The face of airline travel is changing rapidly, and after looking at booking flights for the family vacation, it left me wondering if the changes were for the better.

As "rosy" as the television commercials for airlines like to portray, it seems like that experience evades the frequent flyer. The ads will show an airline soaring majestically into the sunset and a plane full of smiling passengers.

Reality tells a different tale.

Where is the traveler who just removed his shoes? How about the cranky businessman who doesn't have exact change for a scotch on the rocks? Or, how about the screaming toddlers in your row? Or, the passenger who brings the seat way back the millisecond the wheels leave the tarmac?

No, I'm not one of the cranky flyers but I have experienced all of the above "air-beefs." So, it was with great interest I recently read what some airlines are proposing by way of change in 2013, just in time for your family vacation.

Delta Airlines has announced that the bathrooms in its economy class are about to get even smaller. Why? So they can add four more seats! Delta claims that passengers won't notice the size change. Tell that to my 330 lb. neighbor. He already needs a "stick of butter and a shoehorn" (his words) to squeeze into an airline bathroom.

Samoan Airlines recently announced a, wait for it..."pay by weight" ticket system. The weight-based pricing is not new to the airline, which launched in June. It has been using the pricing model since November, but in January the U.S. Department of Transportation approved its international route between American Samoa and Samoa.

The airline has received mixed responses since it began promoting the pricing on its website and Facebook. So far the pricing system has worked fairly well in Samoa but it's not clear whether it will be embraced by travelers in the U.S. territory.

In May, American Airlines has a new boarding policy: Passengers who travel light will get in their seats earlier.

Coach fliers without carry-on items, or those with just one small personal item that fits under the seat, can board between Group 1 and Group 2. If you need to put a bag in the overhead bin … well, sorry, you will have to board later.

American says it successfully tested the new boarding process at a number of airports earlier this year and has will now implement the system everywhere in an effort to reduce boarding times.

Air travel is changing rapidly and only time will tell how passengers embrace these changes.  However, on the bright side, airline seating may change in the future, as well.

New futuristic seating that allows you more leg room. You can also order games, apps, and reading material in that robotic-appliance-looking-thingy above the seat. Read more about this exciting new seating and more photos here.


It could be least you're not in the seat nest to this guy.

Spring Airlines Facebook