A big reason that flying stinks isn’t just that it stinks, but that there’s no transparency to the entire process. For instance, have you ever splurged for that Group 1 ticket, only to realize there are actually four groups of frequent fliers that board first? Nickle-and-diming is fine until you feel like you’ve been conned.
Now, Expedia has taken a very small step in righting at least one air travel wrong. Their site will now show you if the flight you’re boarding has free perks like snacks, free Wi-Fi, checked and carry on bags, or seat choice–the sort of deeper data you’d find on a site like Seatguru, right in the booking window.
But again, most importantly, snacks.
It’s by no means beautiful design, but little interventions like this can do a lot to manage traveler expectations. I can’t be the only one who, upon arriving late to the airport and missing lunch, has studied flight attendants closely, attempting to discern if the peanuts or pretzels were going to come by after the drink cart. Cutting out these tiny snacks is just one of the lousy ways the airlines have attempted to milk their razor-thin margins, but to never know if they’re on their way or not, you just sit there like a Pavlovian chump, wasting valuable saliva in an environment that’s too dry to begin with.
Expedia’s new design prioritizes transparency of the little things, and in doing so, actually takes some of the weight off the airlines, while making it clear to a customer, if they do upgrade their ticket, will they actually get to check a bag free or pound a few mini bottles of scotch at no extra cost. Well, no extra cost to anyone besides the person sitting next to you.