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How a silicon valley engineer would reinvent the airline industry

Unending lines, long boarding times, and uncomfortable cabins all point towards an industry that needs serious improvement.

Airplane passenger 2013 3 14Enlarge
Lufthansa airplanes sit on the tarmac at the Frankfurt Rhein-Main Airport on Sep. 7, 2012. (Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images)

The airline industry is ripe for change. 

That's because it's plagued with issues like slow boarding processes, long lines at security and customs checkpoints, lack of overhead bin space, physical discomfort on the plane, and lack of entertainment options, Heyzap co-founder Jude Gomila recently wrote on his blog.

"After taking many flights last year I began to build up a list of things I'd love to see improved," Gomilo writes. "I've thought about every interaction and process that became a nuisance, discomfort or inefficiency to my flight. The airline industry needs to move into a phase where design around user experience becomes the primary objective - profits will follow."

Here's how Gomila thinks the airline industry could be improved:

  • Make the cabin portion of the plane detachable to let people board before the full plane even arrives. If that happens, "we could add more doors and preload passengers into an air conditioned and powered unit at the gate with a precision conveyer belt to take the container cabin onto the main plane," Gomila writes. 
  • Require people to watch the safety video online before boarding. Once they watch it, they could take a test, receive a certificate of completion, and never have to watch it again. 
  • Increase the size of the overhead bin, and implement cameras and LED notifications to help people quickly find free space. 
  • Bring Visa and custom forms online because people rarely have pens on them these days. Or, put iPads with a data entry app in the border control area.
  • Make the chairs mesh to maximize breathability. 
  • Add localized controls to the display on the back of seats to let passengers better manage their personal air temperature and humidity. 
  • Change the overhead reading lights so they don't spread into the space of other passengers.
  • Implement active noise-canceling zones to help improve sleep quality.
  • Bring all entertainment controls to the touchscreen display.
  • Coat common surfaces with silver-based metal to help prevent illnesses.
Original Source URL: 
http://www.businessinsider.com/reinventing-airline-industry-2013-3

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/130314/how-silicon-valley-engineer-would-reinvent-the-airline-industry