Here are 10 more of my travel industry predictions for 2022
This week I will add predictions 21-30, with my last 2022 travel predictions coming next week. CLICK HERE to read my first 20 predictions.
21. Airlines will charge a $25 COVID convenience fee on all tickets – In 2021 the major airlines were forced to eliminate their $200 change fees because of COVID. This cost them billions of dollars. The airlines will argue a $25 COVID convenience fee will allow you to change flights without a penalty in case you test positive and can’t take your flights. I sure hope I am wrong on this prediction. However, the airlines will do anything they can to raise revenue in 2022.
22. If you thought hotel service was bad last year it will be even worse this year –The hotels can’t find enough staff to clean rooms and run the restaurants. I stayed at a 5 star hotel in December and was greatly disappointed with the service. With hotels adding new technology that allows you to use your cell phone to check in and serve as your room key. You may never even see hotel staff on your next hotel stay.
23. Prepare for a lot of travel hiccups in 2022 – Be prepared for the rules of travel to change by the hour this year. Flights are being cancelled for crew shortages, weather, new COVID variants, CDC warnings, changing COVID testing rules, and what about if your catch COVID during your trip and have to quarantine? To prepare for all the possible hiccups with your travel you need to: 1) Find a friendly travel advisor to coach you through the changes 2) Buy travel insurance to protect you for all unexpected extra costs and 3) Allow yourself extra time just incase you trip to paradise is unexpectedly extended by 3-4 days.
24. Trains will replace short flights in Europe – Remember the 1987 movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring John Candy and Steve Martin? Your next trip to Europe may make you feel like you’re watching that film all over again as EU countries are barring short inter-country flights offered by discount European airlines and forcing people to take trains instead. So instead of making a short connecting flight to your destination the EU may force you to take a train downtown to catch a train to your destination. The good news is that most European trains run like clockwork so you should not experience too many delays.
25. Airlines will start 2022 offering deep discounts for business class international tickets – Business travel has been dead for the last year because of COVID. The majority of international business class seats in the past were paid for by companies for their business travelers. Since international business travel is expected to grow at a snail’s pace the first half of 2022, I expect the airlines to offer some amazing prices to try to get leisure (vacation) travelers to upgrade from coach to business class. How about buy one get one free? This might make a couple take the splurge on business class. There are a lot of empty business class seats this year when I checked flights to Europe in February and March this week and the airlines will soon have to figure out how to fill them with vacation travelers if business travelers are sitting on the sidelines.
26. You will be able to buy airline tickets using Bitcoin in 2022 – Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed in price since the start of COVID. This is causing many retailers to now start considering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to become more and more mainstream and start accepting them for payment. I expect a major airline will break from the pack and allow Bitcoin payment in 2022 for airline tickets. I do not think any major hotel chains will accept cryptocurrency for payment. Unfortunately, hotels are 40 years behind the times and sometimes even require a fax form to be filled out for payment. Can you even imagine hotels still using faxes?
27. People are getting giddy to travel again – Can you imagine some people that flew 10-20 times a year not having flown for 2 years? Last year before the third wave of COVID hit us we saw a lot of people make travel reservations, but the last 2 months things are slow as molasses. My gut tells me that there is a giant tsunami about to hit the travel industry as the 2 years of pent-up demand to travel is unleashed.
28. Is this the year Hertz and Avis Car Rental finally start offering “No-show” fees – For the last 9 years, I have been predicting that car rental companies will start charging a “no-show” fee if you did not show up for your car rental. Avis and Hertz once again are foaming at the mouth to kick this idea off by charging this fee to vacation renters. Enterprise/National, which is the largest car rental company, has put the brakes on the idea for the last 9 years but their competitors see so much revenue with these new fees that they will go ahead and launch these new fees in 2022 regardless if National says “No”.
29. 60% of hotel rooms will go empty in 2022 as COVID hits hotels like a ton of bricks – Hotels will start the year with a large swath of empty rooms. After Easter things will get better as the vacation traveler pent-up demand will drive improvement in the hotel sector. Even with this improvement, almost six out of ten hotel rooms will go empty in 2022. What is bad news for hotels is good news for travelers as the competition for your vacation and business travel dollar will be fierce.
30. Here comes Cuba again – New President. New rules will open up travel again this year to Cuba. You recall Obama gave the green light to travel to Cuba. Trump gave the red light. I see a green light for travel to Cuba in the coming months as COVID subsides. I was able to travel twice to Cuba several years ago and I would love to go back.