"Travelnomics" - What Travelers Might Expect for 2009

01/10/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Travel Industry Leaders and Influencers, FAA, DOT, Virgin America, Share '09 Predictions in Latest Report by Cheapflights.com

We're all asking ourselves where "travel" will be in the upcoming months- especially for 2009. Will we see more airline mergers? Reduced flights? Airfare increases? Will consumers spend and actually travel? What about those extra fees and surcharges?

In a recent press release, the online travel deals search engine, Cheapflights.com, is hedging bets on what will be in store for the traveler in 2009.

They recently started a trend report, better known as their "Travelnomics" report. "Travelnomics - Year in Review, Travel Forecast," is the latest addition to the Travelnomics series. Pooling from industry leaders, influencers, the Department of Transportation, Virgin America, and the FAA, Cheapflights.com has reportedly received the scoop on '08 happenings and speculates on what lies ahead for 2009.

The overall consensus: Not only will the cost of airfare drop significantly in 2009, but new routes, new runways, and new technologies will make travel easier and more reliable.

So, what does Cheaptickets.com say this means to the consumer?

-- Less Delays: The FAA is beginning to roll-out new satellite systems for all airlines and control towers in 2009. For consumers, this means less congestion at the airport, fewer weather delays, and less time in the air and on the ground. This initiative starts in '09 and is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

-- Wi-Fi in the Sky: Virgin America just introduced its first Wi-Fi enabled plane; other carriers will soon follow suit. Travelers' prayers have been answered.

-- Lower Fares: DOT is initiating an auction system at JFK that will allow low-cost carriers to bid for gate space. This system opens doors to existing airlines to expand operations and new airlines to enter; more carriers mean more competition and lower fares for consumers. When introduced at Philadelphia International Airport, fares dropped 21 percent.

-- Loyalty Pays: Points.com, an online reward point management site, predicts travel companies will introduce more enticing promotions and opportunities in order to stimulate demand for travel, as well as non-travel products offered by key partners.

-- Surcharges are here to stay: According to Seth Kaplan of Airline Weekly, a la carte and surcharge fees are here to stay, but with the drop in airfares, consumers can still travel for less.

The report also recaps what happened in the 2008 travel market, as well as tips for finding the best travel deals and affordable airfare.

"We are pleased to be the bearer of good news with airfares declining and affordable vacations within sight," said Carl Schwartz, Chief Travel Officer for Cheapflights.com. "In just the past two months, our research has shown a six percent decline among airfare prices; an optimistic indication of what lies ahead for travelers."

Cheapflights.com has more than a few flight deals that further support affordable travel is already here. For example:
-- Chicago (ORD) to Atlanta (ATL): $155
-- New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX): $259
-- Washington, D.C. (DCA) to San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU): $292
-- Dallas (DAL) to Seattle (SEA): $283
-- Boston (BOS) to Cancun (CUN): $290
-- Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL): $321
-- Philadelphia (PHL) to Las Vegas (LAS): $218

About Cheapflights.com
Cheapflights.com is the best place to find cheap flight deals and up-to-date travel information. As a leading U.S. travel search engine, the site publishes one of the largest selections of airfare deals available online from a huge range of flight providers. Every day, travelers can search more than one million flight deals from both traditional and low-cost airlines, as well as smaller specialty-travel providers, plus handpicked deals and flight offers exclusive to Cheapflights.com. The site's Flight & Travel Info section and Flight News blog are packed with destination travel guides, travel tips, news and information to help flyers enjoy the best possible travel experience, every time they fly.

Adventure Girl, Stefanie Michaels is an eco-travel and lifestyle expert and an advocate for the environment. Her site Adventuregirl.com offers tips for travelers on green locales around the globe, as well as granting monthly Adventure Girl Green Awards to hotels and resorts making good on their green initiatives.

You can reach Stefanie at www.adventuregirl.com