Here it comes… Steve Glenn’s travel industry predictions for 2023 Part 3
This week, I will add predictions 21-30, with my last 2023 travel predictions coming next week. CLICK HERE to read my first 20 predictions.
#21 – Congress will pull the plug on credit card rewards in 2023 – There is a bill in Congress that is proposing to eliminate or reduce the ‘Swipe fee” that merchants pay to the credit card companies. The 3% fee that businesses pay to VISA and Mastercard is the money that is used to fund the reward points and miles that credit cards are given to cardholders. This cost is passed on to the consumer in higher prices. Eliminating the fee merchants pay VISA and Mastercard will most likely kill the rewards cardholders currently get for using a credit card.
#22 – Buy your airline tickets early in the 2023 to lock in ticket prices – Even though airline ticket prices look a little high right now, the economic winds of higher labor costs and unknown fuel prices, plus the stress of high inflation on almost everything will put a lot of pressure on the dramatic increase of ticket prices. The best way for you to beat the increase is to lock in your tickets by buying them early in 2023.
#23 – United Airlines’ travelers will discover the great hub of Houston and slowly move away from connecting in Chicago – Chicago has more weather delays than Carter has pills. I am noticing how many people are starting to connect both domestically and internationally using the Houston Intercontinental Airport. United Club lounges don’t seem as crowded as those in Chicago. The tram between Concourses in Houston is 3X better than ORD. Restaurants are outstanding in Houston, while Chicago food is disappointing. I think the more people try connecting through Houston the more people will change their travel patterns.
#24 – Travelers will return home from longer trips on Friday mornings – This lets them get back home midday Friday and have all day Saturday and Sunday to recuperate before heading to work Monday morning. Departing for home late Friday night seems to almost waste a full day of travel as not much is done in anticipation of getting to the airport early. I also like to depart for my outbound flights between 1 and 3 pm so I can get a half day of work in before heading to the airport.
#25 – Airline frequent flyer miles should be redeemed before April 30 of 2023 – Our research shows that there is pretty good inventory to use your airline ff miles for travel before April 30, 2023. Domestic coach flights average about 27,000 miles for a domestic round-trip “saver” ticket. International coach flights to Europe run about 60,000 miles during this period. International business class frequent flyer tickets to Europe range from 230,000 to 275,000 ff miles (4 times the miles required for a coach class ticket to Europe).
#26 – Short airline flights will be outlawed within Europe in 2023 – Trains will replace short flights in Europe in 2023 – 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 as part of their environmental protection programs. 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.
#27 – The US government will require all travelers from China and Asia to be vaccinated to enter the country – They will require testing and proof of vaccination prior to getting on the airplane to fly to the USA. China continues to experience major outbreaks of COVID while the rest of the world appears to have herd immunity to COVID, causing it to decline rapidly. The US will be very conservative to make sure we don’t suffer another outbreak of the virus in 2023.
#28 – 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.
#29 – Airlines are about to kill the goose that lays the golden egg by allowing too many people into the airline lounges – All the major airlines are promoting airline credit cards that provide special perks like free admission into the airlines’ airport lounges. This helps sell a lot of credit cards but is putting too much pressure by filling all the lounges at the busiest time of the travel day. Some days there are no seats to sit down inside the airline clubs. I often find it more refreshing to sit outside the lounges. At a cost of almost $600 a year, one has to start questioning the hassle factor of investing in airline club lounges in 2023.
#30 – Hotel service will not meet your expectations 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.