Airlines have come a long way over the years but there are a lot of improvements that should be made. Teague, the air travel design studio that has designed the interiors of Boeing planes since 1946, has recently introduced some new ideas that may radically change air travel as we know it today.
These ideas were recently discussed at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference. “Our scenario was, what if we created a startup airline, in the mode of Airbnb or Uber?” explained Devin Liddell, Teague’s principal brand strategist. “If we started an airline from scratch, what would we do?”
As Fast Co. Design outlines the main takeaways from the conference, which I would like to share below.
No Carry-On Luggage
Now that most airlines charge upwards of $25 per checked bag, people have begun to store more of their luggage in overhead bins. But these bags and the large overhead compartments take up to much space. As Teague explained, you don’t need all the stuff you are putting in the overhead bin, so why is it up there? Furthermore, a lot of time is wasted trying to board the plane when everyone has their carry-on bags. Liddell calculates that boarding speed could be improved by 71% by eliminating large overhead compartments.
Middle Seat Upgrades
No one wants to sit in the middle seat, and for good reason. But what if the middle seat was given special perks? Teague suggests that inviting forward-thinking brands to take over the seats and offer middle passengers something different then it would make the seats more enticing. The perks could involve an exclusive gift box, the chance to test out a new game, or nab a discount off custom items if they purchase them inflight. Within this scenario, everyone would win: airlines would make more money by selling the seats to brands, brands get access to the passenger and potential customer, and the passenger gets some exclusive perks.
Amazon Prime-Style Memberships
This concept breaks away from the traditional airline miles programs and takes a note out of Amazon Primes book. Liddell presented the idea by asking, what if you could pay an annual fee to an airline and get perks and privileges similar to you do with a Amazon Prime Subscription. Liddell explained, “This concept, which is so important to the Poppi experience, would help airlines escape fare commoditization, and give passengers far more rewarding and meaningful ways to engage with the airline than what airlines offer now.” The concept would even allow for passengers to resell their seats to other people.
When planning a trip, the airport is usually not on the list of places you are most interested in spending time. But when traveling long distances, you will inevitably have a layover in a different city where you may be forced to spend a significant amount of time. Most airports, frankly, are now fun at all. But that does not mean they are all terrible.
Many airports are beginning to introduce more entertainment and innovative features that can make your layover a lot more tolerable. I am talking about anything from zen gardens and rooftop pools to museums and even ice-skating rinks.
If you are trying to squeeze the most enjoyment out of your vacation, considering planning your layover to take place at any one of these great airports.
1) Changi Airport, Singapore
- Five lush gardens: rooftop, sunflower, orchid, cactus, and butterfly garden (1,000 real, live butterflies)
- Terminal 1 has a Balinese-style rooftop swimming pool
- Offers free city tours of Singapore if you have 6 hours or more to kill
Best airline to book: Cathay Pacific
2) Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
- One of the most innovative airports in Europe
- View prominent works by famous Dutch artists at the Rijksmuseum at Amsterdam Schiphol
- Airport Library
- Meditation Center and Rituals Spa
- Dutch souvenir stores
- Only 1 terminal, so no matter where you are flying you can have access to the great features
Best airline to book: KLM
3) Hong Kong International Airport
- Built on an artificial island with great views of the city
- Aviation Discovery Center
- Rooftop SkyDeck to watch planes
- 350-seat IMAX theater
- Two great shopping centers: SkyPlaza and SkyMart
Best airline to book: Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Qantas
4) Incheon International Airport, Korea
- Cultural museum
- Korean Cultural Street where you can experience Korean architecture
- Cultural performances year round
- Actor reenactments of Korea’s royal family
- Multiple gardens: rock, cactus, pine tree and an outdoor garden
- Observation deck
- 240-seat movie theater
- Ice Forest: a real, fully operational skating rink
Best airline to book: Korean Air, Asiana Airlines
5) Munich Airport, Germany
- Freshly brewed beer
- Traditional Bavarian-style sausage in the largest covered beer garden in Europe
- Live bands during the summer
- Brewery tour and beer tasting
- 18-hole mini golf course
- Relaxation Zones with couches and special lights and plants to create tranquil environments
Best airline to book: Lufthansa
If you are interested in find more great airports then check out this article here. Safe travels!
Chicago is the third most populous city in the United States, located between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. The city, often referred to as the “Windy City” has a vibrant culture, with everything from visual arts, novels, film, theater, improvisational comedy to a large music scene that includes jazz, blues, soul and house music.
If you have the opportunity to make it to Chicago, a popular tourist destination is the Navy Pier. You will find retail stores, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls, auditoriums and the 150-foot tall Ferris wheel. Chicago was actually the first city in the world to erect a ferris wheel!
For a great view of the city, The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) has an observation deck opened year round with views overlooking Chicago and Lake Michigan. If you are not afraid of heights, there is an enclosed glass balcony that extends over the side of the building allow you to look straight down.
If you would like to learn more about Chicago you should check out this website.
The 2015 World Expo will be one for the books. The theme this year revolves around food and sustainability practices. So what better place to host such an event than Milan? Dishes from modern Italian cuisine have become dietary staples for many Americans, but many of the authentic “Italian” dishes served in the US have a distinctly American flair. So, you want some true to life Italian food? Then there can be no better chance than the expo this year, where you will be learning about the future of food while sampling some of the best in the world! Day passes start at around €39.
Learn more at the Expo website!
Grand Rapids is Michigan’s second-largest city and is home to a fabulous art scene. You can explore the impressive blooms and Rodin sculptures in the Meijer Gardens or spend some time checking out the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The city was also voted the best beer city in the United States by the national Beer Examiner blog in 2012 and 2013. There are over 25 craft breweries in the area with plenty of beer-tourism attractions and events to keep you busy.
Only 30 miles away from Grand Rapids, you will be able to find Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast. This beach getaway rivals the shores of places like Hawaii and Southern California. The beach spans some 300 miles with sugar-white dunes. Aside from the endless beach you will also be able to find wineries, orchards, beery farms and cider houses. Many people would never think that the Midwest is home to one of the most beautiful beach vacation getaways!
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a U.S. National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The main attraction within the park is Carlsbad Cavern. This show cave includes a large cave chamber, the Big Room, a natural linestone chamber that is nearly 4,000 feet long, 625 feet wide and 255 feet high at the highest point. Carlsbad Cavern is the fifth largest chamber in North America and the twenty-eighth largest in the world.
It is estimated that around 250 million years ago, the area surrounding Carlsbad Caverns National Park served as the coastline for an inland sea. Within this sea was diverse marine life, whose remains formed the reef. Unlike modern reef growths, this reef contained bryozoans, sponges and other microorganisms. Eventually, most of the water evaporated and the reef was buried by evaporites and other sediments. Tectonic movement then occurred, uplighting the reef above ground followed by erosion and water sculpting the Guadalupe Mountain region into its present-day state.
You can learn more about the park here.
Arches National Park is a U.S. National Park in eastern Utah, located on the Colorado. Within the park, you can find over 2,000 natural sandstone arches as well as a verity of unique geological resources and formations. You will also be able to see the world-famous Delicate Arch, a 65-foot-tall freestanding natural arch.
The park is located just outside of Moab, Utah and sits on 76,679 acres. Arches lies atop an underground evaporite layer of salt bed, which is the main cause of how the arches, spires, balanced rocks, sandstone fins, and eroded monoliths in the area formed.Although the formations appear to be rugged and durable, they are actually very fragile and the 700,000 park visitors each year are a constant threat to their sustainability.
You can learn more about the park here.