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Discussion Starter #1
Cast your mind back to what you know about travel in the past on trains like the Orient Express or in airships like the Hindenberg, where passengers were accommodated in relative luxury and all in individual cabins.

Then look forward in time to a plane in which there is a central aisle with cabins on each side that accommodate 2-4 passengers each. Each cabin will be at least 4 square metres in size. A Boeing 747 which is 6 metres wide inside, can easily allow this. Boarding will be by cabin number, one cabin at a time. In flight meals well be provided by crew wearing full PPE and delivering your meals to your cabin through a 'pass-through' from the central aisle. Each cabin will have it's own independent HEPA filtered air system. Disembarking will again be by cabin number, one cabin at a time. At no point will you come within 2 metres of another person. To be allowed to board, you will have to have a medical certificate confirming you are virus free.

Now that you can travel safely, where will you go? Well, there are already locations such as New Zealand that are 100% virus free. So travel can be to such 'Virus Free Zones' which will stay that way since no one will be allowed in other than by the above means.

There are other locations as well such as small Greek islands where they have not had even one case since Covid began. I recently talked to an acquaintance on such an island. No one has been getting onto the island and no restrictions exist on the island as a result. You can go to the beach, go shopping, dine in a restaurant, etc. as you wish with absolutely no concern about the virus at all if you are there.

Obviously, such travel will come at a cost and such locations will be at a premium in terms of desirability. So the cost to fly and the cost of staying in such a location will be high indeed. But then, the cost to travel in the past was high and only affordable by the relatively wealthy.

So will the future mimic the past?
 

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I've wondered if 2019 will come to be known as the peak of the "travel bubble". It seemed like most people were taking multiple vacations per year regardless of income. No doubt the industry will see a rebound eventually, but will air travel in our lifetimes ever again be as cheap and accessible as it was before the pandemic?
 

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Too early to say IMHO. Anyone's guess at the moment. Have read industry opinions both ways depending on time frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It'll pass, likely be a few years before most of the world is back to the old normal.
Maybe you should take a look at the likelyhood of the NEXT pandemic cainvest.

Hopefully, one good thing to come out of this pandemic is the political will to prepare for the next one. The scientists are all pretty much in agreement that this is not the last pandemic we can expect to see in our lifetime.

So hopefully, it will not PASS in the sense that we will not go back to 'normal' and just forget about it as has happened in the past. This time hopefully it has shook up the politicians and the public enough that action will be demanded to be prepared for future pandemics.

One of those actions would have to be a way to reduce the spread by travellers. We have seen how with Covid-19, travellers carried it around the world in just DAYS. Are we going to go back to letting that possibly happen again? Or are we going to change travel so that it cannot? I certainly hope it is the latter.

So my hypothetical scenario may not be all that far fetched.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've wondered if 2019 will come to be known as the peak of the "travel bubble". It seemed like most people were taking multiple vacations per year regardless of income. No doubt the industry will see a rebound eventually, but will air travel in our lifetimes ever again be as cheap and accessible as it was before the pandemic?
I think the answer to that question depends on whether the politicians and the public listen to the scientists this time or not. If we listen and learn, then no, it will never be the same.
 

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We'll most likely see a triple-whammy that is inconvenient for pleasure but convenient for safety: a reduced quality of service, longer queues, and higher costs
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We'll most likely see a triple-whammy that is inconvenient for pleasure but convenient for safety: a reduced quality of service, longer queues, and higher costs
Or we may see an increase in service ie. no more sardine seats, at an increase in costs that most will not be able to afford. As it was in the past.

If you have 100 passengers in cabins vs. 500 passengers in sardine seats and the price for the 100 is $5k each vs. 500 at $1k each, you have the same revenue. If you use the same numbers and say that only 1 in 5 people will be able to afford to fly with those prices, then you still have the same number of flights and the same number of planes and staff required. From the airlines perspective there is no change really.

From the cheap package tourist's perspective of course it is the end of vacation travel by plane. But again consider the question of will the future mimic the past? What did people do before the cheap package vacation?

I happen to be old enough to remember that far back. My parents could afford to vacation every year like many families but they consisted of going to places they could drive to. I remember them renting CABINS, not really cottages, in the Muskokas. There were a great many such places with a dozen or more small one or two room cabins you rented by the week. I remember trips to Florida by car, etc. People didn't fly, they simply couldn't afford to do so. Only the relatively wealthy could afford to vacation using air travel.

You can still find such small cabin rentals although they are far fewer and far between these days but perhaps they will be the way of the future, who knows? Take a look.

You could vacation in one of those today and have no concerns about being able to maintain distancing.
 

