AIRLINES AND THE BUSINESS TRAVELLER
Scheduled services fail to provide on-demand, secure, private, comfortable, direct point-to-point air transportation, hence an increasingly large number of corporate travellers and private individuals elect to use personal jet aircraft operating to their own precise schedule and routing.
Frequent airline passengers are no strangers to over-bookings and to repeated delays caused by late-incoming aircraft, missing passengers and the need to find and off-load baggage, late connecting passengers, lack of available stands, and by repeated slot, crewing and security problems.
The constantly changing airline environment is inevitably impacting on quality and reliability, with scheduled airline services increasingly seen to be failing in their attempt to deliver an adequate and appropriate service to the regular business passenger.
Airline travel has changed significantly since the mid 1960s, to many minds considerably for the worse. Scheduled flights are subject to increasing delays. Published schedules are stretched out so that trip times become longer to disguise such delays and limit liability. Jet airliners are flying much slower at more economical speeds. Aircraft take less fresh air through their cabins to save even more fuel. More baggage is reported lost or broken into. Check-in and security procedures take longer. Terminals and priority service lounges are ever more crowded and less appealing. Cabin crews are arguably less attentive. Meal quality is generally poorer, also now routinely accompanied by plastic cutlery for reasons of security. Cabins are becoming fuller and cleaned less often. These changes not only affect passengers in the business and economy cabins but, on the few routes and with the few airlines where it is still offered also in first class.
All airlines are increasingly being forced to follow aspects of the perceived successful ‘low-cost’ model, to a greater or lesser extent, in order to survive in a cutthroat business and not least to meet shareholder expectations. There is undoubtedly pressure on many fronts, some of which impacts not just on service standards experienced by the passenger but in the view of many experts, ultimately on safety too.
With the added greatly increased threats to airport and airline security of current times, now perhaps likely to get worse before getting better, scheduled airline travel is for many an experience to be missed.
The future of the private and corporate jet for those able to be selective is assured.