SPECIAL REPORT: Airlines consider returning to 'good old days'

In a stunning reversal of an ongoing trend, several major airlines are collaborating on changes intended to make air travel more comfortable and enjoyable for the traveling public.

Announced Monday, April 1, participating airlines said they would be considering measures that, while not returning air travel to its “glory days,” would restore some of the sanity and civility that has been sacrificed over the last several years on the altar of increased profits.

“It’s high time we stopped treating our customers like cattle,” said one airline executive who asked that his/her name not be used. “They are, after all, why we exist in the first place.”

Among the changes being considered:
  • A return to allowing up to two checked bags per person at no additional cost, and instead charging for carry-ons that exceed the “one carry-on and one small personal item”.
  • Uniform pricing across each category of service (i.e., the same price for all coach, business, and first class tickets).
  • Reduction of the current, ridiculously inflated change fees.
  • Elimination of “nickel-and-dime” pricing for items ranging from “choice” seats to early boarding.
  • Replacing existing seats with new seats that have a pitch (space from the back of one seat to the seat in front of it) of at least 32” and which are at least 18.5” wide.
  • Elimination of the practice of over-selling certain flights.
  • Hot meals on all flights of longer than 2.5 hours.
  • Retraining of airline customer contact personnel to ensure they understand and practice “customer service”. Flight attendants will be specifically instructed to spend more time talking to and taking care of their passengers and less talking among themselves or sequestered behind the curtain reading their latest pulp novels or fashion magazines.
Airline representatives noted that, unfortunately, their collective hands are tied regarding potential improvements in the handling of pre-boarding security, as that function is performed by an agency of the federal government and not the airlines themselves.

When – or indeed if – those changes will be instituted is anyone’s guess; it is, after all, “April Fool’s Day.”

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photo by Carl Dombek
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