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Transportation (American Union)

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Transportation in the American Union timeline is both different and similar to transportation in our own.

Civilian Transportation

Air Travel

Civilian air travel is dominated by airships, airplanes, and a relatively new form of transport called an aeroscraft, which is a hybrid of both airship and airplane technology. By offering different amenities and qualities to different markets, most airlines are able to maintain both airships and airplanes for civilian use.

Airplanes

The airplane is marketed to those businesspeople and travelers who want to get to their destination quickly. As a flight from Los Angeles to New York would take about four to five hours, travel time is considerably shorter than the eighteen hours customary on most airships. The cabins of most aircraft are divided into classes, usually first/business class and coach/economy class.

Airplane seats are equipped with seatbelts, reclining mechanisms (almost always electronically), and trays for reading and eating. Most seats include a power port for electrical appliances, ports to connect to the airplane audio system, and an In-flight Entertainment system usually placed on the back of the seat in front of the passenger. Some new airplanes include wireless internet access or use a touchscreen to provide basic internet access on the In-flight Entertainment system. Before take-off or landing, most portable electronic devices must be deactivated, seats must be in an unreclined position, trays properly stowed, and the In-flight Entertainment system is usually disabled.

The number of seats in a row is determined by the width of the airplane. 3+3 or 2+4+2 layouts are popular, although some wide airplanes have seats in a 3+4+3 layout. Each row has two window seats - being naturally at the end of the row next to the window of the aircraft. These seats are often desired by travelers because of the view. Aisle seats are also desirable because of the ease of access and the added leg room. Seats in the middle of the row are unpopular because they offer none of the advantages of window or aisle seats.
While most airplanes feature forward facing seating, airplanes have been known to feature "conference seating" - that is, two rows of seats facing each other, usually with a table in between the two rows to replace the lack of trays. In-flight Entertainment systems are usually built into these tables.

Above the seat there are usually air conditioning nozzles, lights for reading, and a panel displaying information from the pilot ("Fasten your seat belt", "turbulent air", etc.) While usually controls for the nozzles and lights are usually directly overhead, it is not uncommon to find them on armrests or integrated into the In-flight Entertainment system. All airplanes feature overhead bins for the storage of carry-on items.

Seat pitch refers to the distance between seat rows, and with seat width (the distance from armrest to armrest) forms the basis of evaluation of seat size and comfort. Most AU carriers put the seat pitch in Economy class at 35 inches, and the width at 20 inches. Most seats are now leather, although it is not uncommon to find cloth seats in economy class. Airline seats are usually blue and gray.

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