As a frequent, and frequently annoyed, air traveller, my problem with air travel is not the speed of the aircraft but the arduousness of commercial air travel itself.

This is due to two factors: the level of comfort and the duration of the trip. Even halving the length of a flight - beyond the scope of aviation technology - will have no impact on the minimum two-hour wait, in cramped air terminals.

Improving the comfort and convenience of air travel, however, at the terminal and in the air, is within our capabilities. Better passenger handling on the ground and more spacious and comfortable seating aloft would go a long way towards addressing passenger fatigue and annoyance.

I suspect that any carrier offering improved conditions for economy class travellers (rather than pampering the few business and first class passengers) would find the world beating a path to their door, and their competitors scrambling to catch up.

Donald Neill

Brussels, Belgium

Source: Flight International