Over the last five years, security measures have gradually eroded the way people feel about commercial air travel. Today’s events (“imminent” mid-air bomb plot disrupted) and the government’s reaction to them will, in my opinion, mark the tipping point for an enormous amount of business travel by commercial air.
I’m delighted that the talented and brave investigators foiled this plot, and I’m saddened that we live in a world where something like this could even happen… the fact remains, though, that a key element of our lives has been changed, perhaps forever.
When you need an additional 90 minutes, can’t bring your laptop (or even a book on some routes) and can’t have a bottle of water, the calculus for most trips is fundamentally changed. Years ago, Tom Peters argued hard and long for the value of showing up, of being there in person, of establishing a face to face relationship with the person on the other side.
The prevalance of online video, constant skype connections and the multiple threads of data we get online, combined with the enormous overhead that flying now brings might just change the story for a long time to come.