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The year is [Random number between 2100 and 3000], and Earth is now covered in a tight network of teleporters that have replaced all other modes of planetary travel. Only those wishing to travel to other planets and systems must embark on ships.

Teleportation is instant. You buy a ticket, get into the cabin, stamp your ticket, press a button and wake up in another, identical cabin several hundreds or thousands of miles away.

There are enough cabins for everybody, and, except in developing countries where people would have to pass border control before being allowed to teleport, nobody has to wait for more than five minutes after buying a ticket.

This of course means that affluent travelers cannot enjoy amenities like luxury lounges or reclining seats.

Still, transportation companies want to find ways to make richer people pay more by offering them a "First Class" of teleportation. What are some perks, amenities or luxuries that could come with it?

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    $\begingroup$ Are teleportation cabins like cars or like airplanes? In other words, does everyone have a cabin in their house or are cabins in some central location (one per large city, one per town?) where everyone has to travel to do their teleporting? $\endgroup$ – ThisIsAQuestion Jul 16 '20 at 13:30
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    $\begingroup$ +1 nice fun question but I want to file a complaint, I was supposed to be a tall muscular hunk upon arrival now I want refund! ;( $\endgroup$ – user6760 Jul 16 '20 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ Depending on how the teleportation is done you could have a cheap but painful process (the "passenger" feels excruciating pain while being disintegrated and reintegrated) and an exorbitantly expensive, but painless process favored by the rich $\endgroup$ – Nightingale Jul 16 '20 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ Only 1st class uses the Heisenberg compensators! $\endgroup$ – Glen Yates Jul 17 '20 at 2:56
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    $\begingroup$ Budget travellers get shown a 1 minute advertising video before being transported, first class don't. $\endgroup$ – mwarren Jul 17 '20 at 7:12

25 Answers 25

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A private network

When it comes to flying, the truly rich do not fly first-class. That's incredibly inconvenient for them. The truly rich fly on their own personal jet to wherever they feel like going. Thus, the way teleportation networks would cater to the rich is simple: Have a private network for them. Every major corporate headquarters would have a teleportation pad installed for use by the top executives to drop into other locations of the same business, rivals, trading partners, etc; not to mention that there would be stop-offs at various exotic vacation locations, exclusive for the rich. What's so special about those? Well, it's exclusive. Exclusivity is a privilege that people will pay good money for, after all.

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    $\begingroup$ Private teleport pads in their homes, too $\endgroup$ – Mirror318 Jul 16 '20 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ Heck, given enough maturity, a premium teleport service might involve shipping out and setting up a pad on-site, such as for superstar actors ducking in for a scene or two before zipping off to their next blockbuster $\endgroup$ – Pingcode Jul 17 '20 at 5:32
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    $\begingroup$ But then it doesn't really answer OP's question. Private jet exist but have no impact on the fact that First Classes do too. You're not drawing a parallel to the right phenomenon. $\endgroup$ – Echox Jul 17 '20 at 9:43
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    $\begingroup$ This would seem to be the straight forward answer. Just as today, some incredibly rich people have their own helipad attached to their house, in your future the rich would, amazingly, have their own trillion-Euro teleport facility, complete with the needed 100s of technical staff, astonishing quantum antenna facilities the size of a large building, the massive 750 TW fusion station needed to power it and so on. $\endgroup$ – Fattie Jul 17 '20 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ Multiple SF novels have featured houses where different rooms are in different locations, separated by some form of teleporter, and that would definitely be the domain of the obscenely wealthy. One might have a bedroom in a capsule at the bottom of the sea, a living room on a Carribean beach, a dining room on a high mountain, and a kitchen in a boreal forest, and still enjoy all the amenities of living in the centre of a big city. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Daly Jul 17 '20 at 14:22
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"There are enough cabins for everybody"

This is a frame challenge.

