Hospitality in Aviation: a genealogical study
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Hospitality & Society
The aviation business has gone through a process of radical restructuring during the latest decades. De-regulation and fierce competition from low-cost carriers have put traditional flag carriers under pressure, resulting in falling fares. In this cost cutting process, service quality aboard has in many cases fallen at the same time as the glamorous image of aviation partly remains. This process has resulted in a number of contradictions. The purpose of this article is to make a genealogical investigation of hospitality in aviation, in order to explain how the performance and image of hospitality have developed over time and thereby shed some light over contemporary developments. It is argued that the service culture of passenger aviation has two historical roots; both of which developed in distinct social and institutional settings. Traditional scheduled aviation developed out of first class rail service and marine traditions coming from the passengers steam liners of the early 20th century. Low-cost aviation on the other hand developed out of the charter industry, which in turns goes back to tour operators using buses and coaches. These two traditions have shaped different sets of expectations and relations to service aboard an aircraft. This historic perspective builds on a combination of social, geographic, economic, institutional and technological factors influencing the development of hospitality in aviation.
- Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
- Key words: aviation
- low-cost aviation
- casualisation of aeromobility