Back in the old days, when airlines were a new phenomenon, passengers were dressed in their finest attire, while expecting the finest service. Today, people fly on a regular basis, most, expecting a “typical” flight. Most people would define a “typical” flight with low quality customer service, slim seats with little legroom, and so many rules and regulations that you have to think about. In the old days, flying was fun and was a big part of the trip, now, it is taken advantage of, in my opinion.
Each airline has its own special way of improving their passenger experience (#PaxEx). But, there are airlines who care more about the profit, than, the actual experience for passengers. These airlines usually have the mindset of “If I offer a good deal, these passengers will not care about their comfort, in these unstable times.” It is all about passenger preference. Some passengers, including myself, won’t tolerate a poor passenger experience. While, there are passengers who would rather pay a lower price, while, degrading their overall experience.
There are some airlines and aircraft manufacturers who have really caught on to find the waypoint between a fairly priced flight, with a great passenger experience. I am going to use the San Francisco based airline, Virgin America. Virgin America (VX) offers a unique experience. This experience includes plush leather seats, mood lighting, and interactive seat back displays. But, how about the price? For a cross country flight from John F. Kennedy International to their hub, San Francisco International, the price was around six hundred dollars for one traveller roundtrip. Virgin America is only a domestic carrier.
One specific aircraft that has added some hope to the passenger experience is the Airbus A350 XWB. This aircraft features mood lighting, a sleek look, a quiet cabin, and a open and clean environment. This aircraft has special features to decrease operating costs for airlines allowing the airlines to add those features.
To improve the overall passenger experience, airlines need to modernize with the 21st century. This means they should add modern aircraft, interactive seat back displays, and ultimately focus on the experience, not as much the profit.
The passenger experience, today, has a poor reputation. But, as new aircraft and modern airlines come out, I believe that the experience will start to earn back its reputation.