Volcanic Ash Air Travel Ban Lessons

The sight of all these cheap-carrier short-haul planes stuck at airports was soothing — little hustler-hoppers that cheapened us by making us rush for seats, squeeze oversize bags into overhead bins, etc. You know the drill. I am sure someone in Ryair or ZYJet is a sadist observing human behaviour and the extent to which it can be manipulated — how grown up men and women can be made to behave like children in a candy line for basic rights that have become privileges, like reserving a seat and a glass of water. After traveling to another country, I often feel like a stowaway than a business person flying across countries for business — an experience worse than that of a bus or a train.

On the other hand, the big birds lined up on the tarmac seemed forlorn and sad — the great ships of the sky seemed so out of place. Maybe I am just longing for a break – a vacation somewhere far away.

Although I am stuck for the weekend in Europe, unable to return to London, but the unprecedented flight ban is starting to show that air travel may be overrated and over-used:

  1. Just because we can hop on a cheap short-haul flight, we may be investing less in trains, hovercraft and video-conferencing.
  2. Just because we can transport flowers and vegetables by air, we do not grow them closer to home and we pay less for them.

Just some thoughts: Why can’t we get back to using air travel for long-haul flights, and keep the cost of flying up: exotic foods will be expensive, and our clients will want us to work from remote rather than pay for the time to travel. And not flying may leave us with some human dignity that we otherwise have to give up when flying with these short-haul hustlers. A few of them going bankrupt in this stoppage will not be such a bad idea.? Even better, maybe the whole short-haul ultra-cheap business model might get a re-think.

OK, on a serious note, next time I really need to be somewhere quick, and without going through a big hub, these short-haul carriers will come to my rescue.? Meanwhile, why can’t I? just daydream and enjoy them lined up on the tarmac, imagining their bean-counters going crazy.