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Have we seen the end of cheap air travel?


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I was tempted to say yes, but a quick promo interview this morning on the box has made me re-consider.

The owners of "Hays travel" (I think that's their name) were being interviewed. They admitted that sales have slumped to nearly zero for this summer, but that bookings have soared for "winter sun" deals, particularly for places like the Canaries and the Balearics. The impression being given is that the public expect things to be back to normal by December.

Hmmmm...

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I understand it may simply be economically unviable to furlough large 4 engine airliners like 747s and A380s for the 4 or so years it takes for coronavirus waves to stop. So they'll be scrapped and the biggest airliners, which are frankly almost as big, will be efficient 2 engine ones like, I think, Boeing 777s.

I hope this thing provides a boost to land travel options with lower carbon footprints like trains and ferries where, I think, social distancing can be done more economically.

Or will people just have to wear masks on all flights instead?

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11 minutes ago, Si1 said:

I understand it may simply be economically unviable to furlough large 4 engine airliners like 747s and A380s for the 4 or so years it takes for coronavirus waves to stop. So they'll be scrapped and the biggest airliners, which are frankly almost as big, will be efficient 2 engine ones like, I think, Boeing 777s.

I hope this thing provides a boost to land travel options with lower carbon footprints like trains and ferries where, I think, social distancing can be done more economically.

Or will people just have to wear masks on all flights instead?

So long as they dont queue for the bog its fine to sit next to someone so long as you wear a mask.

 

Hmmmmm....

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5 minutes ago, Chunketh said:

So long as they dont queue for the bog its fine to sit next to someone so long as you wear a mask.

 

Hmmmmm....

Indeed

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39 minutes ago, Chunketh said:

I dont mind flying Ryanair. I go in, eyes open, knowing its going to be shit but its going to be cheap.

That's fine when everything goes to plan, but if you are unlucky you can find yourself stranded thousands of miles from where you need to be and facing a £1000+ bill to get home. THATS when you will regret flying RyanAir.

The other airlines are far from perfect, but if you have ever been on the wrong end of Ryan's policies you will not want to take the risk ever again.

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40 minutes ago, Habeas Domus said:

That's fine when everything goes to plan, but if you are unlucky you can find yourself stranded thousands of miles from where you need to be and facing a £1000+ bill to get home. THATS when you will regret flying RyanAir.

The other airlines are far from perfect, but if you have ever been on the wrong end of Ryan's policies you will not want to take the risk ever again.

How is that actually possible? They have a contract to get you to your destination, if they renege on that they take you home or you bounce them into court.

edit: Ahhh cancelling the return flight.

Edited by Chunketh
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9 hours ago, Si1 said:

I understand it may simply be economically unviable to furlough large 4 engine airliners like 747s and A380s for the 4 or so years it takes for coronavirus waves to stop. So they'll be scrapped and the biggest airliners, which are frankly almost as big, will be efficient 2 engine ones like, I think, Boeing 777s.

I hope this thing provides a boost to land travel options with lower carbon footprints like trains and ferries where, I think, social distancing can be done more economically.

Or will people just have to wear masks on all flights instead?

Sort of my view - masks initially lower load levels perhaps - lots of hysteria about no one will fly again because too expensive but even if you take out the middle rows in a budget airline you add say 40% to the price for same total money for the airline yep more money but £140 each way to Prague to get drunk on a stag do rather than a £100 - not massive change 

Same with the states my £500 Norwegian Air becomes £800 within the budget of a £5k Disney holiday - it’s a bigger issue for airlines with big business class and 1st cabins 

Boeing will be giving away 777’s and Dreamliners with the 737 max debacle still going on

In the short term the biggest impact will be if people can afford to fly 

1. It’s a discretionary spend in a recession 

2. The quarantine regs will make all short haul unviable and internationally only big trip like retirees with time 

Can’t see the quarantine extreme measures holding for long though - too restrictive 

 

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7 hours ago, Habeas Domus said:

That's fine when everything goes to plan, but if you are unlucky you can find yourself stranded thousands of miles from where you need to be and facing a £1000+ bill to get home. THATS when you will regret flying RyanAir.

The other airlines are far from perfect, but if you have ever been on the wrong end of Ryan's policies you will not want to take the risk ever again.

