Thursday 22 April 2010

Airline chaos: another nail in the coffin of discretionary business travel?

The past week's compulsory grounding coupled with the 'regular' delays, body-scans, strip-searches, cost and general inconvenience of air travel has given a shot-in-the-arm to video conferencing and net-based meetings.
Obviously, nothing beats the real thing (?), but business travellers have to question whether the advantage of face-to-face over screen-to-face is always worth the trouble?
Suppose this results in a 20% drop in business air-travel, then there will be a drop in premium-fare revenue. The reduction in this subsidy will then increase the cost of economy travel, further alienating non-business travellers.
As world governments are now insisting that airlines compensate travellers for last week's 'act-of-God' costs, the result will be an increase in insurance cover by the airlines, causing them cut costs including staff-reductions thereby reducing service-levels... This will oviously cause them to raise their prices, making alternative transport and comms-media even more attractive, physically and financially….

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