Yesterday, I listened to my third Freakonomics program in a row while trying to get a habit of walking. This way, I practice a combined exercise that is good for my physical and mental health and general well-being.
However, today I am here to talk about the podcast. It is the first in a series of three that provide further insights into the miracle of flying and possible explanations for the hate it arises.
In the first episode, the host, Stephen Dubner, introduces and guides us along a captivating story sharing multiple points of view.
First, airline costs are massive, while consumers demand cheaper flights. Here, we learn the experiences of the low-cost Airways company founder, David Neeleman, and what motivated him to launch Jetblue in the US, Azul in Brazil, and more recently, Breeze in the US.The part that caught my interest was his ability to stimulate dormant markets like the impoverished but huge Brazilian one or create new routes in the US with Breeze. A born entrepreneur that knows how to improve and make the most of the world that surrounds him.
Second, Stephen provides a psychological explanation of our hate of flying. Besides the unnaturalness of the act and the tiny seats we suffer, there are two other relevant effects: the reactance or the feeling of losing freedom (even temporarily) and habituation which makes us appreciate less and less those things we are more used to and ask for more.
Third, operating an Airline is very complex, with many tight steps that do not always depend on you. A lot of things can go wrong. A minute delay at the beginning of the chain could scale up to hours in later flights. The host travels to the Delta Airlines hub in Atlanta and details the inside operations of a flight about to depart.
In summary, an enlightening program with a cliffhanger at the end (safety!) and the promise of more thought-provoking topics in the next episode.