3 Ways Flying Is About to Get a Lot Better

No guarantee that your airfare will be much cheaper, though.

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Photo by IS_ImageSource/Getty

With delays, long airport lines, annoying fees, and miniscule seats, some consider flying a necessary evil to enjoy a dream vacation or an overdue trip to see family and friends. Now, after seeing record profits, some major U.S. airlines are “reinvesting” in their passengers and making flying a little bit more comfortable. We’re not talking cheaper fares, free checked bags, or more legroom—but smaller amenities to make your trip “fly” by.

If you have a trip planned, here’s what you have to look forward to:

  1. Free Snacks
    Starting in February, American Airlines will offer complimentary snacks, like cookies or pretzels, on transatlantic flights. Free snacks will be offered on all American domestic flights in April. Not to be outdone, United Airlines is offering the Dutch treat, Stroopwafels, on morning flights, and Asian-style or ranch snack mixes on midday and evening flights. By this summer, the airline will also offer illy brand coffee on all flights.
  2. Family Boarding
    After four years, United is bringing back its policy of letting families with children under the age of 4 to board before first class and frequent flyer passengers. Most airlines currently give families with small children priority boarding, either before or after first class and elite members.
  3. More In-Flight Entertainment
    If you forgot your book or magazine, you don’t have to spend the whole flight bored. On American Airlines planes with in-seat entertainment, passengers can choose between 40 movies, 60 TV shows, and 300 music albums. And on long-haul international flights with Wi-Fi, you can enjoy live satellite TV.

For more travel tips, check out the best (and worst) days to buy plane tickets. And how to combat airplane germs.