This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
This year at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, we’ve seen a new A330 cabin design, gigantic seat-back TVs for the economy cabin and a new 4K business-class seat from Panasonic that’s going to transform the in-flight experience once it launches in 2019. While all of those innovations are pretty exciting, they’re not going to have an immediate effect on the passenger experience. Fortunately, there was plenty more to see on the show floor, including new ideas that are already flying today.
One of the biggest challenges facing airlines and passengers alike is how to accommodate a huge influx in the number of carry-on bags. While it’s easy to avoid checked bag fees if you have a certain credit card, many passengers opt to carry on their roll aboard instead. That means a rush to board the plane, with passengers in the lower boarding groups often being asked to check their carry-on instead of being allowed to tuck it in an overhead bin.
If you’ve flown on a new “Sky Interior” Boeing 737, you may have noticed the much larger “Space Bins,” which provide passengers with up to 50% more overhead bin space. These new cabins are flying with several US-based airlines, including American and United. Meanwhile, Airbus has also developed a solution for accommodating more carry-ons on each flight, and I got to check it out in Hamburg last week.
New overhead bins from Airbus provide 60% more space, letting passengers stow their rolling bags vertically instead of horizontally, just like you can see in the image above. That means there’s room for many more bags on each flight, so, in theory, every single passenger will get to stow a bag above their seat. With these new bins, fewer passengers will be parted from their belongings, reducing frustration and resentment, while airlines will (in theory) be able to get flights off the gate more quickly.
The first Delta A321 with this new bin design is flying today. Unfortunately you’ll only find the larger bins on a small percentage of the airline’s fleet, but it’s a bit of a relief to see that major improvements are on the way.
Have you flown with Airbus’ larger overhead bins?
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.