OK, I am just about to go from Japan, last day here, and then the thing that I do not like about modern life, the aeroplane journey.
Now, I am a BIG guy, 1.93 metres (6'4") and not light with it. In the GoGo years of the late nineties all travel was pretty much business class, and therefore rather enjoyable. Then the margin pressure went on, and travel got moved to Economy Class, and that is OK for the flights within Europe, which is an hour at a time, but the long distance stuff sucks.
Normally I find that if I whine long enough, (Sorry, provide a good business based justification...) then I get upgraded, but not this time.
But my dislike for cheap air travel aside, wither the airline industry? I see clearly that the full-fat carriers are going to have grave difficulty in adjusting to the low cost world, with the double hit of the "Cheap and Cheerfuls" taking the point to point business, like Easyjet or Ryanair in Europe, and the "Hungry Arabs" like Qatar Airlines, and so on taking some of the business class the goes over the Gulf.
It's not like I particularly care about the fate of any single carrier, but the future for air travel is looking more and more like a grinding low cost, ineffective and not very integrated series of bus rides round the world.
I suppose that this is when the sales of video conferencing material really takes off. The desire to avoid travelling is now beginning to be something that is having to be factored into discussions that would have been solved by just hopping on the plane and going to see someone before.
And the new trick is to be rich enough to fly in your on private jet, so that means that the real top end is going out of the retail air travel market. (Apparently if we have seven people to fly around Europe, it is almost cost effective to take a private plane, which to me was surprising that it was a few people as that.)
But with two out of three carriers in the USA effectively bankrupt, then we are going to see some interesting changes. (And the the whole subject of the TSA is not one that I have had to deal with yet, but let's just say that there is a reputational problem developing there...)