Friday, September 3, 2010

Airlines Giving Back to Passengers?

Posted by Travel Sentry

Forget about the airlines bringing back free food service in coach. Neither are we likely to see checked bag fees recede. But some airlines are making amends by investing newly earned profits in remodeling, sometimes completely rebuilding their cabins.

American Airlines has launched just such a revamp program for all 76 of their Boeing 737 jets. One thing that will relieve a great deal of passenger stress is the doubling of overhead bin capacity. Once complete, the new cabins will be able to hold five or six bags per bin.

AA is also wiring for WIFi and installing individual power outlets and new entertainment systems.

Working 24-hours a day, five days a week, 351 maintenance techs recraft the planes in Tulsa, Okla. It takes 21 days to complete one jet with four aircraft in process at a time.

Shareholders have reason to cheer as well. AA’s new 737 cabin configuration adds 12 additional seats to each plane. Since food service is not what it used to be, AA is removing the rear galleys and moving bathrooms (hmmm…..) to make room for the extra seats. A new seat design will help mitigate the lost space by improving reclining angles.

It’s been years since airlines have had the luxury of profits to reinvest in their jets. Now that red ink has turned black, passengers are starting to see some new benefits and improvements.

The following video from ABC news chronicles the progress of refitting the cabins.

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