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2013 trends: New start-up airlines? Laptops on during takeoff?

January 02, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • A California Pacific Airlines jet, reflected in the windows of McLellan-Palomar Airport near Carlsbad, Calif.
A California Pacific Airlines jet, reflected in the windows of McLellan-Palomar… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

For those of us who will travel in 2013, it's tempting to try to figure out what the new year might bring.

Higher cost of traveling by air (even if fares don't go up, fees will drive up prices) and airline mergers (especially after American Airlines emerges from bankruptcy) are some of Conde Nast Travelers' predictions for this year.

But the outlook wasn't all bleak. The travel magazine says to look for newer and more comfortable airplanes coming on line this year too.

Ed Perkins at SmarterTravel put together a worthy list of 13 hot travel trends for 2013. Here are a few that caught my eye:

--New airlines will start up, but the likelihood of their gaining federal approval and succeeding is slim, Perkins notes. Companies hoping to get off the ground this year include California Pacific Airlines, based in Carlsbad, Calif. The airline, started by 91-year-old Ted Vallas, would fly to Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Phoenix and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

People Express, for those who remember this budget airline that went out of busines 25 years ago, plans to start service this year from Newport News, Va. Avatar Airlines and LVAir (for Las Vegas) round out the list of potential newcomers.

--No need to turn off your laptop or Kindle on the plane. Perkins predicts the Federal Aviation Administration will lift the rule about shutting off electronic gear during takeoffs and landings.

--Got cash? Some travel services may want to skip credit cards that charge them fees in favor of debit cards, Paypal or even cash discounts. Others, however, especially those with frequent user programs, will value the use of credit cards -- and the deals they cut with banks to brand them for points or miles.

Read more of SmarterTravel's Hottest Travel Trends list.
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