Topic of the Week: Your Predictions for 2013

The end of the year is just about here, so now it’s time to do your best Carnac impression and decide what’s in store for next year. What are the big news stories going to be? (I’ll bet we have our first American/US Airways prediction quite quickly.)

On Monday, I’ll be back with my annual post remembering the airlines we lost this year. No post Tuesday while I’m at the Rose Bowl rooting on the mighty Cardinal, but we’ll get back to business as usual next Thursday.

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56 Comments on "Topic of the Week: Your Predictions for 2013"

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SOLTATIO
Guest

Maybe a Delta US airways devaluation in their award chart, a Delta change to revenue program (blegh, my mouth tastes bad just saying that) and later in the year a new Singapore First Class. But what do I know… :)

BJ
Guest

I will go for a Jet Blue/Virgin America merger. Bit out there but Virgin is bleeding and they would have some good synergies.
Oh and maybe O’Leary (Ryanair) to come out with a press release wanting pilotless aircraft ALA drones – or something equally as stupid.
HNY

J Gorham
Guest

Ryanair would probably charge a fee for flying on a pilotless aircraft!

Chris
Guest

Rather, a fee for the privilege of flying an aircraft WITH a pilot. You pay an extra fee on top of that of course for the pilot to actually fly the plane.

noahkimmel
Member
I dont see a b6/VX merger. There are no synergies. While they both fly a320s, (with different engines), b6 buying VX gives them nothing but planes which would need money to refurbish, crew who need to be retrained (when b6 has no problem finding people) and routes/cities which Jetblue either already flies or could start on their own. Simply put, the cost of a merger outweighs the benefits. And both carriers are “committed to independence” I do think something will happen at VX, but not sure what. Massive drawdown of growth may just mean a slow focus on profitability. O’Leary… Read more »
Don
Guest

Whoever “merges” with Virgin also has to acquire their half a billion dollar debt (that is still growing), with no track record of profits, and major competition on the hardest domestic flying (a.k.a. – trans cons). Nobody is going to want to dump money into this (except Branson) and then fix these things until Virgin America can fix it themselves. Until then they will have to limp. I think a change in the C.E.O. is near.

Daniel
Guest

I think a B6/F9 merger would be more likely

DesertGhost
Guest

I’ll fullfil your “Carnac” prediction and say that a US Airways / American merger will happen in bankruptcy, and the pilots will agree to an integrated seniority list before the merger is announced or soon after. Of course, I could be dead wrong, especially about the last part (although I saw a story in the Dallas Morning News where the American pilots won’t go along with a merger unless a seniority agreement is worked out).

As the old Chinese proverb goes, “May you live in interesting times.”

DesertGhost
Guest

Go Irish!

J Gorham
Guest

Roll Tide!

DesertGhost
Guest

In any event, it promises to be a heck of a game. Let’s hope it lives up to its promise like the game in 1973 did. That was one fabulous football game.

Rick Bailey
Guest

Is this a sports blog? Anyway – go Irish!

David SF eastbay
Member

I’ll go with the airlines will still be bleeding money, they will still be screwing passengers and their own workers, airline workers will still treat passengers who pay their salary like dirt, the airlines will come up with more ways to charge you extra fees, the airlines will do things to save them money but say ‘I passengers ask for this’ even when we don’t. The list could go on, but it’s really a repeat of years past. :-)

bmvaughn
Guest

One major Indian carrier will disappear

Sanjeev M
Guest
In India: 1. Air India will team up with TK, join Star and feed IST. Air India will continue to lose money but at least it can show some competence. 2. Etihad will resurrect Kingfisher mainly as a India feeder to AUH and possibly CAN/CGK with the Garuda/CZ partnership. This will drag Kingfisher to SkyTeam and possible cooperation with Delta/AF/KL/Virgin Australia/Garuda/CZ/Saudi for SkyTeam awesomeness. Etihad gets India frequencies, KF gets rebirth. 3. Jet will get SCARED OUT OF THEIR MIND after seeing this Etihad-KF deal and since Air India is in Star, Jet will join OneWorld to feed Qatar and… Read more »
ptsbeyond
Member

Believe UA already announced new plans for IAD concourse. And WN already has a plan for new system post Airtran integration to handle international.

