The airline industry has been a staple of human society for several decades. It has allowed human beings of all backgrounds to travel to distant parts of the world within mere hours. It has truly revolutionized modern society. And while the industry has been around for a very long time and has seen its fair share of changes, the past 15 years or so have seen a dramatic shift in industry standards. I figured I would briefly go over some of those changes.
Obviously, the biggest aspect of the airline industry to see drastic changes is security. Ever since 9/11, the world has been uneasy while traveling, understandably so. Before the attacks of that fateful day, airport security was existent, but far more laid back. There was a simple security checkpoint that one had to clear before being able to board. Since the attacks, we have seen numerous changes to security. Firstly, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was formed and regulated the entire process of airport security in American airports. Secondly, security checkpoint regulations were improved and updated to include the removal of shoes for X-Ray scans and a limit on the number of liquids that can be brought on board. While this added security helps in feeling safer, it adds to the headache of traveling on a plane.
Airlines Have Come and Gone
Because of the attacks and uneasiness, the already hurting airline industry has suffered even more setbacks. While some airlines have lost tremendous amounts of revenue, others have shut down completely. Other airlines, like Continental and United Airlines, decided to merge to create one conglomerate. Because of this, smaller, lower-cost airlines have begun to emerge and compete for passengers’ attention.
The Experience has Changed
Although traveling by plane can be a relatively scary task for most, they can at least take solace in the fact that the flight will offer several accommodations; or at least, they could. Due to the hurting sales, airlines had to cut back on expenses, so they removed several key features that were once synonymous with airplane travel. Things like meals, films, radio and even general comfort have all taken a hit. Meals are now only served for flights of a certain duration, movies are only shown on specific flights and economy classes have been crammed with even more seats in order to fit as many people as possible. This has resulted in less-than-stellar reviews for airlines.