Poverty and Privilege: The McDonaldization of Airlines

 

On my recent visit to Gatwick airport to fly to Malta I came across my first luggage check in for an EasyJet flight. I had used a self-check-in for cabin baggage before but have never done it for hold luggage.

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It got me thinking about the future and where airlines were going. By not having check-in desks, the staffs who run them are no longer needed and the people who replace them can be paid less as the job they are carrying out is less skilled. The people hired to work around the self-check in tills, were largely managing the lines, directing to free check in tills and helping people use the till if they are facing difficulties. Working on a check in till you need language, interpersonal, and conflict management skills. You develop in areas which are attractive to employers and can be utilised in other roles. There is also the question of job fulfilment, standing for hours on end will have physical effects on the till worker, so certain aspects of the role such as having a chair to sit on are being removed. Career advancement prospects are higher for check in desks workers then check out till workers, one job carries more status than the other, and skilled labour is being replaced by skilled machines which are supervised by unskilled labout who in turn can be paid less saving airlines money.

Over time the tills will save EasyJet money, and many other airlines will follow suit. The theory of the McDonaldization of Societ was developed by George Ritzer and he argued businesses and parts of society are constantly seeking to be efficient through calcubility, predictability, and control. These machines standardise the check in procedure and will become increasingly predictable as more airlines use them. Companies who value customer service will still keep check-in desks, and the employment which ensures the running of these desks. But those who want to become cost effect will use tills.

I was of the opinion that this would mostly affect poor countries where multiple forms of employment are needed. Then I realised it was bad in every country because it removes career opportunities. Have you seen anything like this? I will keep an eye out for more McDonaldization.

Shaneka Knight

@Shanekaaknight

Hotel Review – Hotel Casa 400 – Amsterdam

Shaneka and myself visited this hotel on our second trip to Amsterdam which I speak about in my Article – ‘6 Travelling Lessons Learned- Winter in Amsterdam’.

Super Nice for a Good Price 

After our experiences with the Student Hotel in Amsterdam we were apprehensive about what the cheap price of £123pp for 3 nights booking would get us, another seemingly clean and glossy hotel that ended up smelling like a farm – or would our research pay off?

First impressions were good! It was only  a short walk from Amstel Station Beneden – which is great in the cold when you have luggage! We had a tiny struggle to find the entrance but one we were in it was lovely. The staff were warm and personable and finding the room was not too difficult as there was a code for floor and area of the hotel because it is quite huge.

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6 Travelling Lessons Learned- Winter in Amsterdam

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After having travelled for the first time to Amsterdam in the summer of 2014 (during Shaneka and my adventure dubbed “The Euro Tour 2K14” ) we fell absolutely in love with this city – the atmosphere, the beauty and the friendly people we met. It was decided unanimously that we had to return again but with busy University schedules we waited until our Christmas break and set off.

(Apologies for the poor picture quality in this article guys this was 3 years ago raw and unscripted!!)

Continue reading “6 Travelling Lessons Learned- Winter in Amsterdam”

The connections between Poverty & Travel

There is an undeniable link between poverty and privilege which some people can feel uncomfortable about. Those who are really struggling to get by in day to day life simply can’t think about flying away on holiday. Those in poverty aren’t unaware of their position, they have seen their more affluent friends go away on trips for summers, work, gap years. Those who have never been on a plane still have to sit through their friends travel stories.

Continue reading “The connections between Poverty & Travel”