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Improving the flight experience

I have a few really good ideas, my friends, and wanted to get your input along with any ideas you might have.

Place mini-bottles of liquors and wines in the seat folder where they place the magazines. Near the end of the flight the flight attendant would gather them up and you would be charged for only what you consumed. It should be no problem with hand sanitizer.

Allow for adult movies on the airline screens. Ensure the screens are only visible to the occupant of the seat. Charge a premium.

Have drop down curtains or screens of some sort between seats once the flight gets going to allow for privacy and the mitigation of someone's virus getting into your airspace. Sorry about the overly long sentence.

Have all luggage checked and turn the overhead bins into sleeping compartments. These can be locked to keep people from falling out during turbulence. or better yet strap them in. There would be an extendable ladder when they needed to go up or down. For an extra fee you could have larger compartments for couples.

Posted by
3640 posts

Park the airplanes in the evening near the city centers and rent out the seats for overnight sleeping. Charge double for those overhead bin sleepers! Major score if you can just ride the plane back to the airport in the morning for final departure! LOL

Posted by
20954 posts

I think someone is spending too much time with the local beverage in the hills of Virginia.

Posted by
5897 posts

Hahaha!! Maybe some of that beverage has made it to Idaho, as Jean was able to roll right with it!!

Posted by
2622 posts

Determine the political allegiance of all passengers at check-in and seat people of opposite persuasions next to each other. Even better, take away all earphones. This actually happened to me on a flight home from Greece(except I did have earphones) when a passenger from elsewhere in the plane was moved into the empty seat next to me-it was a good thing that I wasn't a different ethnicity from this woman.

Posted by
3872 posts

ummmm....

Seatback pocket

Passengers have been known to treat the pocket on the seat in front of them as a wastebasket, stuffing trash, dirty tissues, used diapers and more into the pouch.

On planes with quick turnarounds on the ground, cleaning crews may not even get a chance to empty out the seat pockets, let alone disinfect the cloth. And one Auburn University in Alabama study found that MRSA germs survive for up to 7 days on seat pocket cloth — the longest it survives on any of the hard and soft surfaces the researchers tested.

Drexel University Medicine only recommends one way to avoid germs in the seatback pocket: “Just don’t use them. It’s simply not worth the risk.”

https://time.com/4877041/dirtiest-places-on-airplanes/

(Yes, I do realize this is tongue in cheek, but... ;) )

Posted by
1669 posts

Jean is a creative person who thinks outside of the box. People like this invented Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and The Three Stooges. They landed people on the Moon.

Friends, we are not in the "judgement zone" yet. This is the idea stage in which we do not want to stifle the creative process. Think of this as throwing poop against the wall to see what will stick. It's a management technique. Would The Beatles have existed if George Martin was a wet blanket, mocking their ideas?

This is how progress is made.

No, I haven't had a drink. Yet. I'll bet two shots of Crawdaddy's stuff and most of you lightweights would be crying for mommy. Anyway, back on topic, please.

Place a bagged "lunch" and a bottle of water on each seat for long flights, just like the one mom used to make for you as a kid. No need for a cart going down the aisle just when you really need to go to the bathroom.

Posted by
364 posts

I like the idea of a bagged meal and drink on the seat.

Posted by
3444 posts

Several airlines have already adopted the bag lunch in your seat option.

If it wasn't Sunday night, I might just have a drink or two (more). I have quite the collection of single serve airplane bottles courtesy of a FA friend (not sure where she got them from, didn't ask). I prefer using the little bottles because that helps me measure more accurately. ;-)

Posted by
1669 posts

joe, we're just spit balling here, not judging. It's part of the creative process.

stan, you're thinking outside of the box. Well done. Maybe this would be great at the end of the flight to wake people up. Sorry, not the time to judge.

After returning from a deployment to the desert, I met Mary--my hot hot Irish wife with the freckles--at the Frankfurt airport. We had six hours to spend together before the flight, which was not enough time to find a hotel and you-know-what. There are many couples that end up in the same boat, facing a long flight with only one thing on their minds, and it is torture, thus the benefits of a double-wide private space above the seats. We would have paid quite a bit extra for that benefit!

And before someone chimes in with, "Why didn't you join the Mile High club"; well, doing it in the lavatory is about the most disgusting place I could think of, so no. Mary? No way. TBH I would've done it if Mary was willing. We were in our early 20s if you know what I mean.

