Death of the non-transferable ticket?

I was heartened to see the launch of Virgin Charter. They look to be tacking something which has been a pet-peev of mine for quite sometime: the non-transferable ticket. The concept of a ticket maps cleanly onto the concept of an option. That is it confers the right but not the obligation to do something at a future time; in this case travel from one location to another.

The options market is a massive source of risk mitigation for the business community so why are consumers forced to purchase non-transferable options? I frankly do not believe that security implications are a legitimate reason, far more likely is profit; if you miss your flight, you get nothing, and the airline may get a seat paid for twice! In fact they regularly over-book busy flights, transferring customers (if they are lucky) to later (cheaper) flights.

Virgin Charter are tackling the very top end of air travel but this type of disruptive concept is bound trickle down and shake up the whole travel industry. They reminds me of the disruptive nature of Betfair in the gambling space. I wonder what Micheal O’Leary would think of starting the worlds first airline ticket exchange?

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