CP
Guest

Amen on the IAD concourse!

markpappai
Member

I’m going to say Top Gear’s Mr.Clarkson will wage a successful anti-AA campaign against American Airlines over his lost baggage. If nothing else, it makes for highly entertaining twitter banter.

David M
Guest

Neither Family/Avatar Airlines nor PEOPLExpress will start flying.

ANCJason
Guest

Alaska Airlines acquisition of Hawaiian

B757capt
Guest

What’s the new name going to be?

Jared Hanner
Member

It should be Non-Continental.

Jared Hanner
Member

Bags will no longer fly free on Southwest, gasp.

ChuckMO
Guest

I’ll venture to say the first bag will remain free, additional ones will get charged.

Also on the Southwest front, it wouldn’t surprise me to see some sort of business cabin in the future, maybe not in 2013, but down the road as they expand internationally.

I also predict a blue-chip order for the C-Series.

Bobber
Guest

Cranky sells out to Mark Zuckerberg, new Cranky FB gadget bombs within 2weeks, financially destroying Zuckerberg, but making Brett ~$25B, who then relaunches SkyTrain between LIT and LBA, an all C-class service…….

…..I’ll get my coat.

Derek Pugh
Member

I want this…

davidp627
Member

Vision Air will go under
Frontier and Sun Country will merge
Some carrier will take a major stake in Virgin America (a la Delta with Vir Atl)
Southwest will announce a major international codeshare agreement

barry
Member

Until Southwest gets a new reservations system, I don’t see any major code share agreement. Right now Southwest cannot even handle an Airtran code share. They are patching the decades old system they currently have. The reservations system has been the hold back on international, etc.

matt.traynor
Member

AirAsia to try to break into India (in part to replace at least 1 carrier that fails, as bmvaughn suggests above)
Kingfisher to be the carrier to fail in India (stick to brewing fella)
Michael O’Leary and Willie Walsh to elope

RICH
Guest

United Airlines will announce they will switch over to a new computer system by June 1 2013. This New system will only crash twice a year.

johosofat
Guest

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after.

lrosenberg
Member

GO BADGER’S

noahkimmel
Member

Airlines will update loyalty programs, not sure if revenue-based or hybrid type system.

We will also see more bundles and unique ticket offerings.

Jetblue introduces a spirit-style first class on a321s?

Nick Barnard
Member

The US-AA Merger doesn’t go through after Parker realizes that the A guys have been lying about everything. American decides to buy A380s and fly them back and forth between their cornerstone markets.

andy
Guest

UA decides 7 boarding groups plus Global Services aren’t enough. Also, it bows to reality, eliminates Silver status on grounds it is functionally worthless, and moves Gold down to current Silver level of benefits. No one currently in Gold notices.

WN does NOT get a mobile boarding pass app.

jamesgdpollard
Member

More delays for the 787 + A350
Official announcement of the 787-10

Jim M
Guest

Oil stays surprisingly stable. Capacity stays extremely high. All airlines suddenly look like profitable businesses (well not Virgin. . . ). Stock prices go up 15%. I know. . . crazy. . . .

Don
Guest
I’ll say Southwest will raise fares and at the end of 2013 the CEO will say that next year they may have to charge for the second bag. They will convert most Airtran planes to Southwest and upgrade their reservation system. US and AA merges will AA is in bankruptcy. Delta will increase routes in South America and Europe. Jetblue will finally have wifi and continue expanding into Latin America and by the end of 2013 leave the Philly to Boston route due to US Airways. As for Virgin America…..Branson will inject more cash. They will continue slow expansion and… Read more »
Jim
Guest

My predictions are:

1. AA and US will merge, but there will not be a new pilot contract. There will be three groups, west, east and American.

2. Virgin America will start breaking even, and slowly limp toward profitability. They will partner with a few more Asian carriers.

