The Conundrum of Modern Air Travel

The Conundrum of Modern Air Travel

With the major advancements humanity has achieved in technology, we have found ways of transport that would help us get around with convenience and ease. However, with the invention of modern travel, what has this cost us in terms of quality of life?

Modern travel has undeniably become a huge part in our everyday lives. On average, there are 102,465 flights that bring passengers across the globe everyday. In the olden days, one would take a few days, weeks or even months to get to another country via boat. Now, people travelling to far flung countries would only require about 24 hours to get anywhere around the world. At first glance, one would see no problem with air travel being so convenient. However, everything comes with its advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s talk about some of air travel’s advantages. For 30 years, plane ticket prices have been dwindling steadily, allowing many to afford the trip to another nation. This is very pleasurable to know, as air travel is still the fastest form of travelling. Furthermore, engineers are coming up with more powerful engines for aircrafts everyday to increase their speed and shorten the time to travel. If one genuinely wishes to spend time in his or her destination, air travel would be the most recommended.

Contrary to what people believe, travelling by aircraft is actually the safest way of travelling. Getting involved in a fatal accident would be a 1 in 7 million chance. Furthermore, there would be more than one pilot unlike in other vehicles where there is only one driver. Drink driving would be off the list as pilots are strictly disallowed to do so. Pilots are also hired only if they have stable emotional control and those who are going through tough times would be disapproved of flying a plane, making it even more safe to travel by air being reassured that the pilot is in tip-top condition.

Air travel is also the only option to get to desired destinations. Travelling on the waters would only be recommended for short distances. Cruises already are incredibly slow, and having to travel a few thousand kilometres would be awfully painful.

However, cruises come with a plethora of benefits. On a cruise, people can get scenic views one would never see on a plane, where the only view out the windows are clouds and the blue sky. Cruises afford various different attractions and entertainment, as well as a wide range of food. Cruises cater to everyone’s wants, giving them many choices to satisfy their needs. From swimming to bowling, there are never-ending freestyle activities to do on a cruise. The choice of food can range from traditional chinese to exquisite western restaurant dishes. For passengers who are unsure of what they would like, cruises also offer “experiments”, where one can choose to try something that would often cost an arm and a leg on land, like asking for a sample massage if one is unsure if the spa is worthwhile investing money in.

Cruises are great for families, as children would be offered engaging programs suitable for different children of different ages, allowing their parents to do what they would enjoy on their own.On top of that, in most cases, no additional childcare fee would have to be given.

With modern air travel via aircraft, most of these benefits you get on a cruise vanish. On a plane, one only gets a reasonable amount of foot space while being strapped to a seat for many hours, whereas one can get a 360 degree view of their surroundings on a cruise ship that can be as big as scattering more than a thousand blue whales over the length of four football fields.

In addition, trains provide this gift of a picturesque landscape. One can not only get the view of mountains, barren desert land and waterfalls, but the view keeps changing as the passengers progress through their journey, unlike in the air or on the water where the only view is the sky or the sea. An interesting example is the Bermina Expresss, stretching from Italy to Switzerland. Through this route, travellers would be able to view snow-cap mountains, somber subterranean lakes, alpine landscapes and even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

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Unlike other journeys in the air and on the waves, passengers can stop along the route and enjoy small villages they would encounter. This is a feature most rides to other countries do not offer, and is unique.

Some trains even provide luxury, which provide a comfortable ride and their interior designs are usually related to tradition of the country. The “Palace on Wheels” is a regal luxury train that travels around the royal Indian state of Rajasthan, and is a train fit for kings with cream of the crop facilities and features. There are even beds and some gym equipment passengers can use.

At this juncture, we would naturally ask ourselves: Is air travel still the best way of taking us from place to place? Well, the issue is the time taken to travel. It seems that time and luxury are, unfortunately, a trade-off.

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