In response to the "miserable experience" of flying these days, illustrated by rampant customer service complaints, excessive delays, and security hassles, the editors of Forbes have put together 11 recommendations on how to fix air travel. Among their suggestions: enacting a passenger bill of rights requiring compensation to passengers for delays, implementing widespread GPS technology to track aircraft, and creating tax incentives for light jets.
Inspired by Forbes' suggestions, I thought I'd offer a few of my own:
- Rescind the liquids and gels ban, and reallocate that security money into preventive intelligence programs to stop terrorist threats before they even get to the airport.
- In light of recent frequent flyer rule changes, airlines should revamp their loyalty and reward programs to serve their original beneficiaries: frequent travelers, not the airlines themselves.
- Follow Richard Branson's example and aggressively pursue real solutions to environmental challenges resulting from aviation.
While we may not see any improvements in the foreseeable future, we can all work to make a difference in the long term. If you have some recommendations on how air travel can be better, send a letter or email to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation. Maybe if enough of us speak up and demand a better travel experience, the airlines and government will listen.