Apr 26, 2012

Luxury. Glamour.

I watched "Legends of Flight" on Netflix the other night. Pretty good film; it's primarily focused on the evolution of the latest super-jumbos: the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380. Mostly on the Boeing; not sure if Airbus wouldn't cooperate or they didn't have the budget for extensive European filming.

Regardless, it was a pretty slick look at the ground-up design of a new airliner, with a bit of a touch on earlier generations (from the early two-seat bi- and tri-planes, through the Lockheed Constellations, etc). Minor quibbles here and there that most won't catch (an animation of a piston engine with all the cylinders in sync, fr'ex), but good overall.

And then they said the magic words (voiceover of a shot of flight attendants making up a first-class cabin, with beds etc): "Our goal is to bring back some of the luxury and glamour of air travel."

I'm afraid that ship has sailed, folks. Yes, you may be able to hit the luxury button for a select few in the first-class seats, but even those aren't THAT luxurious. As long as I'm taking off my shoes and belt and getting my nuts grabbed by a blue-gloved tin-badged pissant, you definitely aren't going to bring back glamour.

Air travel survives because it's cost- and time-efficient transport, not because it's fun. You want luxury and glamour, get out the checkbook and charter yourself a private plane. Or buy one, and hire the crew, so you KNOW you can get another bag of pretzels without begging.


Bubblehead Les. said...

After my Wife gave me her AAR on her recent Family Reunion down in Florida, I'm serious looking at seeing what is available in small plane Charters at the Air Field 2 miles from my house. With Gasoline pushing $4.00, it may have crossed the point to be cost effective.

mhaithaca said...

A friend just posted in detail on upgrd.com about a recent first class trip on Cathay Pacific. There's still luxury and glamour in the air.

I was unexpectedly impressed with the TSA crew at SFO last weekend. Competent and friendly and respectful. I'm not thrilled with their general approach, but if all their crews were this good, I wouldn't have a lot of complaints.

Another friend is a huge aviation geek and posts stuff at gizmolovers.com about plane developments that you might appreciate. The new incarnation of 737 is even kinda cool, but the 787, 747-8, and A380 programs just blow me away.

cybrus said...

I just watched this with my son too - he was enthralled with the different planes they showed off.