If you have a civilization that can waste that many resources to ensure everyone can teleport anywhere they want whenever they want planet-wide, then what you're really saying is that everyone has at least two teleporter cabins in their homes, apartments, offices, stores, etc. What would be the point of even thinking about making such a banal trip more elite? Nobody's rich because nobody's poor. To make a point: it's the general utopic post-scarcity society.

I hate utopias. They're boring.

So let's bring what the devil inside me calls a "dose of reality" to the conversation. No for-profit company would ever allow that many cabins to exist without some kind of flaw that keeps people coming back. (This isn't an unreasonable suggestion: you've kinda described a perfect situation and perfect situations pretty much never exist.)

  • Limited cabins due to a limited resource, like unobtanium.

  • Cheap cabins wear out or require more repair than expensive cabins.

  • Limited transportation windows because there's only so much of the "ether" that can be in-use at any one time.

  • Limited destinations because, honestly, you don't want just anybody appearing in your home (or office, lab, secret lair, etc.).

Now we have the ability to create an incredibly profitable elite travel class! The whole point of elite travel is to overcome both problems and inconvenience (and, of course, to make you feel special. What's a good leader without a dose of narcissism, hmmm?)

  • The elite can own private cabins. The public must use "public transportation" in the form of street curb cabins.

  • The elite can buy cabins that will last a century without down time. The public is lucky to afford cabins that don't require multi-hour phone calls with automated responses to get to a representative who can't actually understand the problem and can't speak your native language anyway but is disinclined to escalate the issue to someone who might.

  • The elite get first-dibbs on transport windows. The public gets to stand patiently in the cabin, twiddling their thumbs and wondering why they can't be rich.

  • The elite get to go to more places than the general public. For example, the elite get to transport straight to their Disneyland penthouse suite while the public gets to teleport to a common landing site a quarter-mile away from their dingy hotel. In this aspect you can think of it as elites get to own cars and use garages while the public can only use buses and bus stops.

One more comment about limited destinations

One fundamental problem with a transport system that's as ubiquitous as you initially described is that any communication-and-control based technology can be hacked. That means a clever hacker can teleport to the POTUS' office, or to the guard station at Fort Knox, or to the breakroom at CERN, or to the hangars at Area 51... you get my point. Your system must in reality contain a great many limitations or the world and its stories won't be believable.

A general homeowner might not want a cabin in their home because they can't afford the tech that keeps trench-coat-wearing violin-case-bearing gentlemen with a somewhat Sicilian air about them from walking into their front rooms during the dinner hour to have a conversation about a certain loan made to a guy lovingly named "The Nose."

But the elite can.

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    $\begingroup$ "There are enough cabins for everybody" in a comment it was clarified that teleporters were as common as metro stations, so not everyone has one but I'm guessing they meant to say that the demand is well covered. $\endgroup$ – Chebi Jul 17 '20 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ Aside from that, I'd like to challenge your frame challenge, specifically: "I hate utopias. They're boring." First, teleporters for everyone doesn't imply utopia, it probably implies post scarcity but there could still be an oppressive regime or other issues that prevent the setting form being utopic. Also, even a world littered with teleporters that is utopic in other areas, can still have interesting challenges to face. Think about the three-headed aliens from Ringworld, they still need to flee from the glactic supernova and are still not as powerful as the ringworld creators, I think. $\endgroup$ – Chebi Jul 17 '20 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ Another example, The Last Question, is about a very post scarcity and utopic humanity dealing with the heat-death of the universe. $\endgroup$ – Chebi Jul 17 '20 at 18:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Chebi, clarifications in comments are irrelevant. The OP has 5K rep and should know that clarifications are expected to be edited into the question. My mistake for not reading them. His/her mistake for not updating the Q like he/she should have. You're welcome to challenge my challenge! It would likely make a good answer. However, the opposite of utopia isn't (curiously) dystopia. A non-utopic society is imperfect. A dystopic society is broken. I don't believe the issue of a broken society is relevant. But I do believe utopias are boring. Who cares if someone's elite if everyone's happy? $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 18 '20 at 1:49
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Travel time

Teleportation is instant. You buy a ticket, get into the cabin, stamp your ticket, press a button and wake up in another, identical cabin several hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Teleportation is only instant from the point of view of the traveler. You don't remember the traveling, as you were unconscious during all that time (and to be honest, as each molecules of your body are separated during the process, it's a good thing for you). Thing is, the whole process of destruction-travel-reconstruction is not itself instant.

