I've traveled quite a bit within a
few weeks. Fortunately I'm one of
the lucky few who gets to travel in
First Class. While it's certainly much
better than the back of the bus,
First Class standards have definitely
declined. Today it seems that one
must pay one thousand dollars or
more to enjoy exactly the same
experience one used to enjoy for
free in Coach. Is that fair?!
Not that long ago, everybody
had leg room and was served a
hot meal. Somewhere along the
way we ended up paying extra
for our luggage, a place in line,
a decent seat, and a bad meal.
I usually don't fly out of JFK. However
I recently flew on American out of that
outer borough airstrip. And... I must
say it was a pleasure. From the moment
I arrived I was treated like a king. First
I entered a lovely First Class check-in
Lounge. Not a special line, but a bonified
First Class experience. Next, I was
rushed through a special line in security.
Finally I was given complimentary access
to their private VIP club. Ahhhmerican!
Is this First Class?
There is a difference by flight, route, and airline. American First Class provided tons of leg room and a meal served on real china. On United First Class, I got to select a bag of Pop Chips out of a basket and enjoy it while the gentleman in the seat in front of me reclined in my lap.
Service gaps?The first time I flew from New York to Los Angeles we were fed multiple times in Coach. That included a lavish buffet served in a space in the middle of the 747. Now I'm lucky to get a drink in a glass in First Class.
Are we there yet?
Somehow we lost every "perk". By the time one gets through security, who doesn't need some pampering? Sadly the planes, flight attendants, and pilots look as tired as the passengers. No matter what class you travel, it is no longer a privileged pleasure but rather a tedious right of passage. At some point air travel consumers became so complacent that they seem willing to accept anything in order to get to their destination.
Check into reality!
Why are we willing to put up with pablum? I think the issue is larger than airline travel. Frankly I find that across the board we are willing to go with the status quo. Like sheep we seem ready to be led into mediocrity.
Less is more.
Have we collectively checked out? Otherwise, why would we be willing to pay more for less? As consumers we need to step up and demand more. That's our role in the supply chain! If you don't ask, you don't get. Go First Class all the way, every day!!