NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Traveling is becoming more about the journey and experience with the innovation and ingenuity displayed by many international airlines.
Competition and investments are heating up as airlines seek to create high end and enjoyable passenger experiences, displacing their lower end competitors. With some passengers willing to spend large sums for luxurious travel, many airlines have adapted to this trend and offer these services to select customers. This recent trend however, is beginning to shift.
Say hello to Etihad Airways, the airline of the United Arab Emirates.
Air travel could once only be afforded by the incredibly wealthy but has spread to allow the masses to travel in a somewhat economical and comfortable standard. Etihad wants to life these standards far above what people once thought possible.
According to a recent press release, Ethihad is expanding high-end and luxurious travel to the general economy. The airline is introducing state-of-the-art touchscreen personal entertainment systems to every seat with a separate touch screen controller, upgraded cuisine including several meals and special cafe in economy class.
With economy becoming a luxury in itself, upgraded business and first class can longer just comprise comfortable seats. Instead, they are being replaced by bedroom suites and personal "rooms" aboard the aircraft. No longer will one travel in their seat, but rather remain in their bed throughout the duration of the flight.
Etihad Airways is also planning on operating flights with jet fuel alternatives. An Etihad flight recently showcased the company's commitment and ability to operate its aircraft on biofuels. It has yet to be seen how expensive luxurious economy seats will cost and whether the average passenger is willing to give up more money for a more comfortable flight. However, airlines have the ability to provide a comfortable flight for everyone, raising the standards in both international and domestic travel. Investors should watch for the innovators who will change the entire airline industry forever. This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.