Auto-Clean Lavs: After you exit the lavatory and shut the door, you'll hear this loud "whooshing" sound, and the bathroom is magically cleaned and sanitized for the next user. Drawback: being seated near the "whooshing" sound.
Recline-Only Seating: A special section for those who plan to spend the entire flight with their seats as faaaar back as they will go. This allows non-recliners to work on their laptops without their knees jamming into their chins. Since the reclining crowd will not be able to use their tray tables, beverages would be served via tubes that drop down from overhead.
Interesting innovations, right? Well it's nothing compared what could be coming – Virgin's Branson has dropped hints that he'd like to see onboard gyms, and even casinos! But the question is, will these innovations – real and imagined – save domestic air travel? Will they boost traffic and help pull the industry out of the doldrums?
I say, flying needs to be fun again – and I say, bring on the gadgets (well, everything but the cell phones, please). But as much as I love gadgets, I know for most of us (especially these days), everything revolves around the bottom line.
I'll ask you: would you fly because of a snazzy interior, WiFi and all the rest? Maybe a better light switch will rock your world – at least until that flying casino comes along …
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Rick Seaney is one of the country's leading experts on airfare, giving interviews and analysis to news organizations, including ABC News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The Associated Press and Bloomberg. His Web site FareCompare.com offers consumers free, new-generation software, combined with expert insider tips to find the best airline ticket deal.