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The Golden Age of Air Travel

Where digital meets travel + lifestyle … A collection of can’t-miss news from this week. Sign up to get the TURNER Weekly Download in your inbox every Friday.

(Worse Than) Snakes On A Plane

Holiday travel season is looming once again! And that means many of us will be heading to airports for highly stressful journeys home. In a new study of 2,000 Americans who fly at least twice per year, Genfare has identified the 17 top travel annoyances for airline passengers. Nos. 1 and 2 have to do with the little ones: having your seat kicked and crying babies. “Getting from point A to point B has never been easier thanks to technology. However, we all know that the one aspect we can’t always control is the bad travel behavior of fellow passengers,” says Tara Farnsworth, director of marketing at Genfare. “We were curious to find out which of these travel annoyances tops the list not just for airline travel, but also for the traveling and commuting we do on a daily basis.”

Middle Seat Essentials

So how can you make your air travel this year as smooth and pleasant as possible? Refinery 29 has asked its editors to share the essential products they think are necessary to pack in their limited carry-ons. “From an oversized silk eye mask that blocks out fluorescent lighting (and that toddler in the seat in front of you who keeps blankly staring) to a three-piece skin-care set from Exuviance for revitalizing and refreshing mid-flight,” writes Claire Fontanetta. “[T]hese just might make your assigned middle seat — dare we say — enjoyable.”

The Golden Age of Air Travel

Is air travel really that bad, though? SF Gate’s Chris McGinnis argues that we’re actually in a golden age for flying the friendly skies. As evidence, he notes that plane cabins are no longer filled with cigarette smoke. There’s also much less turbulence these days since jets fly at higher altitudes than days gone by. And the technology is much-improved, too – we don’t have to rely on in-flight magazines anymore for entertainment. “If the current state of flying is so bad, why are we still doing it…and in record numbers as reported by the airlines and TSA?” McGinnis asks. Why are low fare carriers like Spirit, with some of the tightest seats in the sky, reporting record loads and profits?”

The Next Wave

But wait – air travel might be getting even better, thanks to the Boeing 797. The new midsize plane may well transform air travel. Details are scarce at the moment, but Simple Flying has rounded up what we know so far. It’ll bring costs down considerably, which will result in cheaper tickets. It’ll also open up many more point-to-point routes, and its two-aisle setup will mean more space for passengers. More space is always appreciated.

Weekly Moment of Zen

Say hello to the world’s first craft beer airline.