Traveling is stressful stuff. Commercial travelers are inundated by the chaos that is today’s travel and, in spite of tighter and tighter seat configurations, are often simply looking for the cabin to be a place to decompress. Private jet travelers may also be searching for a few hours of calm in the midst of a busy life. With passengers so busy in every day life, it’s important for airlines and jets to provide a relaxed flight experience for passengers.
Airlines, both commercial and private, can go far in providing a relaxed environment and comfortable flight experience, allowing passengers to arrive at their destination feeling fit and ready for action.
Here are just a few ways airlines and jets are making the flight experience as comfortable and relaxing as possible.
Meet and greet
There are plenty of travelers who wish to simply try to relax into their seat and ignore their fellow passengers. For these travelers noise-canceling headphones, a good book, and napping, or pretending to nap, are the ticket. For more gregarious passengers, however, a few airlines are out there allowing for a bit more interaction.
The glory days of travel featured cabins with a roomy feel where you could move about and chat with fellow travelers. Those days may be long gone,but some airlines are beginning to offer their own version of mix and mingle. Emirates is leading the pack going forward by introducing a new lounge concept on long-haul flights, knowing passengers are looking for space to relax and socialize while in the air.
A new concept in pods
Another new trend in airline travel is a pod concept. Business class on airlines such as Qatar, for instance, are creating a more social and/or family environment by creating a seating pod more similar to that found on trains with seats facing each other in a pod of four. This can be an extremely appealing touch that airlines may want to adopt for both business and leisure travelers.
Business associates traveling together have their own area to work on projects, plan for meetings, or just relax with a movie. Families can enjoy their own private area in-flight. This totally new idea in travel may become reality, allowing a comfortable flight experience for all in one smooth move.
Keeping in touch
All airlines, both private and commercial, now realize that connectivity is king for the travelers of today. While the majority of carriers have long realized the importance of in-flight entertainment, it’s important to understand the passenger’s need to be connected at all times.
The European market has already advanced to the age of allowing passengers to use their phones and mobile devices at any time during the flight, no longer enforcing that pesky rule that requires they be put down during take-off and landing. International markets will most likely follow suit allowing passengers to remain even more in touch than ever before.
Full flights, crowded seating, lack of amenities, and perhaps a screaming baby. These days it can be hard to find any peace and quiet on an airplane. Even a chatterbox of a seat mate can eliminate any sense of relaxation passengers are striving for. Airlines are working harder and harder to provide the maximum stimuli to give passengers exactly what they want. For those seeking rest and relaxation or who’s soul intent is to catch up on all of the latest movies.
Many international carriers and some domestic are jumping on board with upgraded entertainment in-flight. No longer does in-flight entertainment only feature movies. It now offers an across-the-board range of movies, books, videos, audio, and even meditation systems. The wide variety of features allows passengers to relax and have a comfortable flight experience, while immersing themselves in entertainment.
The addition of WiFi on most flights is another relatively new feature that is allowing passengers a more relaxing flight. Studies show that the millennial’s and new age of travelers prefer to use their own devices. Over 65% of those questioned said they would prefer to use their own devices, a huge trend change from days past.
Lost luggage, delayed flights, broken tray tables. While many travelers may never brag about how amazing their flight was, airlines can go far in offering up unexpected perks and small touches. Turkish delight greets guests in all cabins on Turkish Air, the perfect example of how a seemingly insignificant treat can brighten someone’s day. Occupied children equals relaxed parents. Airlines, such as Singapore Airlines, provide 3-D games and a number of learning apps can keep the young ones entertained for hours, allowing some quality down time for mom and dad.
One Canadian airline sets passengers up for a relaxing flight experience by offering free lounge access to all. Upper-class passengers on Virgin America can socialize and sip at the same time in the onboard bar. Qantas allows meals to be per-ordered guaranteeing that a passengers dinner choice doesn’t run out one row ahead.
The ability to stream Netflix onboard some flights is proving to be one of the most popular advances in aviation recently. Faster WiFi and even a spa-like bathroom on some carriers, an in-flight concert, and even humidifiers are becoming more common as airlines pull out all the stops in an attempt to keep passengers happy. Over the top? Perhaps, but in a cut-throat competitive industry, it really is the little things that gain customer support and loyalty.
Private aviation perks
Private aviation has it a bit easier with the upfront offerings of a more relaxed and chaos-free experience. And yet, even private jets can learn from the lessons of the commercial flights and spend effort making passengers in-flight experience as relaxing and care-free as possible.
Charter jets allow families to remove themselves from the stress of commercial travel. They also allow business travelers to enjoy privacy and flexibility to enhance their overall experience. Moving forward all aviation options need to continue to improve passengers perception of air travel and move back to the glory days of the industry.