And first-class have less traveling time. For example, they have a big stock of interchangeable body molecules, they skip the travel part, while second class have less or no stock, so you need to wait for the travel of body molecules. Destruction-reconstruction could also have different processing time, the same way as an industrial printer could print way more paper per minute than a first-price one.

So, while first-class teleportation is almost instant, or at least way faster than flying, second class teleportation may be slower, and as today's traveling, you lose time, be it for every-day ride from home to work, or when taking a vacation in a foreign country.

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    $\begingroup$ This makes perfect sense, if the teleportation network is unsufficently scaled (given the extent of data transmitted, no wonder the network cannot provide instant service to everyone). Once your body is fully analysed and deconstructed, your transport data are stored locally and enqueued and you have to await the transmission in non-existence. Only when it's your turn, you are actually transported and re-materialized. The transmission times may be hours or even days. Also, the service provider may guarantee that they wouldn't lose your data while you are enqueued (which would be fatal). $\endgroup$ – Prieforprook Jul 16 '20 at 14:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Prieforprook I hope that even the low-cost provider will guarantee the integrity of data. I would probably use foot, bicycle, car, train, boat, flight or whatevear instead of a cabin with "only 10% of lost this past three weeks. Anesthesia not included. Exit as a proper human not guarantee if an insect enter the cabin during the process. Some of your organs may be taken during the travel." message. $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Jul 16 '20 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ Just wait til someone hacks that system! Talk about identity theft! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jul 17 '20 at 0:22
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    $\begingroup$ @elemtilas indeed, depending on how the system works, you could impersonate someone, or even become someone, if you also take his memory. A man in the middle attack would have devastating consequences, like litteraly controlling the mind of the people passing through it $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Jul 17 '20 at 10:26
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One luxury I could think of is closely related to the technology driving the teleporters.

Let's assume your teleporter analyses your body on a molecular level and sends those petabytes of information to the receiver, that then reconstructs your body. This process is often referred to as beaming in popular science fiction culture.

In that case, the teleporter could, for an additional fee, analyse the travelers body for any defects, both medically and aesthetically, and when reconstructing the body on the other side, simply correct them.

You could imagine different tiers, ranging from a minor vitamin correction to pretty much full body regeneration that could lead to a prolonged life or even immortality.

Why would this process be so expensive? One answer could be that it takes massive computing power to calculate the new molecular blueprint. Another that it runs on patented McGuffin® soft- and hardware.

Building on the idea above, another service could be a software-backup of yourself, so if you get into an accident some time after using the teleporter at a premium rate, it can simply replicate you. It costs extra of course, because your data takes up so much space on the servers.

This is also why I wouldn't actually assume the teleportation to be instant. As it requires such an immense amount of data transferred, it might as well require a queue that can have prioritised slots for the business travellers.

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No luggage limits

Considering described popularity of the network, the provider would likely need to largely optimize its usage and since every gram of luggage means unnecessary data transfer, luggage fees might still be a thing - for ordinary customers, that is.

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It seems that all the "practical" aspects are as good as they can be wished for. I don't see a way you could get different prices within the same brand name; even though that doesn't mean there isn't one. But different brands - companies, or just brand names which are the same company but pretend they're not - could differ in prices based on HOW they do the identical thing:

  1. You could have your first class teleports set up with very nice environment, lots of marble, genuine oak/mahogany/..., pleasant stewards to sell you the ticket and show you the way, etc. On the other hand, your cattle class will be a hut built as cheaply as possible with a beaten machine (or an ugly old hag tired by life) selling the tickets and a swarm of posters/banners/screens shouting ads to you on your every step.

