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CEO predictions for the next 100 years of air travel


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I care about the present. The dwindling leg room, increasing costs for simply bringing luggage and made up fee's which are veiled under fancy catch phrases are all worrisome to me. I can lose weight if the seat is too tight, but I will not cut off my legs to be comfortable. These are major issues facing me as a traveler. It costs nearly twice as much for me to fly to Japan from Canada as it did just 7 years ago and I have less leg room, less and worse food AND can now only take one piece of checked in luggage whose weight has been reduced. On my last trip to Japan I noticed the leg room on domestic flights has also been greatly reduced to an uncomfortable level for a taller person as myself. I hope these CEO's are working on solving actual problems rather than these pie in the sky idea's for a future which will exist long after they take their huge salaries and bonuses into retirement.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This article is about the future, subyyaki. If you don't like it, stop flying or put yout hands deeper in your pocket and fly business. Why do you feel the need to complain about airlines CEO's salaries? Are you stuck in a mire of underachievement that makes you resent them?

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

TheResident: Nice bit of amateur psychoanalysis there. Doubtless you are a hyper-successful tycoon and have been able to shed the grim shroud of compassion for others.

Subyyaki - I couldn't agree with you more, old boy. I fear Mr Dunkerley may be the only CEO up there who dared to speak the truth: the age of affordable air travel for the majority is over. If you're minted (as our dear pundit TheResident doubtless is) you're well away and things will only get better.

For working families, however, we'll be paying more, getting less until it just isn't worth it any more.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

@iIan Duncan. Not minted. Realistic. subyyaki is quite correct about the present situation, However, if you wish to complain about air travel, then either stop travelling or choose not to move away from home. Nothing to do with shedding compassion. Airlines are trying to run a profitable business (as they should), and constant whingeing from the likes of aforementioned poster do annoy me. I suggest you check the price of oil and food these days. I think you will find airfares in real money terms have not risen that much. So, as you point out, if you no longer feel it's worth it, why bother? Nobody is 'forcing' you to fly.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

The Resident... you are not realistic. People want to fly as cheaply as possible and with as much comfort as possible... if airlines want to attract more flyers then it's their duty to ensure that as many people can fly in comfort as possible. If you force the majority of people to turn away from flying you basically shoot yourself in the foot. Remember Concorde? That flew at a loss because both Air France and British Airways couldn't make it pay... even the megabux they were charging wasn't enough.

Bigger airliners with plenty of room are the future. More bums on seats equals more money in the coffers for the airlines. Execs and the rich take up a small part of an airliner's cabin space, yet they are pandered to, while the great unwashed such as those of us who fly Economy class are the bread and butter of airlines. WE should be the ones being better treated. No economy class, no airlines.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think within the next 50 years, the maturation of maglev technology could effectively doom air travel for anything less than 1,500 km (932 miles) distance, especially with each maglev trainset seating 500 to 700 passengers. Air travel may end up switching primarily to long-distance transcontinental flights and longer-distance transoceanic flights.

Even now, there is talk of what will happen to Toyama Airport and Komatsu Airport on the Sea of Japan side once the Hokuriku Shinkansen opens 14 months from now, because many passengers now flying between Tokyo Haneda and these two airports will switch to riding the Shinkansen to travel to Toyama and Kanazawa respectively.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder if my grand- and great-grandparents made bold predictions about transportation, any kind of transportation, from the horse drawn carriage and the early motorcars, the horse drawn streetcars, the steam locomotive trains, etc. for the following century like 'today's aviation leaders'. London-Sydney in under two hours? I have to smile at that - the flying saucer? But who knows. I won't be able to witness it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )


— Sir Richard Branson, president Virgin Atlantic Airways: “I have no doubt that during my lifetime we will be able to fly from London to Sydney in under two hours, with minimal environmental impact. The awe-inspiring views of our beautiful planet below and zero-gravity passenger fun will bring a whole new meaning to in-flight entertainment.”

How much will this cost? Way more than the average person can afford, right?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Thunderbird: First and Business Class are the bread and butter of any mainstream airline. Period. Poor Research on your part. LLC airlines are NOT a factor in this as they do not fly long haul. Also, bigger airliners are NOT the way forward as both orders for the A380 and the 747-800 have proved this year. Smaller airliners such as the 787 and A350 ARE the way forward as has been proved by the order books, The 777-300ER and the just announced 777X are proving to be the viable replacements for the 747-400,again both with healthy order books. Again poor research.

Raymond - you have excellent points, although I doubt your timescale.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Agree with theResident here, some hubs will keep the bigger aircraft, but most people want point to point, so the 787/A350 are the immediate future. Airfares are lower than 7 years ago around the world, just depends how the value of the currency is...and competition on the routes. The only thing is that LCC do fly long haul - and increasing their presence. If people complain about legroom, then pay for an upgrade, most people choose the airline by the lowest cost or frequent flyer points, occasionally by the extras they offer. Who knows the future, but there'll be continued improvement in efficiency and depending on oil prices, probably maintain the current levels of price for a while. Some airlines will continue to go bankrupt as they can't compete, so the future will be a few very large airlines linking the world, some smaller regional carriers where trains haven't become the better option. It's all moving in that direction anyway... 100 years from now I want a teleporter, but I'll give science 200 years, won't matter for me anyway:)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

theResidentJan. 04, 2014 - 08:55AM JST

This article is about the future, subyyaki. If you don't like it, stop flying or put yout hands deeper in your pocket and fly business. Why do you feel the need to complain about airlines CEO's salaries? Are you stuck in a mire of underachievement that makes you resent them?

Ain't Richard Branson?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Air travel should be stopped completely for tourism! Seriously, my grand dad who used to go back pack traveling in the 1930's said it was much better than the commercial tourist rubbish you see today. Very little pollution, very little tourists, more wildlife and culture and you go abroad to learn about cultures not sit and laze around on the beach and hotels like most do today. Thats no proper experience to travel.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My guess in the next 100 years, those folk with legs too long for our airplanes now, will evolve to one day be as compact as I am, my short little legs boy!! I love them on these long haul flights from anywhere on this planet! So I am sure, that humans will have to go from over 6 feet tall down to say max of 5 feet and all of our worries will be over.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ 'globalwatcher'. Sorry, your point is lost on me. (As usual)

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

too funny considering the logarithmic projection has the world dwindling of fuel supplies. I don't see how it lasts the next 10 let alone 25 to 100

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"In the next hundred years, passengers will be freeze-dried at the boarding gate, and reconstituted when they arrive."

Heck, in another 260 years passengers will have their atoms scrambled and beamed to their destination in just a few seconds!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

theResidentJan. 05, 2014 - 10:33AM JST

@ 'globalwatcher'. Sorry, your point is lost on me. (As usual)

Too bad. Hope you can explore the world to see what's going on around you. I have never seen any of your post outside airline industry or business.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Serrano - re: Branson, you can already make a booking on his Virgin Galactic website. Tickets currently cost US$250,000.


0 ( +1 / -1 )

Air travel destroys the environment-unlimited air travel will destroy the earth.....

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's becoming less necessary to travel by air, and most civilized societies have a far reaching rail network. Exploring your own country in your own time is far more rewarding than being shipped off to some bizarre resort.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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