How much does normal air travel undervalue your time?
Have you ever wondered why the whole process of air travel takes so long these days?
If you wind the clock back to the 1980’s it seemed then that the whole airport and flying experience was much faster and more efficient. – Despite not having the technology that we do today.
So why has it got worse?
Obviously security is a huge issue today. – That’s not to say security was not important in the 80’s but the number of tangible threats certainly seemed much lower than it does today.
In fact, for the last 20 years, airlines have been asking passengers to arrive at check-in up to 3 hours before scheduled departure times. – Why? – Well one of the reasons is that it can take an hour or more to get through security; particularly if there is a raised alert status.
Another reason is that passenger numbers have increased massively since the 1980’s. More people are flying to more destinations than ever before and flying has become routine.
However, whilst passenger numbers have grown, the whole ‘airport experience’ has in many respects got hugely worse. – yes it’s true that in many airports today the ‘airside’ experience feels more like being in a shopping mall (complete with choice of restaurants) than an airport of the 1980’s. - But, is that the most important thing?
At face value, you could be forgiven for thinking that the cost of air travel has fallen significantly since the 80’s: Cheap air fares, no frills airlines, flights that are as routine as train journeys. However, this masks a slightly different take on today’s air travel reality.
There are hidden costs all over the place:
Charges for baggage.
Charges for weight.
Charges for on-board food and drink.
Cap parking charges.
The list goes on. However, there is one other cost that nobody really thinks about; what is your time worth?
In today’s world, travelling even short distances by air (such as around Europe) can take most of a day.
So what is the time cost of that?
Well, if you are simply going on holiday, it may not seem to matter too much. However, if you are travelling on business, it might matter a lot.
What is the alternative?
An increasing number of people are beginning to consider flying privately. – Using smaller regional airports (rather than big crowded airports) and taking advantage of a totally different passenger experience.
Imagine turning up at the airport and literally driving onto the tarmac right up to the steps of the aircraft. – In the air in 10 minutes instead of a 3 hour crowded wait.
If your time is important and valuable to you, then private air travel might be the way to go. – it is more affordable than you think and is most certainly not just the preserve of the Super-Rich.
Websites such as FlexiFly (www.flexifly.co.uk) can deliver a VIP travel experience at a surprisingly affordable cost.
Surely if your time is valuable, there is a strong argument for at least exploring other ways?
In my next article I want to explore this concept of the value of time, and how modern mass-market air travel not only fails to recognise it, but actually operates a process which affects the efficiency of thousands of business people to the detriment of the businesses they work in.
I graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc Hons in Mathematics & Statistics. Since leaving university I have become Founder and Director of FlexiFly.co.uk.
While studying I played an active role in the family nursing home business, The Graham Care Group, and have continued as a Graduate Trainee alongside my work with FlexiFly, being involved with all areas of the business.
For some years I have been actively involved in international motorsport and achieved numerous awards as co-driver to a European Rally Champion (my dad!). It was these experiences of weekends in Europe that partly inspired us about how we could make air travel more flexible and convenient. The calibre of competitors we met on events have given us insight into the potential our alternative to traditional aircraft charter has.