  2. Companies can differentiate based on "ethical" issues - we make sure we don't use the products of slavery/child labour. We use ethically/sustainably sourced materials. We give our staff fair wages and conditions. Or anything else similar.

  3. Aggressive marketing. We are THE BEST, because we said so. Think mobile phones, why does one company successfully sell equivalent phones for prices way higher than competition, and even convinces you to buy a new phone every year?

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There's a teleporter for everyone in their home, there's hundreds if not thousands of teleporters for popular locations. But even so a place like Times Square will be flooded with people teleporting there. The teleporting grid will need to make decisions with who teleports where and deflect excess people to empty teleporters farther out or put them in a waiting queue before they can teleport. So that way you can give people priority status: high priority people who pay get quicker access and less deviation from their chosen destination.

There's also simple access rights. A vacation resort would have private teleporters towards all its houses that you can only access after paying. The owners of the overall public teleporting grid would work like phone networks: selling speed, amount of uses and access to area's depending on the luxury at the locations and distance from likely popular locations. Pay more, get more.

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One person cabins to wherever you want IS the first class cabin. Also, someone is moving your luggages for you using another cabin.

For poor/normal people, you have big cabins shared with a lot of people and a preset destination and departure time. It can be fast, with only a few minutes between each jump, but you still have to cram yourself with a lot of sweaty people, children... everything.

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    $\begingroup$ One of the major modes of transportation in my metro area is by train. I have noticed that, while the trains can go quite fast, the disembarking and embarking time is significant enough that one some stretches the average speed is under 40 km/h. $\endgroup$ – Jan Dorniak Jul 19 '20 at 18:06
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It is usual for companies to make different products for different audiences which have the same cost to produce, but with added effort to make the experience [redacted] if you are buying the cheaper version.

Think of pay-to-win games, in which there is a cheaper version (possibly free but with ads), and a more expensive version which gives you items and advantages absent from the cheaper package. These games are usually multiplayer too, to add insult to insult and injury to injury.

So for teleporting, you could have the machine to shake and vibrate in a very uncomfortable way in each end if you pay for the cheaper ticket. The more expensive ticket is more expensive because the machine will not vibrate and will not make you dizzy. The extra cost you paid goes into "pumping more juice in the process, making sure it is safer and more stable" (actually it goes into not activating those actuators, but people don't need to know that).


You may also have separate boarding and landing stations for each different ticket value. The more expensive tickets allow you access to stations with bathrooms and cafeterias in both ends. The VIP tickets will have a massage parlor and pedicure waiting for you. The cheapest ticket allows you to go from a telephone-booth-sized tube on the departing side to the middle of a busy street on the other side.

You may also sell precision. 5 bucks will land you in the city you wanted to go, but you may appear anywhere. 5,000 bucks guarantee you will appear within five steps of your intended destination.

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AM I STILL ME?

There's a school of thought that if you deconstruct someone, convert them to data and energy, and recreate them elsewhere, that the person actually dies and a copy is made. It's not really you anymore, you died the first time you climbed on a teleporter. These are the common teleporters.

A more advanced technology actually transports the original atoms and essence of the person via wormhole, quantum jumps, etc. so you aren't dissolved and copied. This also means the person can't be split, copied, recorded and modified, data-mined, or whatever bad effects you care to attribute to unscrupulous corporations controlling ordinary people. The elites travel unscathed, while the plebeians wake up in another city oddly craving the new brand of hot sauce and coming down with a cold that the corporation just happens to have the cure for at a great price. Also, they're sure they signed up to be replicated on the new colony world, right?

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this. Plus, you always have the risk of a third person intercepting and changing the data when ever it is transmitted. Maybe they can change something fundamental about the person. $\endgroup$ – nullptr Jul 18 '20 at 16:49
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Luxury is also dependent on the culture. In some countries it's ok for the train to be 30 minutes late, in the other 2 minutes is already insane.

