David J. Danto


Travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion




eMail: ddanto@IMCCA.org      Follow Industry News: @NJDavidD on all          


Innovation From Left Field – March 2024


  I was chatting with a colleague earlier this week about innovation.  We both agreed that most innovation comes from external entities – ones that are not close to an embedded environment.  Furniture designers tend to make versions of the same furniture; car manufacturers tend to tweak existing versions of cars as well.  If you want something really innovative you have to look to firms that are not already in the space.

The same holds true for airline travel.  Beyond the cabin colors and the IFE screen programming, the experience of flights on every airline is just about the same –it’s flying entropy.  Some aircraft and seat classes have different features, but they are generally homogenized across their peers.  What we need to do as a society is admit that it’s a horrible experience and find an external entity to redesign it form scratch.

Well, one such firm has stepped-up.

A company called Zephyr Aerospace just won an award for a brand new design for aircraft interiors.  Their design stacks the seating two high, and provides each seat with both access to the aisle and with a lie-flat section.  By stacking the plan they are making typically unused cabin interior space more useful and productive.  Their design also has a number of large bag-hold areas that wouldn’t be as restrictive as the overhead bins in use today.

Will this innovation reach the market?  I’m not really sure.  The business model of the consolidated US airlines is to present a horrible experience so that passengers will be incented to purchase upgrades to a more expensive cabin/seat.  If the coach seats suddenly didn’t suck the airlines would have to change their business model.  The same goes if there were suddenly bigger spaces for carry-on bags.  The airlines would have to give-up much of the checked-bag fees.  What is clear is that if one airline adopts this new design, they will all copy it – going back to their desired flying entropy where every airline experience is just about the same.



Also, p







Business meetings and conferences have me starting to get back on the road next week.  Orlando, Nashville, Las Vegas – the typical cities of the business traveler.  I fully expect to only sight-see the interiors of the taxi/hotel/meeting room/rental car/airport – all the best non-tourists sites... 


This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.

All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.

Copyright 2024 David Danto


As always, feel free to write and comment, question or disagree.  Hearing from the traveling community is always a highlight for me.  Thanks!