Are many people missing the boat when it comes to air travel?
We ponder this question each time someone seeks advice – yet asks about traditional airlines only.
Don’t misunderstand us: we love to get e-mails, comments and questions – especially when we are able to help. They make our day – and help us understand the type of products that you want to see reviewed.
But, it’s a little disconcerting that there are now more air travel opportunities than ever, yet the scope of it may not be fully understood.
Baby boomers, in particular, are experiencing a golden age of travel.
Over the next 20 years, the number of seniors is expected to double – and research shows that travel is right at the top of their ‘to do’ list.
A study last year by ARRP Research found that an astonishing 99% of surveyed seniors intended to travel for leisure over the following 12 months.
This is all part of a dramatic shift in global consumer trends that officially came of age in January 2011, when the first baby boomer turned 65.
Things have really changed up there
And, this surge in travel coincides with a massively changed airline landscape.
Almost half the air journeys in Western Europe and the United States are now on low-cost airlines.
These airlines have become such a fixture of the travel industry that it’s hard to remember the airline market as it once was – hampered by government regulation, lack of competition and ever-growing costs.
The planes have changed too
The rise of the low-cost carriers has also been accompanied by the emergence of eye-opening new aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, designed to operate efficiently on long-haul routes.
These new-generation planes have certainly helped low-cost carriers compete on markets that were once the preserve of the legacy airlines.
And, the accompanying changes in travel attitudes have been nothing short of remarkable.
More choice than ever
Many travellers of all ages have embraced the concept of travelling light rather than paying for baggage; using wifi rather than in-flight entertainment; storing tickets on mobile phones; and paying only for the onboard food and drink they want.
Whether this is exactly you or not, the bottom line is that there is now an unprecedented array of choices for the traveller, irrespective of age.
And, that’s exactly what we tell readers.
Think outside the square
As well as advice on things like when to travel, what to see, how to book and where they can get seniors or youth discounts, we stress the wisdom of having an open mind to low-cost airlines, road coaches; commuter trains; and accommodation services like Airb&b.
It’s a vastly different world out there – and it is changing almost daily.
When planning international travel, don’t just do things the way you’ve always done them: you may be missing so much.
We’re testing it – watch for our reports
In September and October, we’ll road test a new Scoot Airlines service between Sydney, Singapore and Athens, Greece – to see how it all works, especially for senior travellers.
If you’re planning to head to Europe in the near future, join us on Memorable Destination and a range of social media channels for a detailed, step-by-step review of this new travel corridor.