I got back home yesterday. Fortunately my flight was on time and I gave myself enough time to get through security. It took an hour. Those who didn’t allow enough time got angry and started yelling at TSA staff. It made for a tense situation. The airport shuttle driver said to me yesterday that today is supposed to be even more chaotic.

Nearly 47 million Americans will travel this holiday season, estimates IBISWorld, an independent publisher of business intelligence. Many travelers may be impacted by the snow storms that hit Denver and Chicago, even if they’re not flying through those cities.

For years the airlines complained of financial woes and several of them entered and successfully emerged from bankruptcy. United, Delta and Northwest are three recent examples.

It looks like 2007 may be the best year financially for domestic airlines since 2002, according to IBISWorld. Passenger counts and industry revenue have been rising. As older planes are retired and newer ones added, airlines and consumers can expect increased fuel efficiency.

What does this mean for you? It may mean feeling a little bit more secure when you buy a ticket – that there’s less chance you won’t be able to fly because of an airline bankruptcy. Or that you can keep accumulating airline miles knowing you can eventually use them.

December 28, 2007