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The Impact of Terrorism

As we learn more about the terrorist plot to blow up airplanes this week, it becomes clear that air travel is changing. How much it will change will become clear over time but the hassle associated with air travel will increase and the business implications are significant.

- If carry on luggage is not allowed then what will that mean to the business traveler?
- If a business traveler cannot even bring their briefcase on board, how comfortable are they going to be checking it with luggage?
- If the newer generations of executives and business travelers have been "pushing back" and trying to gain some "balance in life" then are they going to accept the new "even harsher" business travel life?
- On a smaller scale, if it now takes me 90 minutes to check baggage and get through security for a one hour flight to Toronto ... then am I going to fly?

What are the potential implications?

On the negative side:

1. More expensive flights and more business hours "wasted" in the travel process will mean companies looking harder at business travel costs.
2. The already struggling airline industry might well be reduced significantly.
3. The retail outlets at airports will need to relocate or go out of business.
4. The travel industry will suffer ... once again.
5. There will be more cars on the road ... gas usage, pollution and congestion.

On the positive side:

1. Our society is incredibly flexible and business finds a way to continue.
2. The telecommunications industry might well see an increase in video conferencing and teleconference services.
3. Domestic travel will increase ... people will vacation more locally, trains and buses will benefit.
4. Perhaps companies will accept less business travel and executives will spend more time with their families.

It is truly incredible that a relatively small number of fanatics can affect the lives of the industrialized world in such a fashion.

Or ... just maybe the world will keep turning in much the same manner tomorrow, as it did yesterday!