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  1. #1
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    What Happened?!

    This is waaay

    I stumbled across this image recently and it got me thinking. What has happened to our expectations and dreams. In 1971 American Airlines was offering this type of luxury (sure it is dated and probably dangerous with those heavy nut bowls flying around the cabin) but in an attempt to increase their passenger numbers they removed seats and added luxury. In 1968 in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey Pan Am was offering similar luxury on their flights into space. As we know Pan Am never made it to 2001, much less space. In the 60's and early 70's there was an optimism that we could accomplish anything. Work hard and put the best minds to it and anything was possible. JBL was building speakers with beautifully hand crafted cabinets and exquisitely machined and finished drivers buried in them that no one would ever see but their pride of craft made them do it instead of shaving pennies to maximize profits with unfinished frames and magnets.

    In the 80's with the deregulation of the airline industry and the financial gymnastics of the "Me Generation" we see American Airlines inventing a new way to attract passengers with the AAdvantage Program. This was the first frequent flyer program and it allowed passengers to "get something for nothing". Also during the 80's Sam Walton's Five and Dime store burst out of Arkansas and the South with it's SuperCenters and Sam's Clubs. The American Marketplace loudly proclaiming we want more for less. Now they weren't asking for more quality, they just wanted more. Today we expect to pay ridiculously little for things. We expect to fly to London for $200 and we expect to buy a complete Hi-Fi for $500. Today the successful airlines are those like Southwest who are flying Greyhound Busses in the sky. They have less room, less non-stops, less food, less service.

    Recently a friend was out of town on business he asked one of the guys he was working with where was a good place to get breakfast in that town. He was told to go to Shoneys. He asked, "Is the food really good?" The answer was, "Well no, but it is all you can eat!"

    I guess that pretty much sums it up... this _ _ _ _ is almost as good, but it's cheap!
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  2. #2
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    BTW: That Luxury lounge above... it was in coach!
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  3. #3
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    Virgin Atlantic

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    ...What has happened to our expectations and dreams.
    Richard Branson is our friend...

    Dood, this is why I long-ago lost my super-dooper status in United. I fly across the small water at-least once a year, and during the mid-1990's I flew at-least once a month either there, or South America. When Virgin arrived in the US, there were (and still are...) no other choices of merit. These days, I take the o/n SFO -> Heathrow, then grab a day-room and the onward o/n to Johannesburg. It is the ONLY way to fly.

    Branson took the dreams (and promises) of other carriers, stripped-out the corporate overhead and offers that service for competitive fares, nearly worldwide.

    Take a trip...

    (the first three are on-board; the last is a lame-o shot of a lounge. The lounge in Johannesburg is phenomenal - screaming hot vids (in stereo) on the wall in the showers. Great way to start a 28-hr journey... )
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    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    OK, but Bo did you read the text? That pic is in economy class! First class has tables for four in their restaurant!!!

    Besides I think the issue is much larger than a wide body jet.

    Widget

  5. #5
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    OK, but Bo did you read the text? That pic is in economy class! First class has tables for four in their restaurant!!!
    Yea, I did. But the point is they could have. Branson offers wonderfully upscaled service in all classes.

    Remember the TWA flights using the Constellation equipment? Or the B-377 Stratocruiser? Those comforts were out there, for a while.

    Excess capacity wiped out margins. The business WAS good, and attracted too many competitors - barriers to entry were not high enough. Everyone suffered, particularly as they consumed other's routes and diverse equipment. Terrible business model...
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    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  6. #6
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    Heh, heh.

    Looks like they DREW the bridge in there.

    [It's never looked like that....]

  7. #7
    Senior Member Donald's Avatar
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    And now we have the Airbus A380.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4174729.stm
    had L25,L36,L40,L120,L222,L300,AquariusIV(2),S1,4408
    have L65,L100,L222,DorianS12,B380

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