets bought or goes out of business a new entrant comes in and does a promo. For higher yield places, I think you'll see the US 3 match demand with the right metal. I've seen a lot more international widebodies with flatbeds fly domestic hub routes over the past few years, and as these planes now also have a premium economy section one could say that it's essentially a 4 class cabin with business flatbeds doing what international first class used to do, premium economy baracaloungers being essentially what domestic first used to be, Economy Plus / MCE / Comfort giving passengers the coach seat with extra legroom and perhaps a drink / box lunch, and last but not least regular coach. So 1-2 more choices in terms of legroom and comfort than what some of these carriers years ago.

Zoom and Skype don't replace in-person meetings for teams that only see each other once a quarter or less, companies still want that personal time to build teams, the lunches and the dinners together. Remote is good for everyday meetings, but as long as office environments and companies are as much about building relationships as about professional skills and abilities, there will be travel. Right now it's not a lot of fun with clubs being closed, policies being what they are, and customer bases seemingly breaking away. But most of these people are merely following CDC guidelines, as soon as those change, they'll breathe a sigh of relief and start going back to normal again. Not everyone will move back at the same pace, but the current ascetic lifestyle clearly isn't sustainable for most folks.
Last edited by ua900 on Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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twicearound
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:42 pm

Ishrion wrote:
Thing is, once capacity begins to recover, will people actually want to immediately travel? With that in mind, load factors will likely remain low for some time, so airlines will likely continue to offer cheap tickets.


Low load factors does not equal cheaper fares. Remeber post 9/11 airfare was still very high before the LCC boom.
 
BelowTheWing
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:45 pm

It really depends. Legacy carriers and/or network carriers will need longer to recover than any charter (holiday) airline. The Chinese market has already recovered and other Asian markets will follow. As for the US - that really is still in limbo. US carriers will most likely reduce the capacity for a significant time. There simply aren't enough exhibitions, trade fairs, conventions, meetings, etc. to justify business air travel - and that's where the money comes from at legacy carriers.

Europe on the other hand, now this is where things will change tremendously. Depending on when travel restrictions will be lifted, charter airlines may very well be just in time for their biggest season. Booking figures were stable until the very moment airlines stopped flying. Many holiday airlines, with the TUI airlines, Condor, etc. leading the way, are still planning to return late April. And that is interesting given the fact that network airlines have already canceled their regular flights until late May. Some, such as AFKL, LH, BA, have reduced their schedules to a bare minimum whilst others have either stated they won't fly or reinstated some kind of limited service network. But the charter airlines currently plan to go-ahead full steam. Time will tell, whether that's possible. I doubt it but mid-May may actually be realistic.

Ethical traffic will also return to its former glory as many expats do want to visit their families once all this is over. Problem is that many charter airlines have specialized in that and therefore network carriers will have little chance.

I also expect some airlines to never take to the sky again. Czech Airlines, unfortunately, appears to be one of the candidates. Although that would be a pity.

All in all, I expect air travel to return to about 85-90-ish percent of the previous numbers in late 2020. Flying, therefore, won't be as much a luxury as it was in the 70s. But the numbers of ridiculously low airfares are also numbered. And that is actually a good thing. Firstly, most of these prices are achieved on the backs of aviation employees; secondly (and most importantly), there's a growing ecological consciousness that will also lead to reduced capacities - especially with Europe´s every growing high-speed rail network.
 
Ishrion
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:59 pm

twicearound wrote:
Ishrion wrote:
Thing is, once capacity begins to recover, will people actually want to immediately travel? With that in mind, load factors will likely remain low for some time, so airlines will likely continue to offer cheap tickets.


Low load factors does not equal cheaper fares. Remeber post 9/11 airfare was still very high before the LCC boom.


Wasn’t alive when 9/11 happened and I never really looked into post-9/11 stuff, so thanks for the info.

Makes sense, but if that was before the LCC boom, how would airlines like Spirit price their tickets now?
 
bob75013
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:12 pm

IMO as long as he ULCCs survive airfares will remain low. Legacies will have no choice except to match. So, no, flying will not turn into a luxury.

