Airlines' net profits increase twenty-fold (FTFY). :p
That's why I said airfare costs half as much :p Obviously I don't expect the entire savings to be passed on to the customer, but we would see a significant drop in prices. Even without any drop in price, though, it would be a huge improvement. No more uncomfortable seats. No more awkward conversations with complete strangers. No more screaming babies. No more crappy airline food. Fuck, I'd be willing to pay them EXTRA for it!
There are other potential benefits too ... imagine being able to get a shuttle that picks you up at your door, with the pod on it. You lay down, go to sleep, and wake up on the other side of the world. You don't have to worry about parking. You don't have to spend 2 hours wandering around the airport prior to boarding. You don't have to strip down and be scrutinized by TSA agents. All the downsides, completely avoided.
Why the hell aren't we working on this?