Having instantaneous transport means they value the time higher. 5 minutes waiting is for commoners. No one important can wait that long. You arrive, are ushered through immediately and teleport. 30 sec tops.

In addition, you can add services. Teleport waste from your body, like number one and two, or even waste that hasn't been filtered yet. Like muscle waste or waste stored in the liver like alcohol. Remove or reduce bad bacteria and viruses. You'll feel fresh and new after a teleport. It's healthy!

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Teleportation sickness

Have you traveled recently from one end of the world to the other? Having trouble sleeping, a loss of appetite and problems with disorientation? Then you are very likely suffering from teleportation sickness, a natural byproduct of being torn apart on a molecular level and being recreated at a different point with shoddy craftmanship.

We here at Platinumportation have the solution for you. Our exclusive top-of-the-line teleporters will take a few seconds longer to get you where you need to go, but that's because we don't just haphazardly fling your precious body into the void, we take the utmost care to ensure that every single atom of your body ends up exactly where it needs to go, with no margin of error.

Don't risk extreme teleportation sickness and travel with us now. Your safety is worth more.

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Frame challenge for slightly different reasons than the other frame challenge answers, but this is unrealistic for multiple reasons:

  • Unless the teleportation devices are trivially portable and destinations are trivially configurable (thus each person can have one and you don't need hardware at target locations), it's an absurd waste of resources even in a post-scarcity society to have 'enough for everybody'. At minimum, space for the hardware is a limiting factor (and actually, it's going to be the biggest limiting factor other than whatever unobtanium makes them work even in regular societies). In essence, even if any teleporter can connect to any other, you need at minimum 2 per private residence and a number proportionate to expected usage in every building. The private residence part isn't that much of an issue (but it does put a limit on population density that's lower than without it unless stuff like apartment buildings have public cabin sets instead of private ones per apartment), but it's just plain impractical for big buildings. Imagine big office buildings, just to meet the rush-hour demand they'd need hundreds of teleporters, and even if we imagine minimally sized stalls, you're still looking at an entire floor in many large buildings dedicated just to that, which is quite simply a waste.
  • Even ignoring the above point, you need some degree of scheduling that would make a maximum 5 minute wait infeasible during peak hours. You have to be able to actually appear at your destination and leave from your origin point, and both cabins have to be unused for the entire time it takes you to get in, teleport (which is probably not truly instantaneous, but not likely more than a few seconds), and then get out. IOW, you have to wait for a clear cabin at the far end, and if the cabins operate in half-duplex (and they should, because that at least partially mitigates the first issue), you may have to wait for a clear cabin locally at the same time. Actually achieving this requires scheduling, and that scheduling will mean delays.
  • Further, aside from the above two points, your proposed situation is actually not realistic from a business senses. A NPO won't be able to do that due to lack of funding, a government can't do that due to limited resources and bureaucratic inefficiency, and a private for-profit company would only do that as a subscription service which would automatically price a large segment of the population out of actually being able to obtain the hardware (which by definition means that there's not enough for anybody). The only option that makes sense to achieve this is a unified socialist government for the whole planet overseeing it combined with a truly post-scarcity society.

The upshot of these issues is that for this to be realistic, you need either a largely post-scarcity socialist society (for example, the Federation from Star Trek) and a lot of free space, or teleportation would be operated in a way equivalent to either public transit or air travel (pre-COVID-19 of course), and the second case is both more interesting and more realistic.

Assuming you go with that second option (operate like air travel or public transit) and factor in the realities of scheduling and monetization, the obvious solution for executive perks is queue priority, and proximity to a desired destination (spikes in usage would logically be smoothed by teleporting lower priority people to nearby locations close to their intended destination that have lower usage). I could also see the use of private subnets (IOW, sets of pads that cannot be accessed from the larger public network without special authorization), for example allowing an executive for a large company to just teleport straight from his house to his office at corporate HQ instead of having to go to the local station and teleport from there to the office building, then walk to his office.

