Airline service continues to deteriorate. Prices, taxes and extra charges are increasing and the amenities of flying are disappearing.
Meals on many flights are now nonexistent We have deteriorated from full-service, three-course meals to packing our own lunch, bringing on a Pizza Hut box as carry on, or dining on peanuts and pop.
Recently, Air Canada eliminated the use of a blanket and pillow on all flights less that ninety minutes. In their benevolence, however, you could buy these two luxury items for $1.50 each. How low can we go in eliminating simple services and reducing costs? Let me try to anticipate the ways.
In the future, every component of air travel will have a small additional charge. The washroom will only open by depositing a coin into a slot on the door. A coin operated toilet seat, soap dispenser and water faucet can not be far behind. And speaking of behind, toilet paper will be sold by the square.
The overhead bins will be eliminated in order to provide budget berths for small people and animals. You will be charged for each piece of carry on luggage for the privilege of having it sit on your lap. Any garbage you generate will be collected for a fee, based on volume and weight, and it will cost a dollar to unlock and use your seat belt.
You will have to pay to have your luggage weighed and inspected and you will pay extra if you want your baggage to arrive on the same flight you do. Why do we need a departure lounge? After you pay to have your passport scanned you will be ushered outside to the tarmac to await your plane. Planes will just roll along to a “plane stop” and you will catch the one that takes you nearest to your destination. A kind of hop on – hop off service.
For short haul flights it seems silly to bother with seating. A series of hand straps hanging from the ceiling, like in a metro, will do. Since stand up flying will be the only affordable option, there will be no room for an airline stewardess to push her trolley of duty free goods, so they can both be eliminated as well.
And how often do you really need a copilot? One pilot should reduce costs further. If he should happen to become incapacitated everyone will have their own carry on life jacket and flotation device anyway. If you didn’t notice, they were on sale at the kiosk at the foot of the stairs when you entered the plane.
Do we really need to fly at 35,000 feet? There is nothing to look at from that height. If we flew at 3,500 feet instead, we could discontinue pressurizing planes and save lots of money by using far less fuel. We could even eliminate the need for the expensive paper air sick bag.
It seems like the airlines industry, in its determination to reduce expenses, has almost come full circle. Charles Lindbergh had the right idea when he chose to fly solo. I bet he even had a free blanket and pillow!