Carry-On Joy: American Airlines Doubles Overhead Bin Space in Some Boeing 737 Jets

American's overhead bins on redone 737s will hold six bags, instead of three.

ByABC News
August 27, 2010, 2:58 PM

Aug. 30, 2010— -- Ask most passengers what they think of air travel these days and you're likely to get a grimace.

Travelers are putting up with packed planes, uncomfortable seats and overhead bins stuffed fuller than a hot dog-eating contestant.

It's not just passengers shouting 'enough!' but, remarkably, so are some airlines. Many are deciding it's time to spend some money to spruce up their cabins; and not just in first class. Even the lowly coach passenger may notice some differences.

Don't get too excited -- no one is bringing back free food or eliminating fees -- but airlines are putting some of their hard earned cash into refurbishing, redecorating and even rebuilding their cabins.

The most pervasive change: installing Wi-Fi -- to allow gadget-obsessed travelers the ability to surf the web and check e-mail while in flight. Delta now has Wi-Fi on 95 percent of its domestic fleet, more than 500 aircraft.

US Airways has outfitted all its Airbus A-321 aircraft, United offers it on many transcontinental flights and American's adding it to its Boeing 737s. Even low-cost carrier Southwest is jumping on the bandwagon; four planes wired so far, all of its fleet within two years. AirTran offers Wi-Fi on all its flights and Alaska Airlines will be there by the end of the year.

Of course, this not only helps passengers but the airline, too. Expect to pay for Wi-Fi access.

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And how about those seats? Carriers are increasingly installing seats that lay down flat in first and business class. As for the back of the bus, US Airways is putting in leather seats in coach, United and Delta in some of their jets too.