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Back to Basics: the Future of Air Travel

The Financial Times published a piece describing how the pioneering innovations of Aeroflot, the USSR's preeminent airline, have resurfaced in modern airlines across the free world. Here's my rough prediction for how that trend might play out in the future: 2015: For the first time, all of the world's ten largest airlines spend more money advertising their "extreme sports" image than advertising safety. 2019: As a concession to pilots' unions, Southwest and United allow family members of the crew to take turns flying the plane. The agreement comes as a compromise after bargaining the pilots down from complementary in-flight vodka. 2024: Northwest Airlines incorporates the hammer and sickle into its logo. Delta, wary of trademark violations, incorporates only the hammer. 2031: In anticipation of a coming recession, major airlines scramble to become state-owned. In exchange for taking on Aeroflot's mounting debt, American Airlines obtains a favorable buyout from the Russian government. Of course, given the Financial Times' supposedly free market slant, these predictions might be overly rosy. Readers should judge for themselves.