Here comes my final 10 travel industry predictions for 2022
During the past twenty years over 70% of my predictions have come true. Listed below are my final 10 of 40 predictions for the year. If you missed the first 30 predictions CLICK HERE.
#31. Airfares will rise 35% – 50% by Memorial Day – Omicron has caused a fast retreat by travelers for the last 2 months and has caused airlines to pull back on many flights and pause many new destinations. Things are going to change fast. Airfares will be increasing 7% to 10% each month for the next 5 months as people flock back to traveling. The bottom line is this….If you are planning to travel this year the earlier you book your reservation the better the prices.
#32. You will need training before you get into your next rental car – I recently rented a Hybrid car and there were more bells and whistles in the car than lights on a Christmas tree. There was a place to fill with gas and a place to plug in (but never could find a charging station). I could not tell how and when to use the electric vs gas. I was also confused how many miles I had left before refilling/recharging. In the future, I would like a QR code they have on the dashboard that has a YouTube video that explains how to run the vehicle.
#33. Southwest Airlines will start issuing seat assignments this year – As the airline continues to grow and attract business travelers it is starting to become more and more like the other large airlines. Their new CEO is hinting that seat assignments may be the next step in their evolution.
#34. $200 airline change fees will return in 2022 – COVID caused many airlines to eliminate change fees as travelers were not able to know if they could travel or not so the airlines removed change fees to give travelers the confidence to make advance reservations and not have to worry that they would lose $200 of the ticket value in change fees if they had to change flight schedules. As COVID recedes airlines will try any way they can to generate revenue and the $200 change fee is a way for them to raise billions of dollars.
#35. Working virtual will go international in 2022 – Millions of jobs moved from the office to home during COVID. Last year many companies have agreed to allow this temporary phenomenon to become permanent. The next step I see is that people will leverage this flexibility by moving to other countries. Say you work at home in Iowa. In the future why not work for 6 months in Aruba? Or if Europe is your calling why not set up your office in a villa in Italy and explore Italy on your weekends?
#36. Your airline frequent flyer miles have been devalued and will only be worth 1 penny or less in 2022 – The airlines have quietly changed their frequent flyer programs, so your miles are now worth about half of what they were 5 years ago. What used to take 25,000 miles for an economy RT ticket now can easily take 40,000 to 70,000 miles. Yes, the airlines will argue that they are making more ff seats available, however, it will cost you twice as many miles. The airlines are about to start killing the goose that lays the golden egg as many travelers I know are looking for alternative credit cards than those offered by the airlines as their redemption value has sunk so low.
#37. Make reservations using your frequent flyer miles ASAP as they will be almost impossible to use after Memorial Day – The first three months of the year will start the year really slow for the airline industry. As such you will be able to find a pretty good supply of frequent flyer seat inventory to use your airline miles for free tickets. But planes will start filling fast as demand builds in the second quarter. My advice is to use your airline frequent flyer miles ASAP to book travel as with limited flights and a wave of vacation bookings coming this spring procrastination may cost you the opportunity to use your miles this year.
#38. The hottest travel trend in 2022 will be women traveling with groups of other women – Four year ago Executive Travel launched” Women of the Midwest”, which were women-only travel groups. The concept has taken off like wildfire and we expect this to continue exponentially as women have the money and time to travel and want the safety and security of traveling with other women. To see our many tours visit https://womenofthemidwest.com/
#39. Some travelers will avoid Seattle, Portland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Minneapolis in 2022 – These cities got a really black eye from the civil unrest, looting, and demonstrations shown in the press that will cause some to stay clear of them in 2022. I personally would have no problem with visiting any or all of these cities, however, some will argue these cities lost a lot of their charm in the past few years. Perhaps we all have lost some of our charm these last few years.
#40. Mexico will continue to be a safe destination for Americans in 2022 – Mexico is the fun and sun capital for American travelers who want an easy and inexpensive getaway. All-inclusive resorts have taken over much of Mexico and offer the “put your wallet in the safe” way to relax and get away from it all. With great beaches and cheap flights, Mexico will continue to attract millions of Americans despite new articles highlighting gang scuffles every few months. I found a great chart to explain “if you are safe in Mexico”. CLICK HERE to see.
Bonus #41. Governments will add so much taxes to airfares that sometimes the taxes will be more than the airfare – You won’t believe this. I recently researched an airfare from Frankfurt Germany to Dublin, Ireland and found a $40 airfare with $84.90 taxes for a total cost of $124.90. Basically, you pay 2X in taxes compared to the airfare. CRAZY.
Bonus #42. Americans will stampede to Hawaii this year – Hawaii has had some of the toughest COVID regulations prohibiting travel this past year. Now that more people are vaccinated they will see Hawaii as a great option compared to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Bonus #43 – It will be cheaper to cruise than to stay in assisted living – You do the math. A seven-day cruise can cost as low as about $75 a day. Living in an assisted living center is over $100 a day. I can’t wait to retire!
Bonus #45 – Car rental taxes can add up to 60% to the cost of renting a car – I know when you read this many of you will shake your heads in disgust. Local city governments are becoming addicted to taxing the new traveler coming to town.
Bonus #46 – Travel advisors are the new rock stars of travel – COVID has taken a confusing travel industry and made it even more complex with all the rules and regulations now being implemented by airlines, airports, hotels, cities, counties, and countries. The value proposition of travel agents has grown exponentially in the last two years and they make it “easy” to travel. One call does it all as travel advisors have fixed millions of unused tickets and basically bring tremendous value of saving people time, money and provide advice to make your travel go smoothly.
Bonus #47 – The Nebraska football team will win the BIG 10 West Division this year – This is our breakout season. Hope springs eternal!