There used to be a time when traveling across continents was a hobby left for the rich and famous, when travel by air was too expensive to be sustainable for most people. According to reports by the Huffington Post, airfare is cheaper now than it’s ever been, with round-trip tickets costing 18% less in October of this year than they did at the same time last year. Ticket prices are expected to continue to drop before rising minimally in the spring, but all in all, the cheap tickets have contributed to an industry that contributes $7,860 billion to world economies and generates 284 million jobs.
With so many people traveling nowadays, many airport authorities have begun to look into further developing the services they offer to their passengers. London, in particular, being one of the busiest travel destinations in the world, has seen two of its major airports undergo renovations and expansions. Just a year ago, its Heathrow Airport opened a new terminal, which was dubbed the Queen’s Terminal, which had several high-end restaurants and shopping options. Now, as the year draws to a close, there are talks of expansion plans for Gatwick Airport, an airport that, according to Parking4less, services 30 million passengers a year. In a press release, Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate, said, “With 12 new long-haul routes starting in 2016 and significant growth across all sectors, from both existing and new airlines, it is clear why expansion at Gatwick needs to go ahead now.”
Across the globe, the push for airport expansion is clear. As reported by CBS News, not only have airports like New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International begun to incorporate technology like iPads in their services, but others like LaGuardia Airport have begun reimagining existing spaces to make them more appealing to customers. “Airlines and airports are spending billions of dollars to upgrade their terminals because it’s a way to make passengers more comfortable and bring in a lot of revenue,” USA Today National Travel Editor Charisse Jones said.
Of course, some airports will always be a cut above the rest. But wouldn’t it be great to see airports like Singapore’s Changi all over the world?