It’s like insurance you have to assess the frequency of risk against cost savings - my only abandoned journey ever was a plane with an engine problem and then hit by lightening and that was BA

Not sure how I can be stranded in Europe with trains, multi drop car hire and alternative flights but I am only thinking of the major cities 

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8 hours ago, Chunketh said:

I dont mind flying Ryanair. I go in, eyes open, knowing its going to be shit but its going to be cheap.

He is a bit of a c**t though.

?? I am always surprised it has wings and a pilot 

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If we become trapped in an on/off lockdown Social distancing loop for more than another 6 months, then this will cause permanent reduction in capacity and concentration of operations into a few companies for a number of years, which means prices would rise. However, if one of the Anti-viral drugs, or treatment methods currently under investigation (I am detecting feint but slightly encouraging mood music on HCQ from the Large UK trials) proves to significantly reduce severity and mortality of COVID, or we have an early breakthrough with a vaccine, then I would expect a return to 2019 levels and prices within a year to 18 months.

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26 minutes ago, GregBowman said:

Sort of my view - masks initially lower load levels perhaps - lots of hysteria about no one will fly again because too expensive but even if you take out the middle rows in a budget airline you add say 40% to the price for same total money for the airline yep more money but £140 each way to Prague to get drunk on a stag do rather than a £100 - not massive change 

Same with the states my £500 Norwegian Air becomes £800 within the budget of a £5k Disney holiday - it’s a bigger issue for airlines with big business class and 1st cabins 

Boeing will be giving away 777’s and Dreamliners with the 737 max debacle still going on

In the short term the biggest impact will be if people can afford to fly 

1. It’s a discretionary spend in a recession 

2. The quarantine regs will make all short haul unviable and internationally only big trip like retirees with time 

Can’t see the quarantine extreme measures holding for long though - too restrictive 

 

I would prefer to pay 40% more and there be no middle seat. I also pay extra to fly business class long haul. I think the people who can afford the better seats are less affected by this crisis than those who buy the cheapest. If the business and premium seats are full on a long haul flight, the airline usually breaks even.

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16 minutes ago, HovelinHove said:

I would prefer to pay 40% more and there be no middle seat.

Surely it's not just the middle seat. Are you 2 m from the person in front or 2m from the person across the aisle?

One thing will rescue air travel as much else - an effective vaccine.

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40 minutes ago, GregBowman said:

Sort of my view - masks initially lower load levels perhaps - lots of hysteria about no one will fly again because too expensive but even if you take out the middle rows in a budget airline you add say 40% to the price for same total money for the airline yep more money but £140 each way to Prague to get drunk on a stag do rather than a £100 - not massive change 

Same with the states my £500 Norwegian Air becomes £800 within the budget of a £5k Disney holiday - it’s a bigger issue for airlines with big business class and 1st cabins 

Boeing will be giving away 777’s and Dreamliners with the 737 max debacle still going on

In the short term the biggest impact will be if people can afford to fly 

1. It’s a discretionary spend in a recession 

2. The quarantine regs will make all short haul unviable and internationally only big trip like retirees with time 

Can’t see the quarantine extreme measures holding for long though - too restrictive 

 

It's just supply and demand. There'll always be an airline industry. I wouldn't target it as a career right now though.

As to getting back from Europe, yes, anywhere in Europe there is municipal public transport, taxis, to link you to long distance trains or buses, yes it's about 24 hours I think on the eurolines from Prague to Victoria coach station. it's what you'd call an adventure...!

 

 

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8 minutes ago, HovelinHove said:

I would prefer to pay 40% more and there be no middle seat. I also pay extra to fly business class long haul. I think the people who can afford the better seats are less affected by this crisis than those who buy the cheapest.

I miss the 80s & 90s when economy fares were higher, service levels higher (especially on economy long haul) & there were usually empty seats so people could spread themselves out a bit after the seatbelt lights went off.

Got a right dressing down once from a bloke with lots of kids who had found Florida newly affordable after the airlines worked out how to pack every flight - apparently I have an 'elitist' attitude.