Posted by
1669 posts

Nicole, sanitation is key. We're all adapting to the new normal. Be positive. Just Do It as Nike says. Find a way, no excuses.

Before each mission we went in believing, "We will not fail." That was not an option.

cala, bringing people together is what it's all about. We need to have these conversations.

Posted by
36 posts

A sandwhich waiting for me would be great. Can I trade with someone if I got a PB and J? Mom always made me PB and honey in grade school.
Cathy

Posted by
4513 posts

I found some nice French cheese in the seat pocket once, on an Air France flight from Paris. Unfortunately, it had previously been unwrapped and had softened, so it was hard to pry away from the plastic and fabric.

For another creative idea, which could help with the city-center-to-airport service suggested above, cartoonist Gary Larson has offered this (second from the top, today only): www.thefarside.com

Posted by
5527 posts

Delta had the sandwich-and-water idea 20 years ago -- except you had to pick it up yourself on the way up the jetway. (In these times PB&J would be disallowed because of potential peanut allergies)

Hand out Depends at check-in, allowing passengers to put them on in airport restrooms before entering the plane ? Might be a good alternative to using less-than-desirable plane toilets.

Posted by
627 posts

Removable modular units on setbacks to hold all the stuff (booze, meals, drinks) Big Mike suggested. After a flight lands, crew exchanges all of them for clean ones, noting who drank which of the little bottles.

Posted by
416 posts

Change out the landing gear to pontoons. How cool would it be to pull up to the dock at a fishing lodge in an A380?

Posted by
24820 posts

some people don't like heights so climbing up a ladder to sleep in the overhead bins... so mount the seats on a mechanism so when everybody is in their seats they can move into the aisle so people can lie down next to the edge of the cabin. Then when the seats are returned to the wall they would rise up a foot or so for sleeper comfort and safety.

So with lie-down sleepers above and lie-down sleepers below, the seat arms would go flat so the 3rd person can lie nearly flat across the seats.

Everybody is comfy and this is in coach!!

Posted by
12076 posts

This is the idea stage in which we do not want to stifle the creative
process. Think of this as throwing poop against the wall to see what
will stick. It's a management technique.

LOL, Mike! You wouldn't, by chance, be in possession of a book titled, "A Whack On The Side Of The Head" and accompanying "Creative Whack Pack" of stimulus cards?

(Asks this veteran of umpty corp. brainstorming sessions)

Issue every passenger a virtual reality helmet that does double duty as a masking + entertainment device. Shoot, might be one way to enjoy an 'adult' experience, Mikey, without curious kiddies freaking out?

Posted by
1217 posts

Putting anything thicker than a magazine in the seat pocket in the economy cabin would probably require rule revision at the 'airline manual submitted to the FAA' level because it's an effective reduction in space between seats and might cause delays in the event of an emergency evacuation. (Business/first class seats are far enough apart for that to not be an issue)

Posted by
3444 posts

Allow passengers to bring their own beer/wine/liquor and then sell mixers and cups of ice for an inflated price as well as charge a corkage fee. Limited amounts, of course, we don't want people getting too drunk. This way everyone gets exactly what they want without being forced into the usually limited onboard selections. And of course continue to give out or sell at current prices soft drinks and water to those who choose no alcohol.

TSA would have to be on board with this (no pun intended) to allow the alcohol through the checkpoints, or the airports could open alcohol shops in the terminals and have prices set to within a certain percentage of cost outside the airport. (United already has this restriction on prices at IAH on food and other beverages, so not impossible to implement.)

Posted by
24820 posts

in England people have developed a whole new packaging technique of putting things through the mail slots in the door that we have so that people don't have to wait around to receive packages, and no unattended packages which might walk off. Wine, gin, flowers, beer, food, toys, and all sorts are delivered this way. The slots are wide and about an inch and a half high, and the depth of the door.

Surely the same technology could make really thin but wide bottles that could share space with the inflight magazine. Or some will say if you have all those bottles in the seat back who needs a magazine?

Posted by
17863 posts

I think someone is spending too much time with the local beverage in the hills of Virginia.

Not Virginia, Frank. "West (ByGod) Virginia".