OTOH, a projected 30% unemployment rate in the US will be a strong damper on the desire/ability of most to fly. I don't expect to see 50% load factors any time this year, and 50% is contingent on the virus being mostly under control.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:59 pm

Things will rebound, and I suspect even now there is an urge to travel once the green light is given. The flu pandemics of 1957 and 1968 did not reduce the urge to travel in the long term - although in the short term, yes of course there was a hiatus in travel. The coronavirus will go the same way. In a certain amount of time, its effects will be negligible. But don't ask me specifics on what that amount of time might be. But it's probably sooner than you think. The speed of recoveries often catches people by surprise.

F9Animal is also correct - I remember thinking after 9/11 that the air travel industry was going to be permanently damaged. It wasn't really, although one relic we still have from that is TSA. I also remember TSA making people upset when they first started and before they calmed down, and I had friends who said they would never fly again after being given a vigorous treatment by TSA. Those were also false statements.

One of the hardest things to do in a crisis is to maintain perspective.
Last edited by smithbs on Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:06 pm

ua900 wrote:
It was and I miss it. Blue air from the thick smoke and people drinking, eating nice meals and playing cards, all while relatively dressed up compared to today. IMO the flight reductions won't last as demand comes back, not least because of promotions. I look at the current $35 coastal tickets, the US3 extending statuses while simultaneously lowering the requirements for this year, and it sounds a lot like the car manufacturers offering no payments for 90 days, 0% interest for 84 months *plus* $10-15k in rebates. Says a lot about the sudden shock on the demand side (my intercontinental flights up to late February were as full as ever, the 'rona wasn't a subject matter in Europe for Valentine's Day) and the willingness to match that with promos.

Demand won't come back overnight, but I haven't seen a single carrier plan on increasing pitch in coach because of this, nor any stoppages on the high J conversions for say UA on the other end of the scale. For now, I'd say it will be fewer planes in the short term, sending old planes to the desert, and taking delivery of new ones once demand comes roaring back. If I were in the leadership team of an airline, I'd be careful with cutbacks though in order to be able to scale back up once demand comes back.

As for destinations, markets like Vegas and Orlando were fairly low yield as long as I've been flying, it seems to me that every time someone gets bought or goes out of business a new entrant comes in and does a promo. For higher yield places, I think you'll see the US 3 match demand with the right metal. I've seen a lot more international widebodies with flatbeds fly domestic hub routes over the past few years, and as these planes now also have a premium economy section one could say that it's essentially a 4 class cabin with business flatbeds doing what international first class used to do, premium economy baracaloungers being essentially what domestic first used to be, Economy Plus / MCE / Comfort giving passengers the coach seat with extra legroom and perhaps a drink / box lunch, and last but not least regular coach. So 1-2 more choices in terms of legroom and comfort than what some of these carriers years ago.

Zoom and Skype don't replace in-person meetings for teams that only see each other once a quarter or less, companies still want that personal time to build teams, the lunches and the dinners together. Remote is good for everyday meetings, but as long as office environments and companies are as much about building relationships as about professional skills and abilities, there will be travel. Right now it's not a lot of fun with clubs being closed, policies being what they are, and customer bases seemingly breaking away. But most of these people are merely following CDC guidelines, as soon as those change, they'll breathe a sigh of relief and start going back to normal again. Not everyone will move back at the same pace, but the current ascetic lifestyle clearly isn't sustainable for most folks.


:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 
SCQ83
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:53 am

bob75013 wrote:
IMO as long as he ULCCs survive airfares will remain low. Legacies will have no choice except to match. So, no, flying will not turn into a luxury.

OTOH, a projected 30% unemployment rate in the US will be a strong damper on the desire/ability of most to fly. I don't expect to see 50% load factors any time this year, and 50% is contingent on the virus being mostly under control.


Indeed. I don't get the logic of many people here saying that because there is less demand and lower costs (oil, leasing, staff), prices will go up (!).

Flying will be again a luxury for many people not because ticket prices will go up but because their purchase power will be down. So even if that " that trip to Vegas for the weekend is is still $59", 60 USD + hotels + food + entertainment (so let's say 300-400 USD for a weekend) will be a luxury a lot of people will not be able to afford anymore.

