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What Does The Future Of Air Travel Look Like?

Passengers sleep while flying on a United Airlines flight on route to Houston, Texas.
Passengers sleep while flying on a United Airlines flight on route to Houston, Texas.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on industry after industry across the country, and the airline industry is no different. As a recent piece in The Atlantic puts it, airlines could have it a bit worse because, unlike other industries that have been forced to close amid COVID-19, airlines are forced to continue operating. 

James Fallows reports in the piece that travel bookings were down by about 98% compared to last year, and that the average domestic flight had about 10 to 12.5 passengers on board these days. Fallows writes that no one can know what air travel will look like a decade from now, but it’s clear that airports and plane rides won’t look the same for a very long time. This will impact various aspects of the air travel experience including ticket buying, check-in and security, plane boarding and seating, and even arrival experiences on the other end of your trip.

Today on AirTalk, Larry sits down with Fallow to discuss what the future might hold for air travel. What do you think? Can you see yourself taking a trip in the sky anytime soon? What will impact your decision? We want to hear from you. Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.  


James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and co-author of “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America” (Pantheon, 2018), his latest piece looks at the future of air travel; he tweets @JamesFallows