How the Aspects of Commercial AirTravel Have Changed Over the Last Fifty Years

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From the congested seats of the economy cabin, where the constant crinkling of peanut wrappers, snores of sleepy sightseers, and tears of testy toddlers are all to be heard, to the leisurely lounge chairs of first class, air travel has changed in more ways than one since the first passenger bearing flight in 1919 (Grant 132). The air travel industry has experienced considerable changes; the majority of which occurred between the mid-1950s and today. Every aspect of commercial aviation has been changing over the last fifty years. The largest transformations can be seen in a few areas: the price of flying, the security and safety of flying, and the quality of the flight experience for passengers. Up until 1978 air fares were regulated by the government. This means that the cost of flying was determined by the federal government and kept the same for all airlines; if a trip from Los Angeles, California to Seattle, Washington was one hundred dollars for one airline it was one hundred dollars for every other airline as well (“The Jet Age:1958-Today”). Because regulation restricted airlines from competing by offering lower fares, many airlines focused on drawing in customers with exceptional service and hiring attractive young women as stewardesses to please businessmen (Hickel). In 1978, The Airline Deregulation Act was passed, lifting any restrictions on routes and pricing for airlines across America (“The Jet Age:1958-Today”). The passage of this act greatly changed the airline industry. Had these changes not been created, travelers today would not enjoy the relatively low fares and extensive travel routes that are offered to them. Deregulation had another significant benefit, it triggered a boost in the popularity of ... ... middle of paper ... ...and Space Museum, 2007. Web. 07 May 2014. Kille, Leighton Walter. “U.S. Transportation Safety Over Time: Cars, Planes, Trains, Walking, Cycling.” Journalists Resource. Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, 05 Oct. 2013. Web. 16 May 2014. Lufthansa. “Airline Meal Costs?” Civil Aviation. Demand Media, 05 May 2009. Web. 10 May 2014. Martínez, Andrés. “Adjust Your Seat Back, Tray Tables…and Attitudes.” Zócalo Public Square, 08 Mar. 2011. Web. 14 May 2014. Perry, Mark J. “The Cost of Air Travel in the U.S. Has Been Remarkably Stable for the Last Decade, and 17% Cheaper than 20 Years Ago.” “Smoke-free Transportation Chronology.” Americans for the Nonsmokers’ Rights. American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, 01 Jun 2005. Web. 17 May 2014. “Low Fares to Washington D.C.” United Airlines. United Airlines Inc., 16 May 2014. Web. 16 May 2014.

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