Quote of the Day

…One writer argues travel has lost its romance because it is too easy. Sorry, but travel has lost its romance because it is too hard, though hard in a different way than it was fifty years ago. In 1957, travel was difficult like a safari. In 2007, travel is difficult like getting a hip replacement in the British medical system.

Warren Meyer

5 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. I started flying (as a passenger) in 1959, almost 50 years ago when flying was easy and low-stress. Last July, I flew to Beijing, China (fifteen-plus hours over the pole and return). And, I had a hip replacement, although not in Britain. The hip replacement was significantly easier to endure, less traumatic and less karma-depleting, and not much more expensive. Plus, the nurses were much more pleasant than the over-worked flight attendants could ever be.

  2. Consider that the state of the airline industry today is a triumph of the capitalist system. We have reduced costs and created the product that the public is willing to pay for. The traveling pubic may complain and moan about crowded airplanes and surly service, but the bottom line is that costs have been reduced to match revenues. Airline transportation is exactly what we wanted from deregulation; cheap seats. The traveling public is simply unwilling to pay for the old school service and ambiance of the 50s and 60s. Add to all this the fact that the internet has levelled ticket prices to the point that no airline can charge a premium for service, and so service goes by the wayside. People have become cargo. And cargo shouldn’t complain.

  3. I don’t agree with this last comment. A few airlines, notably Southwest, offer good (generally cheerful and reliable) service at low prices. Other airlines, notably the older American ones, offer sometimes-good, sometimes-bad service, often at higher prices than the discounters. It therefore appears to me that quality of service isn’t a function of ticket price. Nor is it a function of “amenities” — I don’t care if they serve food or not, as long as I know their custom in advance and can adjust my behavior appropriately. IMO it’s mainly a function of management and employee attitude, particularly the attitudes of ticket agents and of the employees who deal with customers directly at airports and on planes.

    Also, much of the current hassle with air travel is a function of the government’s inept security system rather than anything the airlines do.

  4. My original comment may have come across harsher than I intended. My point is that, generally, we are getting exactly what we are willing to pay for. And that is a good thing. Flying has become exceedingly affordable financially, though at the cost of decreased comfort and ambiance. Ticket prices in the 60s paid for the empty seats around you that made the whole experience easier. Now there is someone sitting in that seat.

    I agree that part of the hassle in traveling is that aviation has the umbrella of government oversight. In addition to security issues, many of the delays in the system can be attributed to the fact that Air Traffic Control is simpy overwhelmed by the demand for their services, and the constraints of the government funding process has not allowed them to react in a consumer driven manner.

Comments are closed.