This is part 2 of my 2012 travel trends & predictions.
You may need to drive to find the best deals. Due in part to premium pricing for non-stops, you will often find fares $50 lower from cities like Austin or San Antonio instead of Houston. This is especially funny because these flights often connect in Houston onto the same plane as the non-stops.
Airlines will drop flash sales from other airline’s hubs. Look for Delta or American to offer one-day sales from Houston, and United and Delta to offer sales from Dallas-Fort Worth.
The gap will widen between elite fliers and everyone else. Now, it’s difficult even to get a seat assignment without having elite status or paying an extra fee.
Expect Southwest to be the big winner. In 2012, Southwest will begin flying from Atlanta, America’s busiest airport. Even though their fares may no longer be the lowest, Southwest offers the best value when you count extras.
Elite frequent flier status will be worth its weight in baggage. Free luggage allowance, priority boarding, and now advance seat assignments are more reasons to reach this tier.