Airlines are always vying for the customer’s attention.
And when it comes to innovation, airlines have found that when they’re trying something innovative, customers will certainly pay attention.
Boeing and Airbus have been battling it out to try and trying to out bid each other when it comes to the innovation of the aircraft carriers that transport us in our travels. They’re both trying to conquer traveling faux pas (chilly air, uncomfortable seats, tiny windows) and deliver the ultimate in passenger comfort.
Does one airline come out more on top? Is it safe to say there is a winner?
Let’s first break it down.
The Airbus A380 is a super-jumbo plane that is capable of transporting, depending on how the layout is configured, 550 to 800 passengers.
While this spaciousness on a flight sounds like a dream, travelling alongside 550 to 800 people could sound like, to some, trying to leave the parking lot after a rock concert let out.
Think of the Airbus A380 like a double-decker bus in the sky. The two decks span the entire length of the plane and inside, it’s quite spacious. On some planes, there are showers, on-board bars, anti-turbulence systems, cool mood lighting, and the atmosphere is whisper quiet. There is also a tail camera in place that is viewable from your very own seat.
The case, though, is that in economy, seating can be quite dense. Cabin pressure does not fare as well as on the 787 and the 350.
Boeing’s 787 is fundamentally something different. Their vision has been invested in creating, designing, and building an airplane that transports passengers in the utmost comfort. They hope to make the ultimate in comfort and travel cost-effective and as affordable as possible.
The Dreamliner, as Boeing refers to the 787, offers better air pressure, humidity, and larger windows for viewing pleasure. Windows also have neat “tinting” shades, though they don’t completely black out. The bathrooms are often equipped with windows, which somehow just seems extraordinary and plain special. Cabin lighting is exceptional, the atmosphere is quiet, and there is also an anti-turbulence system in place.
The realities of plane configuration means that adding in more standing headroom, larger windows, sizable bathrooms, and working to adjust humidity rates to be higher than the bone-suck-chill of normal aircraft, can be at times like working against the flow. The shape of planes dictate the size of the bathrooms. So does the number of seats. Should you cram them in there or offer a little more leg room?
The number of seats (comfort as an option or not) dictates, depending on ticket prices, how much money the airline makes when the flight is at full capacity. Comfort in the world of Boeing means asking paying customers what they’d like to see change. What could make the flight more pleasant? It all comes down to the interior design of the airplane.
All in all, the Airbus design seems to be something more innovative. Changing the culture of airline travel involves dreaming big, pushing the boundaries, and giving the risky ideas their own chance to fly.