There is good news for travelers this year. Experts say there are some big changes coming to the airline industry. And many will become a reality long before the end of 2013! Here are a few things to look forward to:
Prepare for a faster trip through airport security. That’s because the TSA plans to expand its “PreCheck” screening program, which lets some travelers use special screening lanes where you get to leave your shoes on, leave your laptop in your bag, and walk through a metal detector – instead of a full-body scanner. And for a select few pre-screened travelers, you can skip security lines altogether! The PreCheck program started last year in 35 airports and this year, the TSA plans to more than double that number.
Look for more Wi-Fi on planes. Delta already has Wi-Fi available across its entire fleet, while United and Southwest expect to have more than 75% of their planes equipped with Wi-Fi by the end of this month.
Planes will also have more seats with extra legroom. United and American plan to offer roomier seats in coach, including offering passengers more seats with lie-flat beds on long domestic flights. Until recently, those were only seen on planes making international flights.
Many of these new changes will come with new fees. As an example, starting this year, Southwest will begin charging a “no-show fee.” Meaning, if you don’t call the airline to cancel your flight before it departs, you’ll be charged extra.