When you're flying, what happens when the pilot falls ill or just needs a bathroom break? The co-pilot takes over, right? But, what if there's no co-pilot in the airplane? Single pilot flights are now becoming a real possibility. It's not a part of cutbacks by the major airlines. The single-pilot future could actually be brought about by new technology that NASA is researching that would partner in-air pilots with a co-pilot on the ground.
Basically, NASA is researching ways to team-up operators on the ground with the pilots in the air. These ground pilots could remotely control the plane much like a drone if the need arises. Researchers are still studying how this remote flight technology would work on a large airliner.
Under the concept the researchers are studying, aviators on the ground could be assigned to assist solo cockpit pilots on multiple flights, virtually co-piloting during the busiest times through crowded airspace, approach-and-landing maneuvers, or if something goes wrong.
If the thought of a pilot thousands of miles away controlling your plane is enough to make you swear off flying for good, don't worry - for now. This is still a new research area for NASA, so I don't think you have to worry about any single-pilot flights for quite a while.