Road warriors won't be relegated to the endangered species list because of Facebook anytime soon. A two-year global research project shows that the majority of people don't think that social media will replace the need to see people face to face. In fact, we will be flying more frequently in the future for both business and pleasure, they feel.
That study, conducted by aircraft manufacturer Airbus, polled more than 1.75 million people about what they want from flying in the future. They said they wanted it more sustainable and less stressful. And, despite how social media is revolutionizing how we keep in touch, they want more of it.
Sixty-three percent of people worldwide said they will fly more by 2050, the survey reported. Nearly two-thirds (60 percent) said they don't think that social media will replace the need to see people face to face. But almost 40 percent feel that air travel door to door is more stressful.
Environmental considerations have to be a priority for aircraft manufacturers. Almost everyone polled (96 percent) believes that aircraft will need to be more sustainable or eco-efficient.
Key to that is burning less fuel (88 percent) and reducing carbon emissions (85 percent), they believe. And while manufacturers are designing the next generation of passenger aircraft, tomorrow's passengers think it would also be desirable for them to be quieter (66 percent) and fully recyclable.
"Aviation is the real World Wide Web," said Charles Champion, executive vice president of engineering for Airbus. "The results of the survey show that there is nothing better than face-to-face contact. The world is woven together by a web of flights that creates ever-expanding social and economic networks: 57 million jobs, 35 per cent of world trade, and $2.2 trillion in global GDP."
As people fly more often, Champion said, they keep raising their expectations for the end-to-end passenger experience. The study highlighted a predictable list of gripes: long lines, slow check-in and baggage collection, sitting on the tarmac and circling in holding patterns around airports.
"In London, for example, we've seen concern about queues at airports and people are understandably not happy about it," he said. "But the reality is those capacity constraints are a sign of things to come unless the industry can work together to cut delays, and with aviation set to double in the next 15 years, that's what we're looking at."
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