"It’s time for the Uber of air travel." A Radical Idea?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by NYCUA1K, Aug 2, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This piece in the WaPo is all fluff, no substance, i.e., all hype. I do not see Uber of air travel as forcibly a good thing because of the greater safety and infrastructure requirements that are associated with and must be met and maintained for commercial air travel.

    LINK:
    Airbnb changed the hotel industry. Uber changed ground transportation. So why can’t the same change happen for air travel?

    Airlines are ready for disruption. With only four large airlines controlling more than 80 percent of domestic air travel, the industry is a classic oligopoly. Even the government, which is currently investigating airlines for collusion, seems to agree.

    Air travelers, who complain of higher prices and fewer choices, say they’re ready for the next Uber to take flight. And now Congress is in a good position to actually encourage competition through smarter regulation. The latest Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, now being drafted by lawmakers, could pave the way for a more competitive airline industry.

    “Competition is a great thing for consumers,” says ride-hailing-industry expert Harry Campbell. “American airline carriers have consistently been falling behind, compared to more robust international carriers, when it comes to price and experience.”

    Campbell says applying the Uber model to aviation would improve the flying experience for everyone, even if you choose to fly on one of the four dominant carriers.


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    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The best way to "uberize" commercial aviation is to try to have in the US a successful version of "AirAsia":
    I said a "successful" version of AirAsia in the US because there having several attempts at establishing such low-cost carriers, most notably People Express Airlines (1981-1985), but they all ran into money trouble and got eaten up by larger US carriers, e.g.:
    Uber of air travel...yeah, right.
     
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  3. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    I guess personally I'm not seeing significantly higher prices. I can still find $60 flights from the LA area to the SF Bay area on a regular basis even without a sale fare, and I haven't paid appreciably more for my usual destinations over the last 5 years or so.

    I don't think we should immediately discount this as impossible due to "greater safety requirements" because if the will is strong enough they can be met. However, if you think about it there already is somewhat of an uber-if-i-cation: sites like Kayak, Expedia, Travelocity, etc. These aggregate multiple choices and give consumers a best price. You even previously had certain options like "name your price" where you said how much you wanted to pay and got a completely random routing on multiple airlines... for all I know that is still available on Priceline. I've never used it because it scares the heebie-jeebies out of me. Uber of course sells only their own product, but it is a well-known fact it costs less than a taxi. No such aggregator exists for taxi or even long-range bus service like Megabus or Greyhound, and none of them sell rail tickets.

    Greater than the simple convenience of using the Uber app, I don't take taxis anymore because I have completely had it with crawling into a late-80s crown victoria with half a million miles, threadbare upholstery and a stench of cigarette smoke a long drive off a short pier couldn't eradicate. If you could create some kind of middle ground experience between Spirit and [the legacy carriers] I think it might do well. In fact, I think someone did and called it JetBlue. :rolleyes:
     
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  4. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    We can always let the Government start their airline, I know one retired president who works for 20 million a year, with out investing a fine of his money.

    I have flown private for years, sometime commercial is just cheaper.

    Amazing the number of flights a day, so the Price must be affordable..
     
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