The rest of the industry doesn't do it...they are not the same industry just because they all float. You can't compare shipping, towing, drilling, OSV's, ect as one. Most other mariners want our day rate, we want their travel, so on and so forth. It's human nature to want whatever we don't have.
I'd take the day rate increase over travel. Only a year or so ago 1600/3000 ticket masters were 550/day. Now many are pushing 900/day. Adds up to be much better overall than a plane ticket or gas money.
Be careful what you wish for...if travel pay becomes the norm, who do you think the last to get hired/first to get fired will be? For every industry boom there will be a bust and though things are booming now, we are all one BP Horizon type incident away from bust and if I'm the HR guy and boats are getting stacked, I'm definitely sending the guy with round trip airfare home before a lot of others.
I'm not a company man, just a realist. The guy at the office isn't giving up jack shit so you can get travel. Bank on that. These are bayou companies who take care of their own first, always have been. In my mind I can get bent out of shape over the couple hundred in gas I spend per hitch or realize the average pay has nearly doubled in the last year during one of the worst economic climates of my life. Try telling your non maritime friends your salary then complain about travel :-). Maybe one day I will get compensated for travel...great. But it's not a deal breaker so I don't waste my time bitching about a job I'm overall extremely thankful for.