2013 Travel Predictions From an Airline Expert

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This is a trend that'll continue: smaller cities will lose airline options as carriers continue a course of cutbacks and consolidation. Harrisburg, Pa., Sarasota, Fla. and White Plains, N.Y. found this out after losing AirTran service in the wake of its merger with Southwest. Watch for more flyers driving further to bigger airports for cheaper tickets.

More Airline Profits

I do expect more headlines proclaiming airline profitability, but to be fair, we've seen precious little of that over the past decade. A lot of airlines folded in the 2000s, and as I said, competition is good for our wallets -- not to mention that extinct airlines can't fly us anywhere.

Better Flying Experience

At this point you're probably thinking, "Hey, Rick, is there anything in your predictions for us?" and the answer is yes. This year several airlines will be welcoming new additions to their fleets and you too will welcome these sparkling planes because of the larger bin spaces, better lighting and, in a lot of cases, more comfortable seats. Entertainment-wise, you may not see more seatback screens but you just might see flight attendants passing out tablets for your viewing pleasure.

Best of all, these jets will be fresh and clean. There's nothing quite like that "new plane smell." Am I right?

The opinions expressed by Rick Seaney are his alone and not those of ABC News.

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