And even those who can afford it, they might think that is better to save that money just in case things get worse. People who used to take 2 long-haul holidays a year and a 2-3 hour flight every other bank holiday now they might think that they just can drive 200 miles/km. from their city to a nearby beach or the countryside. After all that is what everybody did 30 years ago.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:20 pm

remymartin11 wrote:
I have to wonder if flight reductions and social distancing measures will make it so again?


Keep in mind that social distancing is only a temporary thing until we reached group immunity. And once that has been achieved, things will go back to how they were before. Once again we'll be cramped into narrow seats close to each other. At the moment that's impossible because we don't have group immunity yet. But once we have, there's no need to maintain social distancing.

In the meanwhile, the lack of demand will keep the fares down. Airlines are having a hard time selling all the capacity they got, which puts pressure on the prices.

The reason it was expensive back then is because of the regulation. The fares weren't a result of supply and demand, they were set by the government. Airlines could only compete on luxury, so that's what they offered. But honestly, nobody wants that situation back. Maybe the luxury, but certainly not the high fares.
 
F9Animal
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:44 pm

ltbewr wrote:
F9Animal wrote:
Things will rebound eventually. People will get back to work soon, and it may take some time to replenish their bank accounts... But.... We will see things get back to normal. I questioned this after 9/11. I didn't think the industry would ever recover from it.


Airlines are going to have to be very nice to passengers to get back their business, especially frequent flyers. I suspect airlines will be slow to return to former schedules, some will be gone, merged or substantially smaller, especially internationally, having retired many aircraft and not receiving new ones, due to the economic affects. Fares may be higher in the initial return to recover their finances, fewer fights and thus net seats.


But, eventually things will get back to where they were. I do think that the key to getting cheeks back in the seats will actually require some pretty good sales at the beginning. Just like the cruise lines will have to do. If anything, this virus will not set the industry backwards to days when flying was a luxury. I wish it would change service though, but I doubt it. I think ULCC's have taken a huge chunk out of the good service some expect, which is sad.
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aeromoe
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:07 am

ojjunior wrote:
I see tickets Brazil to US below USD 400 r/t direct flights both legs as from May to Nov, except July, of course.
Once people is allowed to travel and no quaratine will be needed this will be a very good moment to travel and airlines will fight for every single pax.


Legit question: why "except July, of course" ? I've never been to Brazil but would like to some day.

Thank You
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FlyHappy
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:01 am

SCQ83 wrote:

Flying will be again a luxury for many people not because ticket prices will go up but because their purchase power will be down. So even if that " that trip to Vegas for the weekend is is still $59", 60 USD + hotels + food + entertainment (so let's say 300-400 USD for a weekend) will be a luxury a lot of people will not be able to afford anymore.

And even those who can afford it, they might think that is better to save that money just in case things get worse. People who used to take 2 long-haul holidays a year and a 2-3 hour flight every other bank holiday now they might think that they just can drive 200 miles/km. from their city to a nearby beach or the countryside. After all that is what everybody did 30 years ago.


Apparently, I'm an elitist.
Who the hell is going to Vegas for only 300-400 USD for a weekend?
 
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ojjunior
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:55 am

aeromoe wrote:
ojjunior wrote:
I see tickets Brazil to US below USD 400 r/t direct flights both legs as from May to Nov, except July, of course.
Once people is allowed to travel and no quaratine will be needed this will be a very good moment to travel and airlines will fight for every single pax.


Legit question: why "except July, of course" ? I've never been to Brazil but would like to some day.

Thank You


Peak summer in US and scholar break in BR.
July tickets to/from US-BR are always expensive in July.
 
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aeromoe
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Sat Apr 11, 2020 3:35 am

ojjunior wrote:

Peak summer in US and scholar break in BR.
July tickets to/from US-BR are always expensive in July.


Thank You
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cpd
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:46 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
remymartin11 wrote:
I have to wonder if flight reductions and social distancing measures will make it so again?


Keep in mind that social distancing is only a temporary thing until we reached group immunity. And once that has been achieved, things will go back to how they were before. Once again we'll be cramped into narrow seats close to each other. At the moment that's impossible because we don't have group immunity yet. But once we have, there's no need to maintain social distancing.