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If you have 100 passengers in cabins vs. 500 passengers in sardine seats and the price for the 100 is $5k each vs. 500 at $1k each, you have the same revenue. If you use the same numbers and say that only 1 in 5 people will be able to afford to fly with those prices, then you still have the same number of flights and the same number of planes and staff required. From the airlines perspective there is no change really.
From the reality perspective, that has no chance of working. Flights at $5000 will weed out at least 95% of the passengers, not 80%. Not only will they lose 99.9% of the casual travelers, they will also lose 95% or more of the business travelers. The pandemic has proven that virtual meetings will suffice in most cases.
 

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From the reality perspective, that has no chance of working. Flights at $5000 will weed out at least 95% of the passengers, not 80%. Not only will they lose 99.9% of the casual travelers, they will also lose 95% or more of the business travelers. The pandemic has proven that virtual meetings will suffice in most cases.
This x 100. Flights are still being booked to maximum capacity with "just put on a mask" levels of containment. I still think there's a bright future for budget airliners such as Ryanair, because with globalization the appeal for travel is only growing larger - it shouldn't be a luxury. With the economy class AND the business class discouraged to fly, there is no hope for the entire industry.
 

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Maybe the 747 and 380 have a future again.....larger planes at half capacity may make sense? Vs smaller planes at half capacity? Who knows. What’s the fastest test turnaround? Could you get a test and fly same day?

like all pandemics.....it will end (or at least be very, very minimal) and life will resume with a new normal.........until the next novel virus. New industry, new innovation will commence.

just like after the Black Plague, spanish flu, ww1 and 2.
it’s funny how we view the “cheap” vacation in Canada.....thousands go south every year.

my friend married an American woman from ny state. Neither she, nor her friends even had a passport. I guess if Vegas and Miami are accessible withOut a passport, vacations take on a different feel. They drive everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
From the reality perspective, that has no chance of working. Flights at $5000 will weed out at least 95% of the passengers, not 80%. Not only will they lose 99.9% of the casual travelers, they will also lose 95% or more of the business travelers. The pandemic has proven that virtual meetings will suffice in most cases.
What makes you think more than 5% of the population could afford to fly in the past? Or that airlines need more to fly to make money? Making money is a simple equation, price minus cost equals profit. Less passengers simply means you up the price.

As it happens, I could afford 2 seats at $5k per year for a vacation and I am nowhere near 'wealthy' by most measures. Simply reasonably well off. I'd say about 5 million of Canada's 37 million could afford it. They might not want to pay it, they might have become conditioned to believe air travel should be cheap but if push came to shove and they really wanted to fly somewhere, then they could afford it. What most may not be doing is going on cheap package vacations since they may well no longer exist. There will be no alternative to paying more except for staying home.
 

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What makes you think more than 5% of the population could afford to fly in the past? Or that airlines need more to fly to make money? Making money is a simple equation, price minus cost equals profit. Less passengers simply means you up the price.
5% of the existing travelers. There's no point counting people that already don't fly.

As it happens, I could afford 2 seats at $5k per year for a vacation and I am nowhere near 'wealthy' by most measures. Simply reasonably well off. I'd say about 5 million of Canada's 37 million could afford it. They might not want to pay it, they might have become conditioned to believe air travel should be cheap but if push came to shove and they really wanted to fly somewhere, then they could afford it. What most may not be doing is going on cheap package vacations since they may well no longer exist. There will be no alternative to paying more except for staying home.
We could also afford 2 seats $5k a year. But at those prices we won't bother because travel is a pleasant diversion, not a requirement. So rather than spending $10k a year for a pair of tickets we'd find a different outlet for our disposable income.

Perhaps we'd pay $20k for a pool then build a structure to keep it conditioned all year. Since I have extensive DIY skills, the cost of the structure will be material only. Or, we'd buy a classic car for summer driving. Or, we'd buy a cabin which around here can be found for well under $100k...that's just 10 years of a single trip a year. And maybe we'd rent it out for part of the year so it pays for itself.

But we won't pay $10k to take a trip because the value isn't there for us compared to several other options.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
5% of the existing travelers. There's no point counting people that already don't fly.


We could also afford 2 seats $5k a year. But at those prices we won't bother because travel is a pleasant diversion, not a requirement. So rather than spending $10k a year for a pair of tickets we'd find a different outlet for our disposable income.

Perhaps we'd pay $20k for a pool then build a structure to keep it conditioned all year. Since I have extensive DIY skills, the cost of the structure will be material only. Or, we'd buy a classic car for summer driving. Or, we'd buy a cabin which around here can be found for well under $100k...that's just 10 years of a single trip a year. And maybe we'd rent it out for part of the year so it pays for itself.

