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Travelers' Aid

This week: Airline Innovations
May 6, 2000

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Of course, even if you do get a great deal on an airline ticket, or a great stay at a resort, one of the hassles of traveling is the plane ride itself. Earlier we talked about our own wish lists for making air travel easier, now for this week's Travelers' Aid, we're going to find out what the airlines themselves are doing about it.

Probably the biggest change people are beginning to see now is on American Airlines. Last February, American announced it's removing two rows of seats in coach class to create a good three to five extra inches of leg room per seat. And this week, American made another announcement: it's doing a similar thing for business class. I got Al Becker on the phone--he works for American. I wanted to find out why the he's doing all this.

Now so far, the more leg room move has not become a trend. United Airlines has created this new Economy Plus section for frequent and business travelers, but American remains the only airline that's created more legroom throughout coach. So what other types of new and interesting amenities can passengers look forward to? I spoke with Steve Lott, a reporter with Aviation Daily. That's a commercial airline trade magazine that watches the trends with a keen eye toward the future. Steve says that unfortunately, most of the innovation is happening in places where most of us will never see it: the front of the plane.

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