Occasionally, ingenious ideas pop into my head. Unfortunately those ideas are usually in response to things that I do not care for and also, usually things I can do nothing about. When I travel, it's my job to be analytical and thought provoking. After recent experiences with purchasing tickets, flying, earning miles and sitting in seats, I figured it would be fun to examine my airline. You know, if someone gave me a boat load of cash, some planes and some people and said have at it...
The Seats + Experience...
We don't need to reinvent the wheel, just modify it. That's the idea. Certain airlines have defied trends and kept economy seats wide with steady pitch, made business class flat and made first class a thing to dream of. I see no problem there. I would simply strive to match or beat the highest standards, within reason and add some seemingly obvious components. Here's how my cabin would look by class, don't miss the "innovation" sections...
The "cozy" seat has been a design idea for nearly a decade now but airlines are always very afraid to tinker with anything that could affect their bottom line. I would be the first to release this seat which I believe holds a far superior economy experience including more pitch and more legroom while also being reasonable for airline needs. If like me you hate trying to pick a side to turn to for sleep only to fail miserably this is the answer. These seats are designed to offer more privacy and have a side for snoozing. Just look at it!
Why are first class passengers the only ones who get a respectable restroom? I would have restrooms similar to this Lufthansa A380 First Class bathroom across the entire plane of course including economy. The real innovation would be a cue system where you could input your request to use the bathroom from your seat and when it's your turn your seat number will display instead of the annoying red/green sign. Enjoy!
When it comes to business, Singapore seems to hit all the tick boxes as evidenced above. Insanely wide seats, direct aisle access (no climbing over neighbors) and a long fully flat bed with excellent meal service featuring la carte options. These seats, designed by B/E Aerospace in London are stylish, functional and exclusive. At the prices I'd be offering them for it would be hard to pass up!
Most of the people buying business class, well, their companies, are flying business for the sake of doing business. With the increasing wifi capabilities and speeds I would turn a galley area into a mini business center with a couple computers and most importantly, a printer. At the very least it will be a functional space away from your seat to crunch some numbers and use a suite of office tools.
Sure there are fantastic seats out there, some even possibly fancier than this one, but these particular concepts stuck with me. I love the idea of transformable space. For someone who wants an entertaining, sleep filled luxury experience I would get a seat which could be certified for take off in the sleep "bed position". For head of state types who might want to work from taxi to tarmac I would make sure the seat is pre transformed into a work space before they arrive.
Sorry for the minor buzz kill here. I have no crazy ideas that haven't been done other than the pre arranged space transformed to your exact needs. I think it would illustrate a level of dedication and service that merit the kind of money someone is spending. If you want a bed with pink sheets and barbies ready for your arrival no problem. If you want an advanced communication center ready to rule a country it'll be ready too.
My Frequent Flier Program
Miles are cool. Don't worry, you'll all earn miles, in fact at least one per mile flown without exception. I think loyalty is more than just a currency you can or cannot use from time to time. I like systemwide upgrades for every "elite" tier, of course the more you fly the more you get. How nice would it be to have at least two and up to say... 12 certificates where you can upgrade to business class at will regardless of the ticket you purchased. That is reward.
A discount by elite tier. Like I said, miles are cool, upgrades are cool, but saving you money in exchange for your loyalty is where it's at. If I had Silver, Gold and Platinum there would be a sliding scale of something around 5% off all fares for Silver, 10% for Gold and 20% for Platinum. Any ticket, any time, just our way of saying thanks and please don't fly one of these other jackass airlines. We need your business.
Buying Tickets + Prices
Should I stay or should I go is a great song and playing black jack is fun, but I hate variables when buying airline tickets. I really enjoy the discount carrier approach to selling tickets which is essential flat rates based upon availability. For all flights to and from certain continents the prices would be fixed. No fare wars, no special cities, just a price you know you can lock it at any given time of year provided the flight is not sold out. I would price economy similar to levels on carriers like Norwegian without charging for all the extras. Business class would be a fixed price that is too tempting for some to pass up. Rather than have business tickets fluctuate between $1500-15,000 round trip it would be a fixed cost of $2000 or so for a flight from US to Europe. Year round, no exceptions. First class would be ridiculous like a Gulf or Asian carrier and as such it would be expensive, but not unreasonable for some. I would charge $10,000 for any first class ticket anywhere in the world.
A flat $25 fee to make any change to a booking per instance. You either can or you can't. Want to move your flight to tomorrow? For $25 go for it provided space is available. Want to change it again? $25. If you make a million changes you'll pay a lot, but for this level of flexibility $25 is something to smile about. No more calculating fare differences, fare rules, whatever. If there is space it's yours, for a few bucks.
I'll be honest. This is pure busking. I'd like to believe that if something this logical were this easy, someone would be doing it. With that said disruptive technologies and innovation are constantly improving the world we live in. If anyone has a few billion dollars they are willing to potentially never see again, let's get in touch. I know a great graphic designer for our logo and I'm full of ideas.... What should we name it?!
As Always, Get in Touch: GodSaveThePoints@gmail.com