There's a team of Boeing Co. professionals who are paid to study the dreaded elements of travel.
The fight, for example, to claim overhead bin space. The feeling of claustrophobia some passengers feel while strapped inside an airborne metal tube. That harsh slap of light at the end of the flight when attendants flip the switch so travelers can gather their belongings.
While Boeing can't do much about flight delays and strict security measures, executive Kent Craver said it has done its best to ensure "the onboard experience" for a 787 Dreamliner jet appeases even the pickiest travelers.
"We found that people love to fly; they just don't love to fly today," said Craver, Boeing's regional director of passenger revenue analysis.
The company provided the media and local officials a peek at a portion of a mocked-up 787 passenger cabin Monday at its North Charleston campus. The half-arc display was set up in one of Boeing's two existing fuselage plants, where a plastic-covered piece of fuselage section sat yards away, delivered fresh from a supplier in Grottaglie, Italy.
While many passengers board an airplane without giving much thought to the interior, Craver said he's confident the 787 has been designed in a way that passengers will notice.
"We do that with a sense of space," he said while inside the display's blue-lit interior.
The company's research showed that passengers are more conscious of the amount of space above their head than at their sides, so architects designed the 787 ceilings to seem taller than they actually are, Craver said. Also, the windows on the Dreamliner are 65 percent bigger than the ones installed in a 777 jet, adding to the spacious effect.
And instead of those plastic, roll-up window shades, each window has a dimmer button that tints the window to several different settings.
Lights throughout the plane are programmed to 14 different settings, which could help passengers on long flights adjust to the time of day.
The overhead bins can accommodate larger pieces of luggage. And engineers even tinkered with settings, such as cabin pressure and humidity, to ensure a more pleasurable flying experience.
The attention to detail has a bottom-line component to it. Craver pointed out that some seasoned frequent fliers and business travelers pick flights based on the aircraft model, so a well-designed plane could fill up faster.
"It increases demand with business-class passengers," he said.