Do you like flying? Have you ever had a ridiculously long flight, like 17-20 hour long? What do you think, joy or no joy?
In 2018, Qantas introduced the first non-stop journey of 17 hours between Europe and Australia. The duration of flights is growing because airplane designers like Boeing and Airbus have spent a fortune on innovation to provide a tireless, refreshing experience to their customers. This design includes crafting a fuel-friendly wing shape that is also lighter but stronger, with many more ergonomic changes in structure.
So what’s the catch here? Yeah, you see, changing the exterior design in itself is not going to impact customer comfort. So along with keeping a plane in the air all day, the cramp economy chairs need to be upgraded into something more spacious.
What Changed so Far?
As a part of the long journey, these firms tried to make the economy area more comfortable. The design changes include:
2.New lighting reprograms according to the circadian cycle, a natural internal process that helps you sleep.
3.Cabin air that is more pleasant to breathe, increased wifi speed, etc.
But all this was back in 2018; after that, many routes have been formed, and as of today, the highest journey time is approximately 19 hours. Qantas intends to launch a 22-hour non-stop flight by 2022. The details are yet to be made public.
What else can be done both internally and externally to make this ongoing journey an endearing experience?
Alleviating the compression
One of the worst experience that anyone faces is the leg space in the economy section. Despite many years of design and improvements, nothing has changed that, and till today, the seats average just 17 inches. A researcher from London Sleep Centre demonstrated that increasing the seat width to just an extra inch could improve the sleep quality by 53 per cent, and the airline team is also looking for a way to make this happen. You could remove the extra padding in the existing seats. Doing so will provide a slightly wider seat, which might enhance the overall experience.
Food is something you get in small amounts throughout your journey, and it’s at least four meals provided. But for such a prolonged duration, Qantas worked with nutritionists and designed Meals that feature new elements with a high water diet such as cucumbers, strawberries, celery, and leafy greens prevents passengers from dehydration. It also helps cut down on fatigue and headaches. But the longest route has also made some drastic changes to its menu; Singapore Airlines included foods that are low in salt to protect consumers hydration levels and low carb foods to check blood sugar.
Air, a little too thin
Have you ever wondered why do you feel tired after such a long flight?
The sole reason is that at 8,000 feet in the air, the atmosphere becomes thin where our body functions strenuously to supply oxygen; the aircraft cabins do re-create Earth’s atmosphere at such higher feet. To avoid this, Boeing strengthened the 777X’s fuselage to restrict cabin pressures at 6,000 feet which means extra humidity, less dry eyes and itchy nasal passengers.
Currently, if someone travels for such long durations, the only best way available to not get bored is the onboard movies, tv shows, magazines etc. These companies are against each other in the race to keep you entertained so that you forget that you’re flying. But as we explained, wifi is something we all miss on flights and to avoid that; they already jacked up the speed. But the company still strives to speed that up, even more, depending upon telecom satellites and transmission stations, which might help users even binge-watch if the internet doesn’t support it. Airbus is also testing immersive OLED displays and even virtual reality headsets.
Our body retains the recurring natural twenty-four-hour cycle, even in the absence of light fluctuations. Changing the time zone might certainly cause instabilities in the sleep cycle. Many airlines already use full-color LED lighting to keep that from happening, simulating daylight on extended hours to beat fatigue and cozy pinks to tell your body it’s time for sleep.
Airbus has expanded 17 million light and color mixtures that go beyond simulating dusk and dawn, which help sync passenger’s internal cycle with their objective time zone.
Cabin Crew: Round the Clock
Lengthy routes need more crew to work on alternating shifts, and mostly, their resting up is essential, but more often than not, they don’t even have a proper place to sleep and end up near the front of available rows near the economy class. To avoid this problem in such a prolonged journey, both Boeing and Airbus have made changes, providing a more expansive, longer bunk with raised outlay space and thick curtains.
There is an extensive hidden extra space present in every plane filled with cargo and other stuff, but now the companies are trying to utilize this space.
The Airbus A330 plane has a lot of unused space, about 111sq ft, which is equal to a living room in Manhattan. The remodelling ideas include infirmaries and business centres, luxuries such as playrooms, lounges, or even nap areas full of comfortable bunks for consumers to enjoy.
In conclusion, we can safely expect that companies are trying hard to improve the quality of flying daily with more industrial changes.