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FedEx Style Air Travel

Just show up at the passenger drop and you arrive before noon the next day.
  (+8, -4)
(+8, -4)
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against]

On my way to the airport yesterday, I dropped off some documents at the FedEx box. I then realized that those documents for a flat rate of $19, would reach their destination not much later than I would reach mine, in spite of the fact that almost no planning was required on my part with regards to the flights or routes that the documents would take. Why then, when flying, must I spend hours scheduling flights, checking connections and pricing alternate options days in advance? I want an airline that operates FedEx style. All you need to do when travelling is show up at the local collection point. A regularly scheduled van picks you up, issues you a bar coded card based upon final destination and whisks you off to the airport. Once there, a card reader tells you which plane to board, how to make connections, etc... Finally, at the destination, a regularly scheduled van delivers you to your selected destination. Zero planning or advance reservations are required by the traveller.
riromero, Mar 22 2005

Containerized Passenger Service by [wiml] Containerized_20Passenger_20Service
A better version of this idea, where the implications have actually been thought through. [krelnik, Mar 22 2005]

airline passenger cartridges by [Jeremi] airliner_20passenger_20cartridges
also related [krelnik, Mar 22 2005]

[link]






       Very nice.   

       Wondering how much it would cost to ship myself to China, I found a few restrictions in my way. First, it wouldn't let me ship a 1'x2'x6' box, so I'd have to cram into something about: 1'x2'x2'. Next, their max weight is 150lb, so, um, I'd have to ship someone else or go on a diet. After all that, it would still be a pricey ride at $1064.39 for 1-2 day delivery, one way.
Worldgineer, Mar 22 2005
  

       So you are advocating for a complete revolution in the logistics of long distance travel.   

       I like the idea, don't know if the airlines would, but its worth a try. Now just go convince some VC's who still have some coin to develop the system. And let me know when your on ver 3.4 or higher, this is one process I don't want to beta test. Mongolia?!? I was supposed to be Montreal!
ayt, Mar 22 2005
  

       //Why then, when flying, must I spend hours scheduling flights, checking connections and pricing alternate options days in advance?//
  

       Because a person requires orders of magnitude more space and weight on board a plane than a package.   

       Because a person has associated items (luggage, carry-ons) that must also accompany them to the destination but cannot be stored directly with them. This implies the need for an elaborate luggage-handling infrastructure to handle this.   

       Because a package's relatives won't sue you for tens of millions of dollars if it is lost, stolen or destroyed in the course of being sent.   

       Because a person requires fresh air, food, water and bathroom facilities, and enough free aisle space to access them.   

       Because people cannot be stacked one on top of the other in tight quarters for tens of hours at a time.   

       The idea is also possibly redundant with the linked idea.   

       Geez, who voted for this idea?
krelnik, Mar 22 2005
  

       [krel] FedEx Style product handling of airline passengers can be found nowhere in this idea.
riromero, Mar 22 2005
  

       Indeed... the point is to use a version of the Fed-Ex delivery network, not to use packing crates.
david_scothern, Mar 22 2005
  

       The idea as stated is utterly impractical. My point is that you *could* possibly achieve some of the goals of this idea by implementing the idea I linked to.
krelnik, Mar 22 2005
  

       //The idea as stated is utterly impractical// I disagree. The truck-to-airport aspect is just single-sourcing all transportation, which is more airport space efficient than the everyone-park-there model. Hub-spoke type airlines certainly exist, this idea really just reduces the value of minimized-time travel and increases the value of filled capacity travel, making the journey itself less expensive. The only additional constraint required is finding something to do with the people while they are warehoused, which could be solved using in-airport hotels bars and theatres.
Worldgineer, Mar 22 2005
  

       The core thing that makes this impractical is: how do you plan for capacity? If anyone at any time can call for a truck and say "here's my VISA number, take me to Toledo today", how on earth do you plan for how many jets you need and where?   

       FedEx can do this because (a) you can pack cargo into a plane far tighter than you can people, (b) cargo doesn't complain if it has to sit around for 10 or 12 or 15 hours waiting for the flight to take off and (c) the overnight model gives you a whole day to plan the capacity for that night's flights.   

       If you tried to do this with passenger travel, you would end up with a system that NOBODY would want to fly on. This is because no matter where you were going in the US and when you were picked up by the truck, you wouldn't arrive at your destination until 10:30 am the next morning at the earliest. Except for the very longest of flights, that would be totally unacceptable to customers.   

       If you think you can build a system that picks up and drops off like FedEx, but doesn't use the overnight model, you are deluding yourself. FedEx started with overnight delivery for a reason.
krelnik, Mar 23 2005
  

       I agree it's a system I wouldn't want to fly on (my time is valuable to me), but there are certainly those that wouldn't mind the extra time that this would take in exchange for convience and cost savings. Riding a train or driving a car are at least overnight processes most anywhere in the US, and people still ride trains and drive cars for cost and convience reasons.
Worldgineer, Mar 23 2005
  

       I would agree, *if* I thought you could offer this service more cheaply than conventional airline flights. People might put up with the hassle to save money. But given all the extra expenses you'd incur (a fleet of trucks with drivers, a huge facility at your central hub to hold a whole days worth of passengers during the midnight "turnaround) I don't see that happening.
krelnik, Mar 23 2005
  
      
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