I have this dream – alas it is no more than a dream and will probably stay that way – of comfortable air travel. It should be possible, but the airlines are too obsessed with getting as much money as possible from their customers.
Let me see …imagination running riot…what would I like to have on my ideal aircraft?
1 A small number of passengers
Doing anything in a crowd is inconvenient and unpleasant. I suggest 50 is a suitable number for a passenger load for an aircraft, when you add cabin crew, pilots and co-pilots this would make it nearer 70.
2 Comfortable accommodation
There would be seats of course, and on any flight of more than 10 hours there would be proper cabins with beds. (If Calmac ferries can do it, why not the big airlines?)
Passengers wouldn’t be forced to remain in their seats. Apart from take-off and landing they would be free to wander around the non-cockpit space, meet fellow-travellers and to eat and drink when and where they wanted to, not when the cabin crew deigned to serve them.
There would be a lounge area for reading and using laptops etc. In fact the aircraft could have its own terminals for passenger use. Like an internet cafe, with the content erased at the end of the flight.
Games, chess, draughts, card games. scrabble, monopoly might be available for those who want them. After all there is only so much entertainment to be derived from looking out of the window at the passing clouds.
Passengers could retire to their cabins when they wished and sleep in the comfort of a proper bed. There would be a plentiful supply of showers and toilets – at least one per cabin.
3 Costing and practicalities
Aye, there’s the rub. Who would be prepared to fund such a scheme? Virgin, perhaps? The main point is not that these aircraft would be fast – they wouldn’t. They’d be slow but comfortable – stagecoach rather than post-chaise. They would attract the sort of customer who has plenty of time – mainly oldies I imagine. They would be more interested in having a comfortable journey that in getting to their destination in record time. They would be slow and careful and not make a mess or get drunk and disorderly. Once they discovered how lovely this sort of air travel could be they’d be likely to return year after year.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful? My only problem it that I haven’t the cash or the expertise to carry this brilliant – though I say it myself – plan through.