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Design for People: Travel + Luggage

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Airline
travel, one part designed to protect us from the .001% and the other part
designed for the price of jet fuel. What part of airline travel is designed for
people? Not much.
Airline
travel is likely one of the least designed experiences we have in our lives.
While many of the issues are "first-world problems" and a good
portion are in place for our safety and security, there are still ways to
design a better experience. 
For instance,
it has been our contention for a while that if airlines charged for
"carry-on" luggage and gave "checked" luggage away for
free, the entire experience would change dramatically. Behavior often follows
the fiscal incentives, certainly in a commoditized industry / experience, which
is what you see in air travel today. 
When
airlines started charging for checked bags, even more people carried on even
larger bags. The result is a clogged aisle when you board a plane and a
monotonous process when you disembark.
Now,
switch the economics to a model where airlines charge for carry-on bags and
give checked baggage away for free. How does this change the prototypical
experience? More passengers check bags and it becomes easier to board a plane.
The baggage claim and distribution system was designed to move bags in a proper
and efficient manner. The traveller carry-on process was not designed to haul
luggage efficiently and would require redesigned planes to have more overhead
and underfoot luggage space. So, use the system designed to haul luggage for
luggage and use the system designed for people for people. 
How
does this sound to you? Anyone interested in taking us up on this idea? Anyone
interested in a further discussion to dig into the cracks of the idea and find
the design opportunities?

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