The more things change, the more they stay the same.
We recently stopped by a vintage bookstore in Cape Cod, which carried old magazines, including copies of Science Illustrated dated back to 1947. There’s amazing stuff in here, but let me quote the first paragraph from an article entitled “The Airlines Must Come Down to Earth” from February, 1947:
There’s something wrong with aviation. Suddenly, after making an amazing war record, the airlines have found themselves deluged with criticism. Air travelers, weary of delays and irritated by uncertain arrivals of planes, have begun to object. And their objections have been frequently and vociferously expressed. to date, the airlines have not been able to do much to help themselves. Keeping passengers sitting in airplanes for an hour, or two, or more, waiting to take off, has not made friends for the lines; nor has the business of “stacking” planes for long periods above congested terminals.
These are essentially the same problems that plague airlines today. Other than using words commonly found on the SATs rather than in most newspapers, this article could have easily appeared in today’s Washington Post.
Even with the addition of bigger and more sophisticated airplanes, airlines still have not been able to solve problems that have existed for over 50 years. Maybe it’s something else besides just the airlines that’s causing some of the problems. Maybe this means we have to start approaching these problems in a fundamentally different wway in order to solve the problem.