In the meanwhile, the lack of demand will keep the fares down. Airlines are having a hard time selling all the capacity they got, which puts pressure on the prices.

The reason it was expensive back then is because of the regulation. The fares weren't a result of supply and demand, they were set by the government. Airlines could only compete on luxury, so that's what they offered. But honestly, nobody wants that situation back. Maybe the luxury, but certainly not the high fares.


The chief scientists of some countries are suggesting that group immunity is no certain thing. There is no proof that having been deliberately infected with the virus that you won’t get it again.

So I think travel overseas will be a thing of necessity, people will only travel if they really need to. And I think cruise ship operators will really suffer.

It’s also very possible people will just save their money up and/or pay off debt, stockpile toilet paper, etc.
 
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ua900
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:01 am

cpd wrote:
The chief scientists of some countries are suggesting that group immunity is no certain thing. There is no proof that having been deliberately infected with the virus that you won’t get it again.

So I think travel overseas will be a thing of necessity, people will only travel if they really need to. And I think cruise ship operators will really suffer.

It’s also very possible people will just save their money up and/or pay off debt, stockpile toilet paper, etc.


Everyone should have a two month supply of TP (or more) by now. I think airlines will snap back long before cruise ships. Hard to keep people aboard a plane beyond 17 hours, it's not just going to stay airborne because an airport refuses landing rights or a request to land. It also helps that one isn't in close contact for two weeks and it's not 5,000 people aboard a plane. Tourist travel will still be there, we're curious and love to explore. While viruses evidently do too, I don't think that's stopped people for extended periods of time. I'd see 2020 more like 1957 or 1968, albeit with a bigger impact on us since we're much more connected today.

Lastly, there's a real economic impact from a commercial customer view when planes don't fly. Contracts don't get signed, deals fall through, business isn't being conducted. So much of what we do there still depends on old fashioned lunches, face to face meetings, team building, etc. It's been said for a long time that all of that will go away, in the late 90s as the internet came about, after 9/11, in 2008, in the 2010s as telepresence and virtual presence became widespread. But let's remember that even in Startrek they still use shuttles to meet people in person even when there's absolutely no need for it from a technological perspective :-)

FlyHappy wrote:
Who the hell is going to Vegas for only 300-400 USD for a weekend?


LAS is the only place I've "vacationed" in the US where I leave with more money than what I came with. Of course, that's hard work at the Black Jack table as opposed to just shows and the pool, but I like the concept and it's just ten bucks per hand.
2020: AMS | BRU | DEN | DFW | EWR | FRA | IAH | LAX | MCO | MUC | ORD | PTY | SFO | TXL
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Mon Apr 13, 2020 2:41 am

ua900 wrote:
FlyHappy wrote:
Who the hell is going to Vegas for only 300-400 USD for a weekend?


LAS is the only place I've "vacationed" in the US where I leave with more money than what I came with. Of course, that's hard work at the Black Jack table as opposed to just shows and the pool, but I like the concept and it's just ten bucks per hand.


You know when you stumble down for breakfast at 9am and see couple of haggard people at the craps table or no limit hold 'em ? Thats me.
I assure you, I know and embrace the idea of leaving with more money then I came with, be it Vegas, Macau, AC, Laughlin, or lesser destinations.

But let us be honest with ourselves and this forum - $400 for a Vegas weekend, *including* airfare and hotel - what- that's $250 MAX at a only "ten bucks per hand" ? That's not realistic, at all.
Maybe if you're a lady on a bachelorette weekend, you can pull off a $400 weekend. Otherwise, I'm sorry - that sounds like fantasy.
 
cpd
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:49 am

ua900 wrote:
cpd wrote:
The chief scientists of some countries are suggesting that group immunity is no certain thing. There is no proof that having been deliberately infected with the virus that you won’t get it again.

So I think travel overseas will be a thing of necessity, people will only travel if they really need to. And I think cruise ship operators will really suffer.

It’s also very possible people will just save their money up and/or pay off debt, stockpile toilet paper, etc.


