The new “10 Most Innovative Airlines” report from airlinetrends.com raises praise of trivia to a high art. Most of the so-called innovations featured are either further tweaking of already ultra-luxurious first-class and business-class cabins and cabin service, or cosmetic changes and PR hype—stuff that’s all sizzle and no steak.
Among the latter: featured vodka brands, duty-free merchandise display cases, new branding campaigns, partneships with contemporary designers, healthy-flying tips booklets, a new corporate structure. Wow! Those perks sure make flying better for you folks in the back of the plane.
The report does, however, describe a few innovations that are or will be actually meaningful to ordinary travelers on economy tickets:
- Above-average 34-inch seat pitch, rather than the knee-crunching standard of 31 inches, on Korean’s A380s.
- Improved baggage-tracking technology on Delta.
- An empty-seat option on AirAsia X: Pay a fee of $10 to $16 to increase your odds of having an empty seat next to you; this is refundable if the seat has to be filled.
But the paucity of this “real innovations” list illustrates what we already know: Airlines these days devote lavish attention to their international business- and first-class services while giving the back of their hands to those in economy. But that’s the way it is—and the way it will remain as long as most economy travelers buy the cheapest tickets they can find, regardless. Oy.
You Might Also Like:
We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Top Fares From
Today's Top Travel Deals
Brought to you by ShermansTravel
New Zealand: 13-Night, 5-City Vacation w/Air,...
Down Under Answersvacation $6199+
Wisconsin Dells Water Park Resort w/Meals,...
Rome to Istanbul: Luxe, 11-Night Mediterranean...
Oceania Cruisescruise $3999+