1. Carbon offsets and carbon neutral flights
When I started talking to people about carbon offsets and carbon neutral flights at the beginning of 2007, I usually was greeted by puzzled looks. Now, in the course of just a few months, the greening of air travel is a much better known concept and a lot of airlines are offering options to purchase carbon offsets to neutralize their affect on the environment by contributing to a wind power project or tree planting for example. A few airlines even include the cost of carbon offsets in their ticket prices, and even the Queen’s visit to the US in the spring included a carbon offset program.
2. Merger talks
Targets in the US included Midwest, Delta, Continental. So many rumors – and a few real attempts. Midwest Airlines in particular was a target of several different takeover attempts. Mergers seem to always be a possibility where airlines exist.
3. Baggage fees for checking in any luggage
A few low cost airlines are trying this one – charging for any piece of luggage that is checked in. Try not to get caught in this money grab where checking in your luggage may cost more than the ticket did.
4. Going wireless or cellular
A few airlines have begun trying out internet possibilities in the air. And several airlines are looking at permitting cellular telephone use on board, during flight.
5. Higher fuel costs
Because of the rising costs of fueling airplanes, 2007 saw surcharges and increases in some airfares. The cost of fuel has nearly doubled over the past few years and airlines are trying to prevent this from cutting too far into their own bottom line. Fuel surcharges have often been added to tickets, and airlines have increased what they charge for many of their airfares.