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I think it will still be determined by supply and demand:

  1. if there is some side effect, such as if the vibration frequency can make the person a bit dizzy or something like that (some discomfort), then the most comfortable method (may require building something by platinum), will be most desired and therefore will be more expensive

  2. if there are some situations, such as doing the traveling at 3am when people usually would want to sleep, then it will be less desired and therefore cheaper

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User accounts and paywalls. Yep. Just like all those annoying websites.

Let's say anyone with $100k can buy a teleporter for their home. They're going to have to set up user accounts and passwords so that only their family and close friends have constant access to their house, and temporary guest accounts for people they invite over.

If you can do that for a residential location, then why not have companies doing the same thing for their customers? Sign up with SuperSnobClub Inc and get an account and password to allow you to visit their exclusive club-house in the pristine wilderness, hundreds of kilometres from any city. Access costs $10M per year, so only the ultra-rich will ever get to see the place outside of the odd TV documentary.

Also, the user account system being just another computer system will almost certainly have security bugs that need patching. Exploiting such a bug before it gets patched to get into a rich person's house to rob or assassinate them could be a plot point in a heist story.

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To borrow from Douglas Adams, teleportation leaves you feeling terrible. You end up disorientated, dehydrated, and feeling generally like you've been vaporized and rapidly recombinated. It suucks! You think being crammed into a tiny seat with a child kicking the small of your back for 9 hours is bad? It's got nothing on how you feel after teleportation. Nothing important gets lost during the teleport, but there are allowable inaccuracies in the process.

At least, if you're teleported peon class. The rich use more accurate teleporters, that are calibrated better. They don't randomly drop a bunch of unimportant water molecules, and do an actual scan, rather than just assume your electrolytes are set at "normal human". The rich are also quickly sedated, and gently brought round after a relaxing nap. If you have a sort of hub where you go to teleport, the rich might be transported to and from this, waking up gently in a private vehicle already heading to their end destination.

It's not that different from an airline in that respect. You still get there, safely, and at the same time as the person in 1st class, but the process in general is much less pleasant.

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No flies on me!

We all know the dangers of teleportation! Something that will be very important is valeting. We don't want any extraneous matter or life-forms floating around in our cabin (see Note) - or any infectious diseases.

We are told that tickets are purchased so, for the purposes of answering, we can discount the fact that wealthy people will have their own private booth at home. Let's assume there is a cabin on every street corner and that anyone can use it. Some may be late for an important meeting and will require the fastest turnaround. They will pay for their ticket and head straight in. For most people the TP-cabinet (which is the sealable unit within the cabin) will be thoroughly cleaned between each use and be subject to a visual inspection.

This means that people who pay more, actually have to wait longer. There are waiting areas in the cabins with various levels of luxury.

The wealthiest will actually wait the longest. They will pay for the A++ service which includes automated disinfection, irradiation and vacuum cleaning. They will have to wait longest but their travel will be the safest. They have a special lounge with luxury service while they wait.


EDIT

Alternatively there are different classes of booth at the same location. 1st Class booths get the full cleaning treatment immediately after use and are therefore ready for the next first-class passenger. 2nd-Class gets a quick clean and 3rd-class is just straight in and out with a clean at the end of the day.

Note: The Fly (movies)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fly_(1958_film)

and

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091064/

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Maybe first class would be denoted by the speed with which our luggage will arrive; say first class means FedEx will get your luggage there within 24 hours of your arrival, while lower classes might have to wait for UPS Ground to get it there in 5 days or so.

OR - maybe first class would be denoted by the level of cleanliness of the pod you use. First class is guaranteed that no insects made it into the pod with you. while the Economy class "hopes" that no insects made it into the pod with you. (Jeff Goldblum can relate.)

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Omnipresent teleportation is strongly featured in Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination, a SF classic. Called 'jaunting,' it is different from the type you propose for it is entirely a mental feat which nearly anyone can perform (over varying distances). Like yours however, it cannot cross space.