Regarding quarantine for passengers incoming to the UK - not 'impossible' to police at all.  All we need to do is confiscate their passport & forward it to the police station nearest their chosen quarantine address.  They can have it back after 2 weeks at the same time as having their ankle tag removed.

Honestly, sometimes politicians just can't see the most obvious solutions...

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29 minutes ago, hotblack42 said:

I miss the 80s & 90s when economy fares were higher, service levels higher (especially on economy long haul) & there were usually empty seats so people could spread themselves out a bit after the seatbelt lights went off.

Got a right dressing down once from a bloke with lots of kids who had found Florida newly affordable after the airlines worked out how to pack every flight - apparently I have an 'elitist' attitude.

Regarding quarantine for passengers incoming to the UK - not 'impossible' to police at all.  All we need to do is confiscate their passport & forward it to the police station nearest their chosen quarantine address.  They can have it back after 2 weeks at the same time as having their ankle tag removed.

Honestly, sometimes politicians just can't see the most obvious solutions...

The tourist board could spin it and say “come to the UK, get free ankle bracelet”:) 

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1 hour ago, GregBowman said:

Sort of my view - masks initially lower load levels perhaps - lots of hysteria about no one will fly again because too expensive but even if you take out the middle rows in a budget airline you add say 40% to the price for same total money for the airline yep more money but £140 each way to Prague to get drunk on a stag do rather than a £100 - not massive change 

Same with the states my £500 Norwegian Air becomes £800 within the budget of a £5k Disney holiday - it’s a bigger issue for airlines with big business class and 1st cabins 

Boeing will be giving away 777’s and Dreamliners with the 737 max debacle still going on

In the short term the biggest impact will be if people can afford to fly 

1. It’s a discretionary spend in a recession 

2. The quarantine regs will make all short haul unviable and internationally only big trip like retirees with time 

Can’t see the quarantine extreme measures holding for long though - too restrictive 

 

I'd definitely rather see prices 40% higher and the planes less crowded.

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40 minutes ago, hotblack42 said:

I miss the 80s & 90s when economy fares were higher, service levels higher (especially on economy long haul) & there were usually empty seats so people could spread themselves out a bit after the seatbelt lights went off.

Got a right dressing down once from a bloke with lots of kids who had found Florida newly affordable after the airlines worked out how to pack every flight - apparently I have an 'elitist' attitude.

Regarding quarantine for passengers incoming to the UK - not 'impossible' to police at all.  All we need to do is confiscate their passport & forward it to the police station nearest their chosen quarantine address.  They can have it back after 2 weeks at the same time as having their ankle tag removed.

Honestly, sometimes politicians just can't see the most obvious solutions...

I'm with you on this, flying should be elitist.

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13 minutes ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

I'd definitely rather see prices 40% higher and the planes less crowded.

It won't be 40%. Not for the likes of Ryanair and easyjet. It will be much higher. You'll have all those empty seats not buying £5 stella and scratch cards. They'll have to recoup the lost revenue. 30% of Ryanair revenues come from ancillary services. They don't make profit on the actual fares. Average fare last year were approx €40 and about £65 for easyjet. They'll easily double.  

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expect to see hotel prices drop to counteract higher flight prices now.  

when flights are cheap to NYC  hotels are expensive and when hotels are cheap flights are 3x the price. ;) 

could actually be cheaper if you know who to play the system. 

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I am expecting some pretty hefty discounts in business class due to the fact that very few business people will be flying much for a long time. May have to wait till last minute though, or upgrade on check-in.

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3 minutes ago, HovelinHove said:

I am expecting some pretty hefty discounts in business class due to the fact that very few business people will be flying much for a long time. May have to wait till last minute though, or upgrade on check-in.

I expect the opposite for business and first class. Flight numbers will be reduced. Business can afford to pay, they'll have less flights on the same route at higher prices. They'll fill quicker. 

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At the start of this year I have to admit to my shame that I had two trips to Vietnam planned this year, that's history now for obvious reasons.

But for a while now I have  been telling myself I am going make a huge effort to remain within 1000 miles of the UK and cut down on my air travel, and a lot of that will be actually travelling in UK borders itself. And I can see myself living a lifetime and not being able to see all the stuff that is out there and close by and fascinating and enjoyable.

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  • 416 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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