It’s crystal ball time and fortunately mine is handy. Sure, some things are a little cloudy (another polar vortex in the New Year?) but others are only too clear.
Listen: Travel expert Rick Seaney has a couple more predictions.
1. You’ll Pay More for Tickets
It’ll happen gradually, but it’ll happen: airline ticket prices will rise. By year’s end, I predict you’ll pay between four and five-and-a-half percent more than you did in 2013. However, you will still be able to find relatively cheap flights if you follow my mantra: Always compare prices.
2. You’ll Pay More in Fees
This started with Spirit’s hike of baggage fees (but it hasn’t been a very steep hike). Another fee scheduled to rise is the Sept. 11 Security fee which jumps from $2.50 per segment to a flat $5.60 per one-way flight. The increase is expected to take effect this summer though you may not notice it since it’s embedded in the price of all tickets.
3. You’ll Complain Less – And More
We’re used to going without free meals and free bags and we’re getting used to paying steep change fees so expect those kind of complaints to drop. What may rise is complaints against seatmates, so-called unruly passengers, but what do you expect as airlines cram more seats into less amounts of space? If you have a gripe, here’s how to file the complaint.
4. You’ll Make Calls on Planes – Or Not
I expect the FCC will give the go-ahead to voice calls on planes but don’t look for passengers to be filing a lot of complaints about that just yet. The airlines seem to think most of their customers don’t want to talk on cell phones and some have gone on record as saying, they won’t allow it. If there’s a change of heart and they do decide to go along with this, I fully expect they’ll figure out a way to charge a fee for calls.