From London to Paris: A story.

11 Apr

A little story I wrote in the early days of my project.  Case studies and/or spinoffs are linked.


Jennifer and Julian are recent graduates, living just outside London.  They found out a week ago that they have a few days off at the same time, a rarity since they both started their new jobs.  There wasn’t enough time to book a trip their usual way at an affordable rate.  Julian had read about Logos Free Air on BoingBoing and checked it out at work.

“Tonight after dinner Jen and I were discussing holiday plans when I suddenly remembered the Airbus skyship run by LFA that goes to Paris.”

“Julian mentioned this to me and it sounded interesting, but a bit dodgy as well.  I was wary about some catch.”  After reading the reviews online, and taking a virtual ride in Second Life, they decided to give it a go.  They reserved a seat on the airship to Paris, booked a hostel and made dinner and theatre reservations, all on the LFA portal.  They download all the confirmation and reservation information onto their smart phones via the LFA SkyPass and prepared to head to Waterloo Station.

I used to stress about packing.

Jennifer and Julian get to the LFA SkyDock at Waterloo station, a gleaming, Meidesque tower along the River Thames.  They see the skyship as they come out of the Tube, and it takes their breath away.  It floats above Waterloo, sensuously joined to the SkyDock looking like something between a cumulous cloud, and an Olympic stadium.  It is, in short, like nothing they’ve seen before.

They board with small bags…. Julian brought his own clothes, but Jennifer opted for the Clothing Library service. When they arrive at their hotel, there will be a box of clothes waiting for Jennifer.  Initially hesitant, Jennifer finally decided to try the service for the opportunity to try the latest clothes from her favourite brands.  Jennifer and Julian both filled out a passenger profile when they purchased their tickets.  She chose the outfits, tried them out virtually, and even got shoes to match.  Her friends will marvel at her wardrobe when they see her travel snaps!

After they settled into their seats, they notice the difference in the interior of the skyship to a regular airplane.  Gone were the narrow aisles, the uncomfortable looking seats.  Even the usual First Class, Business Class and Economy sections seemed to have disappeared.  Instead, the Skyship is Service Separated by passenger profile.  Passengers are seated by preference (e.g. quiet or social), and charged by service.
The experience reminds them of being in a restaurant, albeit a very cool, spacious restaurant with a climbing wall and jungle gym.  The entire space is filled with light, and surrounded by an observation deck; basically a promenade like you would find on a cruise ship.  There is a bar and cafe in the centre, selling a wide selection of French products.  The seating is arranged for a spectrum of situations, from large family settings to work/seclusion.

Jen and Julian chose to have a quiet space by the windows, and medium stimulation.  Julian aims to finish some work ahead of time, and Jen wants to finally start that book.  Around them are all people who have opted for a similar experience; minimal interruption, push button service, and internet connectivity.  At the other end of the space, parents of young children enjoy their coffees whilst their little ones clamber on the jungle gym.  The announcement for departure is given.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard LFA flight 276 with non stop service to Paris Gare Du Nord.  Flight time is an estimated 2 hours 56 minutes.  Feel free to move about the cabin, and enjoy our bar service.  Please remember that for your comfort and safety, smoking is only allowed in the designated smoking area at the rear of the observation deck.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask one of our staff, and we will assist you however we can.  Once again ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of Logos Free Air and our entire crew, we would like to wish you a safe and pleasant journey.”


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