Air travel can be better, really.

After having spent several days in the past six weeks on airplanes, I’ve got a few suggestions (perhaps counterintuitive, perhaps not) how air travel can be made better. Most of the suggestions have to do with service rather than fundamental changes in the way the airlines do business, and all can be implemented quickly.

Fix the boarding process by boarding the plane back to front. Yes, I know that first class passengers will complain, but the biggest problem I’ve seen is the inability of my fellow passengers to board the plane in a timely manner.  I’ve ridden Continental, Jet Blue, United, Delta, and Virgin America recently, and the only company that got it right was Virgin.

Lower the incentive for passengers to bring GIGANTIC bags as carry-ons. Carriers can do this by being more aggressive at the gate and forcing people with big bags to check them.  They’ve brought this on themselves by charging ridiculous bag fees, but since we agreed these suggestions would be easy to implement, this is a simple process change that can be implemented at the gate.

Offer something interesting to eat.  Really, I’ll pay for it. There have to be more interesting things to eat that don’t spoil immediately, fit in a box, and don’t require excessive refrigeration or reheating.  I’m talking to you, Jet Blue — snack boxes are very disappointing on a 5 1/2 hour flight.

And finally, a bonus suggestion — put Wifi on every flight.  It makes every flight seem shorter.  And if you don’t know whether your flight has wifi, check out


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