The rich of Bester's world of the 25th century spurn jaunting and employ other methods of transport in a show of conspicuous waste setting them apart from the rest of society.

He set off [...] in a coach and four driven by a coachman assisted by a groom [...] Presteign of Presteign was the epitome of the socially elect, for he was so exalted in station that he employed coachmen, grooms, hostlers, stableboys, and horses to perform a function for him which ordinary mortals performed by jaunting.

[...]

As men climbed the social ladder, they displayed their position by their refusal to jaunte. They newly adopted into a great commercial clan rode an expensive bicycle. A rising clansman drove a small sports car. [...] Presteign of Presteign, head of the clan Presteign, owned carriages, cars, yachts, planes, and trains. His position in society was so lofty that he had not jaunted in forty years.

Besides this one result, Bester has given us a complete vision of how jaunting has upended human society. It is a dangerous world punctuated by an interplanetary war against which the story of Gully Foyle is set.

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Services

Alright, so the teleport itself is pretty much ideal. No wait times worth talking about, no travel time..

But what about the destination?

  • Illnesses are bound to be everywhere, especially in a tele-society like this. Fortunately the Teleport companies can auto-vaccinate passengers in-transit by simply splicing the vaccine into the beam. No scary needles needed. But they have a limited stock, so they provide it as a premium service. Everyone else has to visit their doctor before travelling internationally.
  • Luggage - The mass-cost of teleportation imposes a strict luggage limit, pay by the gram. It's still cheap, but most people will want to travel light. Distance of travel makes this worse. If you want to travel interplanetary, it'll either cost a lot, or you'll take only hand-luggage and buy/rent while you're there. The First Class tickets take a lot of the limits off this.
  • Cargo Transport - Following the thoughts on luggage, if you have something really bulky you want to take with you, ordinarily you'll have to arrange for it to be shipped/transported in specialised cargo teleporters. For First-class travellers, this is part of the service and it'll be waiting for you when you get there.
  • Hotel-Relay - Most tele-travellers end up at a hub station and travel conventionally to whatever hotel or engagement they have in mind. But for a first-class traveller, they can arrange for the teleporter to relay them straight to a First Class pad at the hotel of their choice. They can even be collected from the hotel when they want to leave. No rubbing shoulders with the less-affluent for them!
  • Walk-in-walk-out Teleporters - Most of the time, the travellers need to wait for the teleporter to charge up and fire them to their destination, it's more energy-efficient to do a batch of passengers at a time. A bunch of passengers get into appropriate booths, have a seat and wait. After five minutes, the teleport fires and they all arrive at their respective destinations. Not the case for the super-affluent. There are teleporters permanently charged for their use, they just walk into a short section of corridor and are teleported while walking through it, emerging seamlessly through a door at the other end. For the merely wealthy, the booths they wait for the teleporter in can be significantly nicer. No metal bucket-seats for them! They get comfortable chairs and their own higher quality area of the transit station away from the family holiday-makers.
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  • $\begingroup$ I don't see why luggage or (most) hotels would exist. Business travelers would never use hotels, they could just commute, so they only need to carry what they need for that business day (brief case). The only hotels left would be those where just being in the hotel is a luxury (if you can hear the sound of the surf, yes, but "generic big block hotel near the beach" no). And even then, I think people might prefer to pack more like a day trip, going back to their own closet each morning to pick out that day's clothes. (No more guessing what the weather will be like over the whole trip!) $\endgroup$ – user3067860 Jul 17 '20 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ Remember that you don't have free or immediate access to teleportation. You still have to travel to a terminal to teleport, and queue for tickets. Never mind things like customs (where that's relevant). I live near a major airport, but it'd still take me an hour by public transport to get there from home, or 30 minutes if I caught a taxi. I would rather not do that more often than strictly necessary. Quite aside from having to spend an hour or two travelling each day, I'd want to be on holiday! Being away from home is half the point. going home to my own bed every night is just not the same $\endgroup$ – Ruadhan Jul 17 '20 at 14:49
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A Better UI

How do you select which cabin to teleport to?

