The gap between flying economy and first class will “grow ever wider” and the emphasis on privacy for premium fliers increase, says author Ben Schott.
Schott told the Institute of Travel and Tourism conference in Barbados that a combination of security demands and first-class luxury has created “infantilised” air passengers, who he referred to as “the strapped in and the pampered”.
He told the ITT: “In economy, infantilisation is a technique for coralling customers. In first class, it is part of a competitive product.”
In economy, Schott said: “Passengers become more like children from check in onwards, until they are like infants, told when they can eat, stand up or go to the toilet.” However, he conceded: “How else is there to handle hundreds of passengers?”
Schott described the first-class flying experience as designed “so people spend as little time as possible with the public”.
“First class is designed to cosset and coddle the traveller,” he said. “The greatest selling point is space and privacy.
“Privacy will become increasingly important. It will be the new currency. The contrast between the strapped in and the spoiled is jarring, [but] the gap between economy and first is likely to grow every wider.”
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