26 October 2007

The Future of Air Travel Ain't What It Used To Be

Son, I've done a bit of globetrotting in my day. One of my first trips overseas was on Pakistani Airlines. At the time I think we paid $400 for a round trip ticket to Frankfurt. Granted, there were sacred cows grazing in the aisles and wearing shoes was more of a suggestion rather than a rule.

I would often wonder about the future of air travel whilst trapped in my flying capsule seven miles above the earth. I often thought one day planes would be like subways; packed with people, most of them standing, holding onto metal straps and poles like the IRT at 8:30 AM on a Tuesday. And I bet someday it will be like that. People will commute by plane, everyday. It will be very Jetsons, at last.

Instead of flying cars and all that other insane shit we assumed we'd have by the far off distant "year 2007", I think the future will simply be things like air travel becoming more ordinary and cheap; more of a viable commuting option. A flight will no longer be a big production or excursion; it'll be as common as jumping in your car and driving to work or hopping on a train and reading The Observer. There will be no meals or bad movies or little bags of pretzels. You'll jump on, first come first serve gets a seat and you'll fly to work in Washington from Queens, or fly to Seattle from L.A. everyday.

Flight 1610 to Boston

Flight 142 to D.C.

Well, theres a new airline in town called EOS and they're turning back the clock about 360°. A friend of mine just returned from a trip to London and she flew EOS and told me all about it.

First of all, every seat in EOS is first class style and not like Jet Blue who says the same shit "there is no first class"; with EOS there is nothing BUT first class. EOS sells 48 tickets on a 757 that would normally seat 220 PEOPLE! Can you imagine?!

From the Eos site:

"By removing the crowds, EOS completely transformed transatlantic travel. No lines, no waiting, no stress — just plenty of freedom to relax and enjoy the trip. Travel between New York and London on the world’s only fleet of 757's outfitted for just 48 Guests, and you’ll never want to fly the crowded way again.

From our Guest Services Center support, to our ground staff – including Eos Guides who whisk you through security – to our accommodating flight attendants, you will see firsthand why Eos has a 97% customer satisfaction rating. We guarantee that your individual needs will be proactively addressed and attended to.

With Eos, you have more space, the best service, and so many other amenities you won’t find with any other carrier."
This isn't like British Air with their reclining bed seats, these planes actually have beds; 6'6'' flat beds! And your very own little cubby so you don't have to talk or be near anyone!
"Onboard, relax in your own private Suite where you have 21 square feet of personal space to do as you wish – work, host a meeting, dine, or perhaps even enjoy some entertainment with your very own personal entertainment system. And when you are ready to sleep, you can rest in your enormous 6’6” fully flat bed.

During your flight, we offer gourmet meals which are personally delivered to you – Eos has no cart service. You can choose to dine alone or even face-to-face with a companion. And at bedtime, settle down with full-sized down pillows and comforters in our cozy sleepwear.

When you fly Eos, you are not a passenger – you are our Guest. We are dedicated to providing you a travel experience, from start to finish, like none other. We know that once you fly Eos, you will see that we have made travel between New York and London easier than traveling to a meeting just down the street. "
It's a long way from sacred cows grazing in the aisles, Ernest Goes To Africa and a cozy fire-retardant felt blanket.

Eos was founded in 2004 by Dave Spurlock, a former director of strategy at British Air. The company was initially named Atlantic Express but changed its name to Eos and began flying in October of 2005.

Eos has two daily round trip flights between JFK and London's exclusive Stansted Airport. Standsted is a large airport with a single runway, terminal and hub. Its in Uttlesford District of Essex about 30 miles north-east of London.

This dude just paid $3M for a studio smaller than his Eos seat.

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