And air travelers, especially business travelers, should brace themselves for higher prices as legacy airlines continue the trend of packing their planes for greater profitability.
That said, there is some good news for flexible leisure travelers (especially baby boomers with time and money on their hands): most airlines will likely continue to market off-peak Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday travel sales and expand their international routes.
A final thought: travelers in the coming years are going to find it harder and harder to find a deal. What to do? Check out Web sites and read up on all the tips and tricks of finding cheap airfare. In short, educate yourself. That's one of the best ways to save time and money, in the eternal quest for a good deal to get out of town.
This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Rick Seaney is one of the country's leading experts on airfare, giving interviews and analysis to news organizations including ABC News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, The Associated Press and Bloomberg. His Web site FareCompare.com offers consumers free, new generation, software combined with expert insider tips to find the best airline ticket deal.