Let me just start off by saying that according to Condé Nast Traveler, 30 years ago when it made its debut, the average price of a flight was a hefty $550 (50 percent more than it is today). Rolling luggage had just been invented. When planes reached 30,000 feet, pilots didn’t just turn off the fasten-seatbelts light, they encouraged passengers to light up. More importantly, travel was still a relative luxury, reserved for those of us outside the leisure class for special occasions. Worldwide, only 350 million people took an international trip in 1987. Which may sound like a lot, until you consider that last year the number of international arrivals hit 1.37 billion. Billion. Yes. More than four times as many in just three decades. One sixth of the world’s population, in a single year.
Yes that’s right, 50 percent more than it costs to fly today! So every single time I read anything complaining about the cost of air travel, the size of the seats, the quality (or lack thereof) of the food served, I cringe. Why don’t more people know these statistics!? Is it because the critics weren’t traveling 30 years ago? Are they too young to remember? What is it?
I distinctly remember paying $350 for a roundtrip ticket 40 years ago! If I and my luggage are carried round-trip thousands of miles 30,000 feet in the air and delivered safely to my destination I think anything under $500 is a bargain!
Flying is not for everyone. And it is not very enjoyable for many. Fortunately I do not fall into either of these categories. I am extremely comfortable in an airport and absolutely love flying. Not enough to be a flight attendant though (another 5 Heart Rating). Those people deserve the credit. Like schoolteachers, I wouldn’t be able to deal with half of what they are expected to.
Everyone should have to be a school teacher before they can be a student. Everyone should have to be a parent before they can be a child. Everyone should have to wait tables before they can eat in a restaurant. Everyone should have to be a housekeeper before they can stay at a hotel. And EVERYONE should have to be a flight attendant before they can fly. (See the 5 Heart Rating review just for Flight Attendants.)
I really don’t know how the geniuses in the airline industry have managed to keep prices down. But I sure am glad they have. You won’t hear any complaining from me!