Air travel has changed quite a bit over the years, evolving and adjusting to the needs of passengers. Traveling can be stressful, and we all want to have a comfortable experience when taking an airplane. Most of us can probably relate to frustrations when flying, from cramped leg room to lack of amenities.

Billions of passengers fly on commercial airlines yearly. The oldest airlines date back to the 1920s, and international travel began around 1945, as the jet engine revolutionized air travel. When commercial air travel was first popular, flights were generally very upscale and considered luxury travel. There was plenty of legroom and passengers even enjoyed fine dining around a table. The term “jet setting” was coined as a result, since air travel was fashionable and prestigious.

The airline industry continued to evolve to accommodate higher costs of airplanes and fuel while trying to provide lower airfares. Additionally, the events of September 11, 2001, and the Coronavirus pandemic changed air travel. Instead of air travel being a desirable experience, it often became something to endure, sitting aboard a cramped aircraft for long periods of time without many amenities available. Fine dining was scaled back to very basic foods or simply a snack option unless the flight time is lengthy.

However, many airlines are improving on industry standards, such as Etihad Airways. Founded in 2003, this airline has been paving the way in making advances in air travel. With headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Etihad has flights around the world and is paving the way for other airlines.

Combining advances in technology with the desires of passengers, there is a new kind of air travel. The stereotypes about airplanes are changing.

Image credit: Photo by Madison Inouye via Pexels

Improved seating

Seating is one of the biggest complaints on airlines. Most of us can relate to feeling quite cramped, with barely any room to stretch our legs, with barely any reclining ability.

Some companies are redesigning airplanes to accommodate passengers with a better layout and more legroom. In Etihad Airways Airbus A350-1000, you can expect about 31-35″ of seat pitch in economy, and business class is complete with seats that recline all the way and partitions for privacy. The headrest has flaps that pull out so that you can rest your head comfortably.

Long flights can be a struggle when it comes to cramped legroom, and upgraded space allows you to sit or even sleep comfortably. While legroom may not be as much of an issue on a commuter-length flight, international flights can be quite long. Imagine being able to comfortably sleep on a 23-hour flight! This can change your entire travel experience, allowing you to reach your destination feeling refreshed and recharged.


Not only are seats more comfortable, but there is a movement towards a more comfortable and peaceful overall experience. The Airbus A350-1000 is quieter than other planes, allowing you to relax and not be overwhelmed by the constant noise of the aircraft. With a quieter space plus roomier seats, you can more easily enjoy your flight.

Other perks include better food options and amenity kits, all designed to make your flight as smooth as possible. Instead of simple snacks, there is a variety of food to accommodate a variety of diets, including meals for children.

The best in technology

You can expect to see lots of great technology in newer planes, even as far as Bluetooth connectivity, which is something that was not available before when traveling on an airplane. In the past, the FAA was cautious about phones and other devices transmitting signals, which could cause interference with cell phone towers as well as flight equipment. Improvements in technology mean that you can participate in the uninterrupted use of your devices.

Passengers can enjoy integrated screens in the seats, as well as USB chargers and other technology perks. Rest assured that your devices never run out of battery life, and when you reach your destination, your phone or other electronics will be at full charge.

With seatback screens, you will always have an entertainment hub at your fingertips, from sports games to movies for all ages. There is a large selection of on-demand movies, TV, music, live sports, and news, totaling hundreds of hours of viewing. For families with children, having this resource can be a lifesaver, allowing kids to be occupied during the flight. So whether you are taking a business trip or a family vacation, you are covered.

This way, you can be connected for the duration of your flight, whether it is to pass the time or to be able to have an uninterrupted way to work.

Cancun Mexico

More sustainable

Commercial airlines are responsible for an enormous amount of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. With billions of passengers traveling via airplanes yearly, aviation is a large producer of CO2 emissions. It is anticipated that air travel will grow quite rapidly, meaning that greenhouse gas production could rise exponentially just based on emissions from aircraft.

The Airbus A350-1000 by Etihad features highly efficient fuel consumption, and therefore a smaller carbon footprint. Carbon emissions are a big downside to air travel, but this way, you can rest easy knowing that you are making a minimal impact during your flight. Many of us would prefer eco-friendly travel, and by choosing a greener airline, you can make a positive contribution to the environment by reducing climate change. Airlines like Etihad are paving the way towards a more sustainable industry. It is hoped that other airlines will follow suit and that the airline industry will become cleaner and more environmentally friendly. With the travel sector growing rapidly, the movement to have fewer emissions can help to shape global climate change.

In addition to reducing emissions, there are many other ways airlines like Etihad are going green. Packaging materials are being switched out so that there are far fewer single-use plastics. These plastic items are replaced with biodegradable and compostable products. Cutlery is lighter in weight, also reducing CO2 emissions greatly. There are measures to recycle items as needed. And food items are even farm-to-table, supporting local businesses and reducing the carbon footprint even more.


Imagine taking a long flight, and being able to fully relax and enjoy your time on the airplane. Instead of spending 23 hours tossing and turning in your seat, trying to find comfort, you can look forward to your time in flight. Upgrades to flying allow you to be more flexible in your flight choices. With a better flight experience, it opens doors for longer flights to the destinations you want to visit.