  • The basic accounts might have you choose from a list of all the cabins, sorted by their serial number. As per your setup, there would likely be billions of them. You have to go through a thick book that links the numbers to the locations to select the correct one or remember it by heart (think of phone numbers before smartphones, you have to know the person's number or spend some time looking for it in the phone book).
  • The premium account might have the list alphabetically sorted by the actual location's name - much easier to find. Scroll down until you see the location you want to appear in, click it and appear there without needing to bother entering or knowing/remembering its number.
  • For some people, instead of having an alphabetically sorted list that they have to scroll through, it might even be searchable! (for an extra $50.00/month).
  • The gold account members would also have access to a world map: zoom in to the area you want to visit, see the available teleport cabins nearby, click one and appear there.
  • The platinum members could have a Favourites list with their top 10 most used locations (pay more to add more spots to that list) as well as a Recent tab with their last 5 chosen locations.
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Reliability

Cheap cabins (that costs like passenger jet plane) have 0.5% probability teleported person dissipaters without trace and 0.5% that he/she arrives as pile of meat to destination. For second case cheap cabins has build in washing and waste disposal system.

Expensive cabins has much lower probability of malfunctions (it haven't happened yet), but they costs nearly 1000 times more.

UPD1: 0.5% disappearance probability still makes teleport economically viable, for example, to deliver cargo like fast spoiling food. Its not an issue, if 0.5% of shipment disappears, its more important that it can be delivered in time.

UPD2: prob 0.5% malfunction is too high, i agree.

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    $\begingroup$ If it was actually 5 deaths per 1000 uses, that would be 5-6 orders of magnitude more deadly than standard methods of travel. I think it would have to be 5 deaths per billion uses to approximate auto fatality rates, and down to 0.5-2 per billion uses for buses and rail, and even fewer for airline travel. $\endgroup$ – Michael Richardson Jul 17 '20 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Actually that is per passenger mile, so that will change how the comparison works. $\endgroup$ – Michael Richardson Jul 17 '20 at 16:20
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    $\begingroup$ 0.5% seems to be very high. If you use it once a day for a year, chances of being still alive (or "not lost") are just about 16%... $\endgroup$ – Scz Jul 17 '20 at 17:22
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Subverted:

Like with vinyl records vs. digital music, the elite don't crowd into teleporters like all poor people do. They own transatlantic cruisers, airships and steam locomotives, not because they are practical, but because they can afford to travel in such extravagant ways and nobody else can!

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You're working it backwards. First class travel isn't find some way of adding amenities to the teleport system: first class travel is not using the teleport system. The peons rush around from point to point...and to be fair the rich do as well if they're in a hurry, but otherwise they're willing to show how well off they are by taking their time, because they can. Why, instead of teleporting from New York to London instantly, they might take two whole hours on a transonic jet, and if they're really decadent, several whole days by ship.

Note that this happens now (pre-COVID and probably will again): for less than four hundred dollars you could fly from New York to London in six hours. If you take, say RMS Queen Mary 2 it takes an entire week and, depending on the season, the price could start at $1,900 for the cheapest interior cabin.

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Scanning your body requires you to lie still for 41 minutes. In many cases its faster to drive.

The high-end machines with three times as many sensors reduce it to 6 minutes.

OR if you're rich, you can afford the specialized portable hard drive with a copy of your latest body scan, which reduces the scan time significantly.

OR the scan time still takes 41 minutes, but some are located in luxury lounges where you can have cocktails and surf the web while lying there.

AND the high-end machines are safer. The low-end ones almost never have...unfortunate incidents, but the high-end ones have triple-redundancy, and have even fewer problems. (Contraiwise, cargo-only teleporters are pretty safe, but its cheaper to insure your cargo than it is to send it through a low-end people-approved teleporter.)

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