Here come 10 more travel industry predictions for 2022 from Steve Glenn
During the past twenty years over 70% of my predictions have come true. Last week I provided you with predictions 1-10. This week I will provide you with 10 more travel industry crystal ball predictions for this year. Here is week 2 of what I think will happen in 2022. Part 3 of 4 will arrive in your inbox next week. If you missed the first 10 predictions CLICK HERE.
11. 2022 will be the year of the travel yoyo – We start the travel year with COVID testing, masks, vaccines, and caution. This will quickly change and bounce back and forth with testing declining and later the masks come off. Airlines start the year pulling back on the number of flights. Airfares are low for the first three months of the year and then climb higher as COVID ebbs. As they see planes filling up this spring airlines will try to quickly add back flights. Every time a new COVID variant raises its head we will bounce back and forth just like a yoyo.
12. Travel in 2022 will be centered in North America with “sun and fun” destinations continuing to lead the way – Resorts in Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Florida will continue to lead the way in the travel industry recovery in 2022. People are tired of being cooped up in their houses and want to get outside and start living life again. People will also want to put their toes in the water by traveling to places not too exotic or far from home before they jump in with both feet and explore the world.
13. Taking a COVID test before you fly internationally will go away after Memorial Day – We are already starting to see countries like Ireland and the U.K. eliminate COVID testing requirements upon arrival. However, the U.S. will be slow to stop requiring COVID testing prior to returning to the U.S. COVID testing will not be required to fly domestically in 2022.
14. Dogs, Dogs, and more dogs travel in 2022 – More and more people will be bringing their dogs along when they travel in 2022. This past month I was amazed at the number of dogs people had at the resort I was staying in in Florida. I think hotels will have to do something as I was very uncomfortable with dogs sniffing people and fighting off other dogs in the hotel. The resort had to roll up two Persian rugs in the lobby to have them cleaned as some dogs got a little excited seeing other dogs. I grew up on a farm and love animals and especially dogs but hotels need to decide if they are a hotel or a kennel.
15. Prepare to extend your stay in 2022 – One of the biggest issues facing travelers is not having COVID when they depart for their trip but testing positive for COVID during their trip and having to quarantine another week before they head back home. Travel insurance will help them pay the cost of the hotel but you probably don’t want to schedule your daughter’s wedding the weekend after you return from a trip to Europe in 2022.
16. New types of COVID vaccines will launch in the spring causing many who are not vaccinated to jump on board and become vaccinated – Millions of people are hesitant to take the current mRNA based COVID vaccines as they argue safety or testing protocol used in launching the mRNA vaccines was not comprehensive and they were rushed too fast to market. As new vaccines are approved that don’t use the mRNA molecule as the methodology for vaccination I am hopeful that more and more people will consider the protection afforded by vaccination.
17. Airlines will finally put the nail in the coffin for change fees in 2022 – One good casualty that resulted from the pandemic is that most airlines eliminated those dastardly $200 fees to change an airline ticket, thereby matching Southwest Airlines who had for years promoted they don’t charge change fees as a competitive advantage. Now United Airlines has announced that you will never pay a change fee again. This of course is very practical in a COVID world that may require changes in travel caused by COVID protocols. Realistically, in the new world of COVID travel, no one will make a reservation more than 2 weeks in advance if they worry the airline will charge them a massive fee to change their ticket.
18. Expect baggage fees to go up in 2022 – By giving away billions of dollars in change fees as listed above you can expect airlines to look at every possible way to add more revenue to every flight. Fees to check in your bags are expected to rise as much as $10 to $50 at many airlines as they deal with lost revenue.
19. Yeti is quickly replacing plastic bottles in airports – Some airports are banning plastic water bottles from being sold in the airport. Instead, airports are installing water refill stations and demand that travelers use refillable bottles if they want to drink water during a layover. My guess is that more and more travelers will purchase a reusable water bottle (Yeti) with a free refill (I hope). In the long run, buying a $30 Yeti seems like a lot of money but when you look at paying $4 a bottle for water at the airport it only takes 8 bottles to pay for that fashionable pink Yeti. Plus seeing all those plastic water bottles all over the world along the road does make you want to do something to help our environment.
20. Travel to Europe will be very slow for the first 3 months of 2022 and then slowly build for the rest of the year – Travel to Europe is getting hit for the third time with the Omicron variant for the last month and will probably stay frozen for the next month or two. I expect it to start to thaw in March as more and more countries (like Israel and Ireland) start putting out the welcome mats. By Easter, I think things will really turn the corner and we see people willing to travel internationally again.
Next week I will send you part 3 of my 4 part travel predictions for 2022.