• Keep an eye out for these 5 new airline innovations

    2016-10-14

    If you're taking a trip to a tropical paradise or flying into the heart of the city for vacation, the numerous attractions and your hotel amenities are probably a few aspects of your trip that you're most excited about. The journey to get there, on the other hand, isn't commonly looked forward to.

    However, new airline innovations are likely to change this for travelers. See if your airplane features one of these five enticing technologies that not only make flying more convenient for passengers, but revolutionize air travel.

    1. Personal lighting features
    Passengers will no longer have to decide whether they want to sit under the bright glow of their overhead reading light or in the darkness of their cabin. Aircrafts like Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America have introduced a new mood lighting feature for several of their aircrafts.

    According to Conde Nast Traveler, the new system is available at every seat and offers individuals a color wheel so they can easily choose their favorite hue to illuminate their space. The soft neon light brightens each seating area just enough for passenger to read or relax without disturbing others around them. Travelers will begin to see this tool on more overnight flights in the coming months.

    2. Themed airplanes
    Many airlines have partnered with entertainment companies like Cartoon Network in the past, featuring large drawings of various characters decorating the exterior of their aircrafts. However, Japan's All Nippon Airways has taken this one step farther with its Star Wars Project. One of the carrier's aircrafts will sport a large painting of R2-D2 on the exterior for the next five years.

    CNN reported the plane will fly internationally beginning in the fall 2015, but launched early as a promotion for the new movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which recently released its first trailer. Although the exterior is the plane's biggest Star War's-inspired feature at the moment, ANA has promised passengers more surprises and innovations over the next couple of years.

    3. Electronic storage compartments
    Frequent flyers know how hard it can be to keep all of their smaller electronic gadgets safely tucked away in their seating area. How does one prevent their iPhone from slipping through the cracks in their seat or forgetting their headphones in the pouch in front of them? Stelia Aerospace has recently introduced the Celeste, a premium economy seat that comes with a section for storing electronics. The storage pocket is seat-level, so it's easily reached and has specific compartments for each device.

    4. Smartphone apps
    For travelers who struggle with the tiny buttons found on most aircrafts, some planes are starting to offer a smartphone application for passengers in business class to make tasks like selecting a lounging position easier. The pre-programmed app even has categories for activities like sleep, work and relaxing.

    5. Interactive walls
    Although this concept has yet to be introduced to any planes yet, several popular aircraft designers are working on sprucing up airplanes with interactive screens. Many plan on covering the walls of planes with screens that offer entertainment features and much more.

    "There are various surfaces in the aircraft from the seat tray table to the overhead panels which could be used as smart surfaces to provide interaction and entertainment - or could even be used to charge your phone. Other surfaces could provide essential passenger information such as safety information and the nearest emergency exit," inventor Nigel Lawson told Outside magazine.

    Many designers have also reported working on a 360-degree view for passengers. In addition to providing flyers with a unique viewing experience, Lawson noted that building the plane with transparent, lighter materials, increasing fuel efficiency.

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