3. Southwest will get a new reservation system, either a brand new one or they will adopt AirTran’s.

4. One or more of the major legacy carriers will switch their frequent flier program from miles to dollars spent, and others will soon follow.

jaybru
Member
The legacies will announce that effective [insert month/2013] they will cease to provide any traveler any advice or assistance. (Surprisingly, they had to make an announcement!) They indicated that the decision was based mostly on cost, but the fact that the world did not end last week had caught them by surprise. A few outfits, like “Cranky Concierge,” instantly rejoiced and soon became big businesses. And guest posters took over the Cranky Flier blog and the once happy commenters to Cranky-Land were greatly saddened. Rants about code-shares, “operated bys,” and “change-of-gauge” flights had nowhere else to go but to the… Read more »
Smart Traveller
Guest

Amount of hand luggage drastically reduced thereby allowing low cost airlined to charge for hold baggage.

Eric A.
Member
GO CARDS!!! Big shuffle coming among alliances (again). Hub & spoke model will continue to evolve into inter-continent network systems vs regional or national….the two huge emerging markets being Asia > Latin America. Will the US get its visa requirement act together to be a player as a intercon nexus? We will see. Im with Jim, stable (but high) oil + capacity control + anc. revenue = sustainable profits…barring a Black Swan event. AS,HA and B6 remain independent, but gravitate towards an exclusive relationship with one legacy/alliance. RAH tries to spin F9 as promised….they are acquired by a capital mgmt… Read more »
rachel@Britainoutdoors
Guest

this has been the longest comment trail I see. but hey, no wonder. many of us are really curious about what 2013 will bring..:)

chinger
Guest

Any indian carrier joins an alliance

Will
Guest

Deaths of CVG and CLE hubs finally become “official” (sorry, Ohio)
Allegient pulls back from OAK
AA/US merger sparks rumors of PHL hub demise
SJC’s ANA 787 route is a bust
UAL follows Delta in scaling Africa routes (via IAH)

davidp627
Member

I don’t think PHL hub ever goes away. Philly is essentially a single airport city and a top 5 market with a substantial business market. Whatever combination takes place, I don’t see a dehubbing.

Kilroy
Guest
Well, CVG has one entire empty concourse from what I can tell (the one closest to security, grr), very anal security, and virtually no flights out of there for <$500+ (even to Chicago; there is a "scheduled air charter" service operating 30-seaters out of KLUK with RTs to MDW for $575, drinks and bags included, with a morning departure and evening return, plus it is 10 min vs 30 min from downtown, hard to beat that, and from what I understand it is doing very very well, also offering flights to CLT and NYC areas, great for biz travelers, but… Read more »
Will
Guest

Oh, and one more: SFO’s long wet winter and steady growth reignites calls for new parallel runway(s) in the bay. Endless debate ensues.

Frustrated Dulles flyer
Guest

I will dance a $#%*(@! jig when UA and MWAA announce a plan and a schedule to replace the atrocious C/D concourse at IAD. Sadly, that hasn’t happened yet. But I am enough of a foolish optimist to think we might see that news in 2013. And then get a new terminal open in time for Metro to read IAD in 2017. Maybe.

MeanMeosh
Guest

1) AA and US merger falls apart because the various union factions can’t play nice and agree on a seniority list.
2) I’ll second that a major airline moves to a revenue based FF program, followed quickly by the others. Chaos ensues on FlyerTalk.
3) AA or Qatar will start nonstop DFW-DOH service. Rumors will continue to fly about DFW-India nonstop on a 787, but nothing is announced by EOY.
4) WN ends “Bags Fly Free” through the back door – they will create a new, lower price point that doesn’t include a free allowance.

yo
Guest

Hey Brett, I was listening to the Leo Laporte show yesterday, and Cranky Concierge got a good mention!

My prediction, strife for Alitalia (yeah, I went with a safe pick)

Danie
Member

Air Canada will announce a narrowbody order to replace older A320s. Guess is a mix of C-Series and Airbus NEOs

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