Round the World Airline Tickets PricesAround the world airline tickets prices
Collier Magazine's May 27, 1955 edition contained an advertisement of Trans World Airlines (better known as TWA), which no longer exists, providing a captivating glimpse of the prices of aviation at the beginning of the jet era. Thanks to the aircraft, the world actually got smaller. TWA wanted Collier's reader to know that if you consider travelling times and the costs of food, travelling by aeroplane is not much more costly than travelling by train and coach.
"Remember, your travelling days are good value for money," was the ad. An easy plane ride from Los Angeles to Kansas City would throw you back 68 dollars, or about 575 dollars, corrected for rate of inflation. Today, if you make a two week away booking, you can get the same single ticket for 183 dollars with Alaska Airlines (according to a tripocity quest I just did).
You will also be there in 3hrs and 11 mins, comparing to the 5hrs given by TWA 1955. I' ve added a scanning of the prices from the TWA display below, along with some inflation-adjusted numbers below. Keep in mind that these are one-way tickets and do not represent the cost of the journey home, which could be higher than the cost of getting you to your first goal.
Why has aviation become so relatively inexpensive? Answers can be found in fewer comforts ( recall when food and things like inspecting a pocket don't cost more? ), squeezing more airline seating, and the ascent of non-union porters. All of this poses the question of tomorrow's transport technology.
When you are under 30 years old, not much has happened in your life - apart from the cost! Is Elon Musk's new, much-discussed Hyperloop technology going to provide the fun new Futurist transport we've been for? If so, can it be done at a cost that can be afforded by ordinary Americans?
Naturally, today we consider aviation to be indispensable for the US business community. However, it has also become commodityized, an everyday and confusing task that is far removed from the representational luxuries it was selling in the 50s. It is the cost of each futurist transport, together with the policy understanding of its amplifiers, that will define its destiny in these coming years.