Isn’t it funny how things change?
Up until the last decade the thought of taking a holiday abroad had elements that we just came to expect depending on who you booked with.
But regardless of who it was it would be expected that at some point you could have a tiny can of coke and, if on a longer flight, a marvellous [cough] in-flight meal. If you were lucky you could choose what you wanted to watch, otherwise you would make do with an episode of Friends or The Powerpuff Girls.
Forward to now and our expectations of airlines is so low that we are surprised when things are included. We don’t have to pay for a suitcase, what some might call a fundamental right when heading on a week/two week trip abroad with no usual home facilities. As soon as the trolley comes crashing down the aisle we fumble for our purses to then find that the price was included in our flight. Or we relish in that we can sit back in the departure lounge and will go on the aircraft when we are ready thank you, rather than fight with other passengers.
Some airlines of course go even further, offering a menu for dinner in economy class, yes a menu! Having unfortunately used low-cost airlines all too often these past few years I do not know if entertainment has improved, although on a recent easyJet flight I was treated to a game of toilet roll unrolling racing, which our row won.
So the industry now sees itself in the situation where it is has to offer all types of options for all types of traveller. There are various fares that include different features and the unbundling is going back to the ‘old way’ of back to including everything again because it has a better value proposition.
New European airlines have been popping up a lot in the last year, each all seeming to offer a similar ‘regional Europe’ offering that hark back to when a flight was a bit more comfortable and fun. But is there space for them all? Time will tell.