Posted by
1669 posts

Folks, this is not a thread for wet blanket comments. We must "find a way" in a manner similar to a very difficult military mission, like D-Day. Could you imagine if General Eisenhower said, "Well, boys, this is gonna be hard, maybe impossible. Let's forget it."

If we can land people on the Moon, well, you know.

"hills of Virginia"... good Lord.

Posted by
6162 posts

Memories of seeing the seat backs filled with wine bottles on my first flight to China! And those seated in them had trouble walking off the flight when we landed, totally drunk. They had gone shopping in Napa back when you could carry liquids on planes.

Posted by
1590 posts

Nigel, sounds like you may have experienced the charter sleeper buses my mother and her sister used to take on ski trips in the U.S. They had pull-down "bunks" that (if you were short) you could sleep on. My mom and her sis would get on the bus after work on Friday, ride overnight to a ski area, ski two days, get back on the bus Sunday night and go to work on Monday morning.

Posted by
12118 posts

BigMikeWestByGodVirginia, lets see if this helps ........

Taking temps at security will weed out a few risks.

With so many foreign destinations requiring testing before arrival, I would suspect that their are fewer infected people on an international flight than on a domestic flight.

Air Quality on a flight is generally better than in your home.

Wipe it all down with sanitizer when you get on.

Use sanitizer every time a flight attendant or another passenger walks past you during the flight (just as a timing reminder)

Keep your fingers out of your nose

Wear a mask, change it after each inflight movie you watch (again as a reminder). Here is an excellent one: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61-zktiR3wL._SL1024_.jpg But to be honest, for comfort on a long trip I would spring for some of those N95 masks with the vents in them.

Bring a flask (order shots at the bar and fill your flask before you board).

Bring a lunch box and fill it from one of the airport restaurants or the pre-packaged food from the airport convenience store

By travel medical / evacuation insurance with COVID coverage (so cheap, no reason not to)

None of those precautions are more unreasonable than going to the grocery store.

Want to kick it up a notch? Wear gloves and Get tested when you land. I found a place in Budapest that will come to your hotel room.

Posted by
3444 posts

N95 masks with the vents in them.

There were several mentions of those in the news today related to air travel: They will not qualify due to the vent which allows your expelled breath to exit the mask unimpeded.

So they will prevent you from inhaling many dangerous things, which is what they were designed for (such as factories where inhaling the particles in the air may pose a health risk), but stop nothing coming out of you because there used to be no need.

(I will look again for links to post, couldn't ut and paste them on the device I used to post this.)

Posted by
276 posts

I would be so totally claustrophobic with sleeping in a little overhead compartment. My solution is to string up hammocks all throughout the plane.

Posted by
11450 posts

You know I’ve seen ( haven’t looked this year of course ) flights from Vancouver Bc to London for about 800 each . IF I could book three seats in a row ( middle section ) just for me that would be my ideal / one of my best flights my friend and I had booked an two aisle seats on a middle of three . After take off we noticed row behind us was empty so I moved onto it and stretched out and had an AWESOME flat sleep !

I’d happily pay 2400 for a flat sleep ! Cheaper than a pod seat .

Posted by
424 posts

A nice stroll through fantasy & silliness. Would love to see illustrations of these ideas.
Any of you work for an Airline, regulatory authority Or aircraft manufacturer?

Posted by
47 posts

I have been waiting for someone to asking for my opinion on improving my in flight experience. Thank you BigMikeWestByGodVirginia for giving me this platform. Let’s start small with a complete redesign of the passenger overhead controls. Replace the air flow vents with temperature controlled seating. Just think how swell it would be if every passenger could dial in the perfect ambient temperature to their backside without having to aim a noxious blast of air flow at their face. Replace the air flow nozzle with fine misters instead that will spritz you ever so slightly when it starts feeling like Yuma on a summer day. Next I want an aromatherapy button that wafts pleasant aromas for when deep into a flight and you can’t help but notice you’re smelling the contents of your fellow passengers’ entrails. Is it the airline food that makes people so gassy on flights? Then there’s those pesky, tiny alcohol bottles; a recycler’s nightmare. Can’t we hang a full size bottle of choice (I’ll take a smoky, peaty single malt like Laphroaig please) in the overhead with a feeder line which we can suckle off of as needed? I’ll start there but if you need more ideas, let me know.

