Travel Predictions 2023: 13 Things To Expect From Airlines, According to Flight Expert

Family of three going on a holiday at airport.
jacoblund / Getty Images/iStockphoto

High prices due to staff shortages dominated air travel throughout 2022, while the year closed out in a frantic flurry of flight delays and cancellations due to inclement weather and FAA system outages. What’s expected for flyers in 2023? According to Scott Keyes of Going, previously known as Scott’s Cheap Flights, there’s plenty to be excited about — especially for those looking for savings and roomier flights.

See: Why Buying Property in These Vacation Destinations Could Be a Great Investment
Read: Get Your Credit Score On Track With These 3 Tips for Success
Find: How 2023 Recession Will Differ From 2008 and How You Should Prepare Differently

Airfare will fall at least 5%

Keyes is 70% confident that airfare will fall by at least 5% compared to 2022. Right now, average airfares are 36% higher than they were this time last year.

Prices on Flights to Asia Will Fall

Keyes has 90% confidence that China, which has been holding fast to COVID-19 travel restrictions, will continue to smoothly reopen and, as a result, get less expensive to travel to and from. Travel to other countries in Asia should follow suit.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

There Will Be More ‘Mistake Fares’

In 2022, Going found seven “mistake fares” for members. These included Iceland for $100 round trip, London/Amsterdam for $174 round trip and Tokyo for $316 round trip. Keyes is 60% confident that Going will find at least eight mistake fares this year.

Cheap Flights to Tokyo Will Abound

Going uncovered only 82 cheap flights to Tokyo in 2022. Now that Japan has fully reopened, Keyes is 80% confident many more cheap airfare deals will surface in 2023.

Flights Will Be Less Full

Flights were pretty crowded in 2022, but thanks to less demand and more flight volume, Keyes is 70% confident that more empty seats will abound in 2023.

Flight Volume Will Be Below 2019 Levels

In 2019, U.S airlines averaged more than 26,000 flights per day, compared to 22,300 in 2022. Keyes has 80% confidence that the 14% gap will shrink by a fair amount, but that we won’t reach 2019 levels in 2023.

Seat Volume Will Exceed 2019 Levels

In 2022, the number of daily seats was down 7% (2.93 million vs. 3.16 million in 2019). Keyes is 60% confident that we’ll top pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

The Fed Will Step in To Block the Spirit/JetBlue Merger. 

Keyes is 60% confident that federal regulators will move in to block the merger between JetBlue and Spirit because of its adverse impact on airfares and choice for consumers.

There Will Be No Bankruptcies Among Major U.S Airlines

Keyes is very confident (90%) that we will see no major U.S airlines enter bankruptcy in 2023.

More Countries Will Announce Plans To Lift Airport Liquid Restrictions

Keyes has 70% confidence that at least three more countries will announce plans to lift airport liquid restrictions. The U.K has already done this. They announced in December that by June 2024, air travelers will once again be allowed to bring liquids through security.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) Will Propose Its Final Rule On Flight Refunds

Last August, the DOT proposed a regulation that would give travelers’ rights to a refund in case of long delays or pandemic restrictions. Keyes is 60% confident that the DOT will propose a final rule similar to its initial proposal in 2023.

Take Our Poll: How Do You Think the Economy Will Perform in 2023?
More: Flight Delayed or Cancelled? Here’s When and How To Ask For Compensation

Make Your Money Work Better for You

One of the Big Six U.S Airlines Will Acquire A Smaller Carrier

Keyes is 60% confident that one of the six largest U.S airlines (American, Delta, United, Alaska, JetBlue or Southwest) will try to purchase a smaller carrier.

There Will Be Fewer Flight Cancellations

Keyes is 70% confident that there will be fewer flights canceled in 2023 than there were in 2022.

More From GOBankingRates

Share This Article:

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
email sharing button
Make Your Money Work Better for You

About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
Learn More


See Today's Best
Banking Offers