In December of this year, we will celebrate 120 years since the first human-powered flight. As would be expected, aviation has advanced much since then. It is hard to tell whether the Wright brothers knew what type of cultural change they were launching when they constructed and successfully flew the first motor-operated aircraft in the world. Was it in their minds that planes would one day be able to travel faster than the speed of sound or that they would be able to transport hundreds of passengers across seas while they enjoyed duty-free shopping and on-demand movies?
How Passenger Service in Airplanes Has Changed over the Years
During the last several decades, the airline business has experienced dramatic change. Air travel has gone a long way from the first commercial flights in the 1920s to the present day. Improvements in technology and customer service have resulted in significant shifts in the way airlines serve their passengers.
For the most part, only the well-to-do could afford to fly in the early days of commercial aviation. Aboard, guests experienced the height of luxury with spa treatments, gourmet meals, and friendly, attentive staff. Access to the skies was formerly limited to the wealthy, but the development of the jet engine in the 1950s and the following expansion of the airline sector made air travel affordable for the masses.
When airlines started serving food to passengers in the air, it was in the 1960s. Travellers may choose from a range of entrees and sides, and the meals were often served on China plates with cutlery. This was a bonus of air travel that the food was often of high quality.
Reduced services were implemented by airlines in the 1970s as a result of the oil crisis and the consequent increase in fuel prices. As a result, the in-flight food service as we know it was phased out. As an alternative, airlines started providing pre-packaged food and beverages. Little packages of pretzels, peanuts, or cookies were distributed to passengers, along with a can of soda or a cup of coffee.
The 1980s saw the development of frequent flyer programmes, which enabled travellers to accumulate points based on the number of flights they took. The accumulated points may be redeemed for a variety of perks, including free flights and room upgrades. It was a game-changer for the airline company since it rewarded customers with their loyalty and encouraged them to fly again.
To pass the time on long flights, airlines started introducing new forms of entertainment in the 1990s. These early systems were cumbersome and costly, but they paved the way for the in-flight entertainment we enjoy today. These days, travellers may view everything from movies to TV series to live TV while they are in the air. You may keep in touch with your online world even when in the air thanks to the Wi-Fi provided by certain airlines.
Improvements in customer service were a major trend of the new millennium. More effort was made to provide individualised service, and airlines began to spend on educating their employees properly. Long-distance flyers may now recline their seats all the way flat in first-class cabins, thanks to the introduction of totally flat beds by several carriers.
During the last several years, airlines have renewed their efforts to improve the flying experience for their customers. Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways are just a few of the airlines that have raised the bar for in-flight comfort and luxury with their spacious first-class suites, gourmet meals, and attentive staff. Passengers may now choose from a wide variety of movies, TV programmes, and games through touchscreens, a welcome addition to the in-flight experience.
The service provided to airline passengers has advanced greatly from the early days of aviation. Airline companies are always on the lookout for methods to better serve their customers, and technology plays a crucial part in this effort. Airlines are using technology to provide a stress-free travel experience for their customers from the time they first book their tickets to the minute they disembark.
You may check-in online and print your boarding card from home, as is the case with many airlines nowadays. As a result, you would not have to wait in large queues at the airport, which will save you time. It is now possible to check in, choose a seat, and monitor the status of a flight all from a passenger’s smartphone with the use of an app offered by certain airlines.
The development of passenger service has been greatly aided by technological advancements. Now, passengers may use their mobile devices to check in, get their boarding tickets, and connect to the internet while in the air. With their mobile devices, passengers may monitor their flights in real-time and get information as they happen. Because of this, taking a flight is now a much more straightforward and easy experience for travellers.
The advent of self-service kiosks in public spaces like airports is another game-changer. Airports are increasingly adopting self-service kiosks where travellers may check-in, print boarding cards, and even check their luggage without interacting with an employee. Because of this, we have seen substantially shorter lines at check-in and are able to process passengers more quickly.
The quality of in-flight shows has also risen to new heights throughout the years. Flyers may now choose from a large library of films, television programmes, and musical selections to keep them occupied during their journey. Virtual reality headsets are being offered by several airlines so that travellers may immerse themselves in a different world while in the air.
There have been several major changes in how passengers are served aboard aircraft during the course of their history. The airline business has gone a long way from its spartan, unpleasant beginnings to its modern, plush, and individualised interiors and amenities. As airlines are in a constant state of competition for customers, we may anticipate further developments and enhancements aimed at bettering the flying experience.