But we won't pay $10k to take a trip because the value isn't there for us compared to several other options.
That's fine Prairie Guy, to each his own in this case. I would pay $10k for a hiking vacation in the Swiss Alps. That is the one thing my wife and I are really missing during the current situation. Our normal day to day life and routines are little affected really by the virus. Yes we have to deal differently with getting groceries and now upcoming haircuts (our area is now open for that), etc. But overall, the biggest issue for us is travel. If you want to hike in the Alps, a cottage or classic car, etc. are simply not a substitute. They just aren't equal.
 

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If you want to hike in the Alps, a cottage or classic car, etc. are simply not a substitute. They just aren't equal.
I'm not into hiking but I supposed with $5k flights we would just hike in the Rockies. To me a mountain is a mountain and being located in Switzerland doesn't make it $10k more valuable.

But, as you said...each to their own.
 

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I'm not sure what the link policy is here, but this article from 2019 explains why air travel is moving towards mass- affordability to maximize profit. It doesn't make sense to reroute the course and go back to the 1960s where only the wealthy business class could fly. At the end of the day, modern day consumers that "can" pay for higher flight ticket (including myself) won't after mentally doing a cost-to-benefit. Would I fly to London and visit the city's streets for a few hundred dollars? Yes. A few thousand dollars? It's just poor value for money at that point.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm not into hiking but I supposed with $5k flights we would just hike in the Rockies. To me a mountain is a mountain and being located in Switzerland doesn't make it $10k more valuable.

But, as you said...each to their own.
I'm not sure what the link policy is here, but this article from 2019 explains why air travel is moving towards mass- affordability to maximize profit. It doesn't make sense to reroute the course and go back to the 1960s where only the wealthy business class could fly. At the end of the day, modern day consumers that "can" pay for higher flight ticket (including myself) won't after mentally doing a cost-to-benefit. Would I fly to London and visit the city's streets for a few hundred dollars? Yes. A few thousand dollars? It's just poor value for money at that point.

Well guys it's all about the individual isn't it. You can't go hiking in the Rockies in the same way you can in the Swiss Alps Prairie Guy. Without going into great detail, I would try to explain it to you like this. The Rockies has hiking trails but they are limited in number and access. In the Alps, in one small valley (Davos-Kosters) of about 20 km in length, you have over 700km of trails to choose from and access all along the valley at various points. So there is really no comparison.

It isn't about it being in Switzerland that might make it $10k more valuable, it is about what is available in one places vs. another. If the Rockies had a comparable area for hiking, I would agree with you that there was no need to spend $10k to go to the Alps. But that just isn't the case.

You can't do a 'cost to benefit' analysis of going to London alexincash, unless you know the individual's view on the 'benefits'. Value for money can ONLY be determined by an individual based on what THEY value, not what you value.

Your argument might hold true alexincash for the average package tourist going on a 'sun and sand' vacation who really couldn't care less where that sun and sand was. The reality is that many of those kind of tourists couldn't even point on a map to where it was they are going. So anywhere will do in that case but that argument does not hold water when someone has a specific reason for going to specific place, whether it is a city or anywhere else.

I have never been on a 'sun and sand' vacation to anywhere. I always have a purpose in visiting a place. It may be scenery and hiking or it may be the history, culture, architecture, etc. of a place for example. You cannot substitute one place for another in that case. Visiting Ottawa is not visiting London, so how do you do a cost to benefit analysis comparing the two? The answer is you cannot.
 

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I think temp checks at boarding and masks are going to be a feature on planes for years, even after we go back to fully booked flights. What that does to long haul travel which necessitates a good amount of time without masks for eating is an interesting question.
 

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You can't do a 'cost to benefit' analysis of going to London alexincash, unless you know the individual's view on the 'benefits'. Value for money can ONLY be determined by an individual based on what THEY value, not what you value.
You're right in the sense that a cost-benefit analysis is entirely subjective, I give you that. But even a hardcore traveler is more likely to consider the opportunity cost of a $2500 flight to London compared to a $700 flight to London (lets assume they can afford both). While I don't consider myself a huge travel bug, a price increase on those lines is substantial - and apart from having a little more elbow/leg room on flights, the service does not change at all. Full disclosure, I'm not a scientist - I don't know how the spread of covid works on planes, or how much space you need to effectively reduce spread, or if space even plays a role at all in this scenario. In short, I think going backwards and making a mass-appeal service exclusive will do more harm than good.
 
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