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The Future Of Air Travel, Maybe

What’s the airplane of the future going to be like? Airbus has this little video showing what it sees for the future:

Apparently, it involves smart seats that swivel and sense stuff and clean themselves and move around to spread out in the unlikely event that there are any unused seats (at least, every flight I’ve taken in the last few years was packed solid), and gesture recognition in a Kinect/Minority Report/CSI: Miami fashion. The fuselage will be transparent, so you can see the stars and stuff above you and the cities and plains and oceans and clouds below. Holograms abound. You’ll be able to pick your theme and be transported into your own little happy place.

Big freakin’ deal. I just flew back and forth across the country a few days ago, and I don’t care about themes or holograms or seeing the Grand Canyon. I want a seat that isn’t so cramped that I can’t open my laptop all the way because the person in front of me is reclining. I want space for my knees.  I want to be able to use both armrests. I want the kid two rows back to shut up, the person next to me to use deodorant, and to not have to race onto the plane to get enough overhead bin space for my one standard-sized bag. I want power outlets at all seats and Wi-Fi that isn’t molasses-slow. I want the satellite TV on the seat backs to have more than a handful of channels, and for the picture not to be filled with digital artifacts and in stretch-o-vision. I want free upgrades to first class the way it used to be, when you could get them just by being nice to the gate agent. I want the plane to not have to sit on the tarmac waiting for a gate for a half-hour because the airport was somehow unprepared for our arrival.  And I want to be able to get to the plane less than three hours in advance and through security without an interminable wait.

Fix all that, and then we’ll talk about holographic themes.

HT: Popular Science


  1. Mike L says:

    That’s nice for the passenger, but what about us pilots

  2. Chris O. says:

    How about the future of flight is not flying at all? When is that technology coming around?

  3. Matt Boyd says:

    Southwest will still charge for two seats.

  4. John says:

    I’d like to be able to rent a space with a bunk on the flight, if it’s over 5 hours, to have a nap and stretch out.

  5. Snip3rM00n says:

    That would be a freakin epic plane.

  6. I would like to fly on something that does not set off my migraines. It would be nice to arrive at my destination and be able to function. I seriously doubt that holograms are going to help me on that front.

  7. H says:

    Argh. Here’s my whine: do we not have the technology to edit a post, rather than reposting the entire thing with one extra letter just because our finger didn’t hit the “h” hard enough the first time? Grumble grumble. And yes, that previous post had some influence from Louis C.K. I felt that way long before he made it hilarious. Deal with it.

  8. Well, yes, it IS the whine of the privileged. Doesn’t make it any less annoying, though, especially when suffering from an epic headache and lack of sleep. Definitely isn’t breaking rocks in the hot sun, but isn’t a laff riot, either…

  9. H says:

    Now, we’re not going to have to submit this whole article to, are we? We fly through the clouds and cross the country in a matter of hours. FLYING IS AWESOME!

  10. H says:

    Now, we’re not going to have to submit this whole article to, are we? We fly through the clouds and cross the country in a matter of ours. FLYING IS AWESOME!