Airfaires poised to jump this fall, more space to follow

One of the few bright sides of the recession was that people who like to travel and had cash available could easily do so on the cheap. The airlines were beaten badly, particularly by the drop in business travel, and they couldn’t seem to slash prices fast enough. Well, all that’s about to change.

Rick Seany, CEO of, sees domestic flights surging 16 percent to 20 percent year-over-year this fall. He explained, “Demand is going to be pretty good this year for holiday travel because a lot of people forewent their trip last year.” But, he indicated that airlines are still cautious about the coming months, as there are some concerns about the strength of the economic recovery.

What’s the good news in all this? The higher prices may score you your own arm rest. According to Reuters:

“Load factors are up,” said Morningstar equity analyst Basili Alukos. “Obviously planes are fuller so you’re at a point where there is the opportunity to add a new plane.

“So now you’re seeing carriers slowly start to expand capacity. They’re always chasing the marginal passenger.”

More planes means that you’ll have a shot at seeing nobody in that middle seat!