The Future of Flying: How Many of These 5 Big Airline Changes Are You Into?

Some are upgrades... and some sure aren't.

Everyone has a flight-from-hell story: gross seatmates, insane airline mishaps, endless delays, what have you. If only we could all fly private, right?

Well, even if that's not possible, there a few new changes in the pipeline to commercial air travel — some of which are bound to improve your experience. And others? Well, not so much. Let's review what's coming down the pike, both good and bad:

1.  Seating Tweaks

You know the way seats push back at the movies, and pop back up when you release pressure? There’s talk of getting those types of seats in economy of some aircrafts for a “more basic economy class” according to CNN. The “flex-up” seat is being created by Aviointeriors, an Italian manufacturer. Yeesh.

Another design company from U.K., Factory Design, wants to make fliers more comfortable with a “twister” seat. The firm, Design Factory, explains, “The ergonomic design, based around the movements of the human spine, is a revolutionary concept, which could turn the world of economy seating upside down."

Let’s hope that this U.K. design wins out. 

2.  Safety Features

The Sky Whale is an invention by a Barcelona-based designer who has the idea of wings that would break into pieces if the plane were going to crash, which would keep the people on board safer. 

That sounds good to us — if wildly futuristic.

3.  Floating Airports

You know those tiny beautiful islands that pop up on your Pinterest feed? A lot of those beauties simply don’t have the room for airports! Neither do overpopulated cities. Floating airports are the newest craze. It’s already been done in China with land reclamation, but now folks want to put them way out in the sea.

San Diego is floating (ahem) the idea of a floating airport because of its limited space. Price tag? A scant $20 billion.

4.  Virtual Reality

A fun change to premium service? How about offering virtual reality sets. Qantas has been trialling this in partnership with Samsung and people are digging it. These days with commercial air travel, it sometimes seems that there can be no better way to pass the time than pretending you’re anywhere other than on an airplane… and what better way to do that than through virtual reality?

Qantas started on first-class flights from Sydney and Melbourne and will expand the offering if it continues to be successful.

5.  Pod Paradise

Want to sleep in a cocoon? In the future, instead of traditional seating, you could fly in a little pod that allows you to individually adjust the lighting, temperature, and noise within your space to your liking.

According to the concept's design team, the double-stacked form would mean passengers would get 30 percent more room. Sold!

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