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The Future of Air Travel40:20
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Believe it or not — or maybe you remember — there was a time when air travel could reek of elegance. Wine lists, gracious smiles, on-time arrivals. Of course, it cost a lot more, too.

But today — with security quagmires, mounds of lost luggage, and cattle-car cabins — travelers can feel lucky to arrive alive, let alone on time. It's not fun anymore but where do we go from here?

The rich are fleeing to private jets, but that just means more air traffic congestion. US Airways may buy Delta, but no one thinks that's the road to paradise. There's talk of little air taxis to hop aboard, but we're on the way to 400 million Americans.

This hour On Point: how to move the masses, and the future of air travel.

Guests:

Michael Arndt, Senior Correspondent for Business Week

Chris Elliott, Ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler, air travel writer, founder of the travel blog Ellipses;

Esther Dyson, Editor at large at CNET & host of Flight School (an annual business conference focused primarily on new airline markets and technologies);

Barbara Beyer, President of Avmark, Airline Consulting Firm.

This program aired on November 21, 2006.

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