Lately, all we’ve seen is change in the airline industry: higher airfares, mergers and fees, fees, fees. Experts agree that more changes are coming for 2013. Read on to find out what you can expect from the airline industry in the coming year.
1) Smaller planes. 747’s are so yesterday. Regional jets and turboprop planes are the new way to fly. Why? For the airlines, it’s a matter of economic sense. It’s cheaper to fly a small, full plane than it is a large, empty one. This trend has been going on for a while, and is here to stay.
2) Fewer routes. Unless you live in a major city, getting where you want to go just keeps getting harder. According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, the airlines have slashed thousands of shorter flights (500 miles or less) in the past two years. This also means fewer nonstop flights.
3) Rate hikes. I know you didn’t want to read this, but it’s true. Rick Seaney of FareCompare.com states airfare rates went up 7 times in 2012. He predicts rates will continue to rise unless oil goes down to and remains at $70 to $75 dollars a barrel. Fees for bags and other extras have also increased for 2013.
But it’s not all bad…
4) Cool new planes. Many airlines have added new planes to their fleets. And they’re considering customer needs while doing so. You’ll find larger overheads, roomier seats, and for those who can afford it, some very nice luxury options such as sleeping quarters, gourmet food and work desks.
5) Financial stability. Profits are up in the friendly skies. And really, this is good news. If you have to fly, don’t you want to do so with a sound company that can afford to keep their planes running safely? Of course you do, it’s the only way to go!
Tracy Line is a travel writer and the owner of Noblesville Travel. Contact her at Tracy@noblesvilletravel.com. Her recent ebook, “Tales from the Travel Agent” is now available on Amazon.