You might think that this all-business-class airline or even the first-class-only challenger carrier is set to become to next big thing in luxury air travel, but according to an article from The Telegraph’s resident travel expert John Alridge, travel’s newest ‘ultimate status symbol’ may be little more mundane than you’d thinnk.
In a fascinating article that covers all aspects of what flying could look like fifteen years from now — from passports being ditched in favour of iris scans and Beijing’s rise to prominence as the world’s busiest airport — the piece calls out one particular product that is set to become the next Concorde in the way it embodies the cutting edge of luxury travel.
WATCH: Throwback to when luxury travel suddenly felt a little less luxurious…
However, before any die-hard planespotters get carried away and start diving for their binoculars, the thing replacing Concorde as travel’s hottest commodity may not actually be a plane. As Alridge calls out pretty explicitly in this article, supersonic travel is…
“Stuck on the tarmac. A commercial successor to Concorde is unlikely to race through the earth’s atmosphere because its vast fuel burn per passenger will make the guilt too hard to offset.”John Alridge
However, just because it won’t come in the form of a shiny, pencil-shaped jet doesn’t mean that a suitably luxurious travel product won’t capture the hearts and minds of travel addicts everywhere. Alridge predicts that ‘the ultimate air travel status symbol’ is actually going to be…
“Qantas first class, non-stop London and New York to Sydney and Melbourne. $20,000 [USD] return.”John Alridge
Given its predicted price-tag of $20,000 USD each way — which equates to around $31,000 AUD at present time — it won’t just be one of the most expensive and indulgent air travel products out there, but the Sydney to London Heathrow variant is also set to become the world’s longest flight.
The reason that air travel’s fanciest product is set to be a seat rather than a vessel is a predictable one that has dominated the discourse around flying for a number of years: climate change.
Given the massive carbon footprint whipped up by planes that are designed to go faster rather than further — especially those like Concorde that do so whilst carrying fewer passengers — such projects have become PR nightmares for carriers and, as a result, not especially financially viable.
In line with this, the article also notes how domestic flights of less than one hour are likely to be banned by the EU, forcing travellers to take far less carbon-intensive trains to get around. While this may seem like a drag for some, the vast number of improvements to the airport process — including streamlined, near non-existent security measures — should more than make up for it. In short, you’ll be flying less but flying better.
For anyone who was hoping for a new supersonic travel option, we’re sorry to let you down… but judging by the quality of Qantas’ first class, you may be travelling slower but at least you know you’ll be travelling in style.