6 Ways to a Perfect Airline

We know that flying is the fastest way (and safest way) to get from Point A to Point B – but we also know that much of air travel is a real headache. I’ve been thinking of tweaks to improve it and have hit upon “the perfect airline.” Some of my ideas may be a bit impractical (please see “wild understatement”) but others are totally do-able.

After looking at my suggestions, I’d love to hear your ideas for a perfect airline.

Virgin America’s new Guide to Getting Lucky

The Perfect Airline

Here’s what it needs, and what it can do without.

1. Superior Seats

If they can’t add six inches of deluxe padding under my posterior, how about “auto snug”? No matter how large you are, you’d plant yourself in the seat and auto snug would go to work, instantly adhering to all your curves for customized comfort. It could be bigger than cheap flights!

2. Better Bag Bins

A two-pronged approach: first, as you begin to raise your bag toward the overhead bin, the bin vacuum does the rest, sucking it into the baggage compartment. Then an auto-deflator goes to work on the bag itself to shrink it (sort of like those vacuum storage bags that supposedly hold a gazillion sweaters). Bottom line: plenty of room for the carry-on crowd.

For those who check their bags, something for you too. On the perfect airline, all bags fly free.

If celebrities ran airlines

3. Worthier Wi-Fi

Maybe this drives you as nuts as it does me, and I’m talking about paying for a Wi-Fi connection that is downright lousy. This should be a priority with the airlines, since I bet more would use Wi-Fi – and pay the fee – if they knew it would work right.

Did I say fee? No fees on the perfect airline.

4. Quieter Captains

I have the utmost respect for airline pilots. They have a tough job, often long days and every now and then they’re called upon to work miracles and often do. That said, could you please desist from the commentary every time you approach the Grand Canyon? Yes, it is a marvel of nature but I’m trying to nap. Thank you in advance, Captain.

Alternative: Set up a button at each seat labeled, “Ask the pilot.” It would allow passengers to ask questions about passing landmarks, and the men and women of the cockpit could respond via headphone conversation.

5 airlines that still have a heart

5. Friendlier Food

Friendlier food means free food. In coach. And as long as I’m feeling expansive, let’s have those celebrity chefs the airlines are always bragging about, dish it up and serve it.

6. Lovelier Lavatories

This one’s easy. Put one of those clipboards in each lavatory with notations on when the bathroom was last cleaned. Of course, if you don’t like what you see – maybe it’s been way too long between cleanings – I’m not sure what your alternative would be (can’t very well go elsewhere). As I said, all of your ideas are most welcome.

More from Rick Seaney:

Imagining the Perfect Airline

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Published: April 29, 2013