Posted by
24820 posts

Ok, I think I've cracked it.

Forget about these metal tubes with people trying to get comfortable, right?

Set up flying machines with large bags of lighter than air gas and hang a large passenger compartment below. Big enough that everybody gets a deck chair, recliner which makes up into a bed - two (or more) can be pushed together for community sleeping, and everybody gets a picture window. Let it take 10 days to go from home to destination, 14 if they go slow, and that takes care of the quarantine. No fast travel through time zones so no jet lag! There could be a band and a dance floor and a library and virtual reality headsets so no boredom. Because the chef wouldn't have a tiny kitchen there wouldn't be microwaved mystery food - real meals. Maybe in the style of where you are going so everybody starts their vacation as soon as they board.

What's not to like?

Posted by
3444 posts

They used Hydrogen which can be very flammable. It would be safer to use Helium, which is nonflammable, like the Goodyear blimps do, but is in short supply so might be too expensive if used for massive replacement of airplanes.

And you run into the length of vacation time most Americans have. If it takes 2 weeks to get there and 2 weeks return, we have already exceeded the available time off for many working Americans. It would work for retirees, rich retirees with nothing else to do.

Posted by
424 posts

Nigel maybe the R-101 would meet your fancy and the Yanks could ride the Akron. This whole thread is doing back strokes through a sea of ludicrous ideas.

Posted by
12118 posts

BigMikeWestByGodVirginia

Wearing mask, using hand sanitizer and wiping down your seat area really arent things different than you would do if you go out to dinner in your home town. So none of that is a stretch.

Hey, thanks for the heads up on the airlines banning the masks with the vents. I learn something new every day. I will switch to the big pointy N95.

As for my suggestion of a flask. Bringing your own booze on a flight use to be either illegal or at least against the airline rules. That could be a problem. The rest works and isnt much different than all those flights where I brought snacks for the long flights. Really no big deal. All in all, I think I can travel as easily as going to the grocery store with maybe no significant change in risk.

Posted by
42 posts

After decades of travelling, I have found the flying experience has rapidly gone downhill. With common courtesy gone out the window, and airlines economizing to the point of absurdity, it makes for a perfect storm. I have pondered the question BigMike has raised many a time during some particularly bad flight experiences, and this is how I imagine a perfect flight now….

Passengers enter plane filled with individual lie down pods (pre-sanitized, of course). Upon entering pod, a hibernation state is induced. This would eliminate the need to attend to bodily functions such as eating, and …well, eliminating. At end of flight, we emerge like sleepy bears from our slumber, refreshed and oblivious to all the usual hullabaloo. That’s what I call a stress-free way to fly.

And while we’re at it (since this is all fantasy anyways), whatever method science has designed to put us in this hibernation state is also customizable to choose the sort of dreams we would like to experience during our hibernation state. (Like movies, these may need to rated.)

Posted by
6162 posts

Thank goodness my box of twenty N95 masks don't have vents! They were so hot to wear, though, on our June cross country flights. But our Covid tests were negative after we arrived so they worked after being on crowded, passengers out of control, flights on AA.

Posted by
3444 posts

James, Yes, consuming your own alcohol on a plane is against the rules and will get you arrested on landing. You can currently bring as much as you want as long as you don't drink it. There is a way around it even now.

Posted by
12118 posts

Yes Mark, you must of heard the news story on Fox today that discussed the problem SW Airlines was having with passengers smuggling the booze on board. I guess I will have to settle for bringing brownies....

Posted by
3640 posts

Thanks for commenting on my creativeness, Mike! Actually I invented the internet.....no, that’s been claimed by.....about everyone!

My pie-in-the-sky invention to improve the flying experience is that 10 minutes before boarding, the specific plane seat layout would shine onto the floor of the boarding area. Everyone would go stand “in their seat”. Dividers would rise from the floor, and the line of window seat people (back seat of plane 1st) would systematically board the plane in order. Next the lucky middle seat, and last the aisle seat people.

I realize this would need cooperation from travelers to stand in their spot, for 1st class travelers to load towards the end - gasp!!, and enough space at boarding areas. Parents with kids would board last or first. But, wouldn’t it fun to just watch for a half hour how much chaos this method could cause a non-process location such as Naples airport? LOL