Everyone should have a two month supply of TP (or more) by now. I think airlines will snap back long before cruise ships. Hard to keep people aboard a plane beyond 17 hours, it's not just going to stay airborne because an airport refuses landing rights or a request to land. It also helps that one isn't in close contact for two weeks and it's not 5,000 people aboard a plane. Tourist travel will still be there, we're curious and love to explore. While viruses evidently do too, I don't think that's stopped people for extended periods of time. I'd see 2020 more like 1957 or 1968, albeit with a bigger impact on us since we're much more connected today.

Lastly, there's a real economic impact from a commercial customer view when planes don't fly. Contracts don't get signed, deals fall through, business isn't being conducted. So much of what we do there still depends on old fashioned lunches, face to face meetings, team building, etc. It's been said for a long time that all of that will go away, in the late 90s as the internet came about, after 9/11, in 2008, in the 2010s as telepresence and virtual presence became widespread. But let's remember that even in Startrek they still use shuttles to meet people in person even when there's absolutely no need for it from a technological perspective :-)


Two months, only? It's a crisis - more like two years! ;)

I'm not so sure we need airlines in order for business deals to happen, we are doing more and more things through teleconferencing, Zoom, Teams, Skype for Business, Bluejeans and others. It took a long time and this pandemic to bring about the change, but I suspect a lot of meetings that used to happen in person are now going to be happening remotely. It will save money as well not having staff going on plane journeys. Airlines will surely hurt.

I was one of those types who preferred in person meetings but even I've adapted to video conferences.

Once we find a solution to stamp out this virus, I supect we'll then see travel bounce back.
 
AMS18C36C
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:53 am

BelowTheWing wrote:
All in all, I expect air travel to return to about 85-90-ish percent of the previous numbers in late 2020. Flying, therefore, won't be as much a luxury as it was in the 70s. But the numbers of ridiculously low airfares are also numbered. And that is actually a good thing. Firstly, most of these prices are achieved on the backs of aviation employees; secondly (and most importantly), there's a growing ecological consciousness that will also lead to reduced capacities - especially with Europe´s every growing high-speed rail network.


Question is: are consumers and politicians going to look at our consumption patterns (aviation or other products) and environmental impact, or is it going to be business as usual and being able to fly for 30 Euro's to Spain or Italy?
 
BelowTheWing
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Re: Will flying be a luxury from now on?

Mon Apr 13, 2020 4:24 pm

AMS18C36C wrote:
BelowTheWing wrote:
All in all, I expect air travel to return to about 85-90-ish percent of the previous numbers in late 2020. Flying, therefore, won't be as much a luxury as it was in the 70s. But the numbers of ridiculously low airfares are also numbered. And that is actually a good thing. Firstly, most of these prices are achieved on the backs of aviation employees; secondly (and most importantly), there's a growing ecological consciousness that will also lead to reduced capacities - especially with Europe´s every growing high-speed rail network.


Question is: are consumers and politicians going to look at our consumption patterns (aviation or other products) and environmental impact, or is it going to be business as usual and being able to fly for 30 Euro's to Spain or Italy?


Sooner or later governments will (already have in some cases) introduce taxes on unnecessarily short flights. First and foremost domestic routes where excellent alternatives, e.g. high-speed rail, are available. This will not lead to those routes being axed, at least for the majority, but frequencies will be reduced as connecting passengers will be routed through these flights whereas point to point passengers will use other means of transport. This results in fewer passengers and therefore a reduction in capacity. easyJet withdrawing from the more than popular TXL-FRA-TXL rotation is one example.

Personally, I do not expect to see any reason for prices to be dumped as before. Those competitive prices won't simply be necessary as over-capacity won't be as much as before. Hence, airlines can demand what's profitable. These unprofitably low prices were sustained through certain buffers airlines had in order to excel a competitor or make an example. Now that airlines burn money unlike ever before, they can't afford it. Neither legacy carriers, nor low-cost carriers.

All this is, by the way, old news. It would have come anyway - just not as abruptly as it did through COVID-19. Especially in Europe, there is too much capacity. The aviation industry changed from prestige to mass transport in only two decades. And some sort of crash was long overdue. As I said before - without COVID-19 it would have come slower. But it would have come anyway.

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