Here it comes… Steve Glenn’s travel industry predictions for 2024

Here it comes… Steve Glenn’s travel industry predictions for 2024

During the past 21 years over 70% of my predictions have come true. Over the next four weeks, I will provide you with 60 of my travel industry crystal ball predictions. Here is week 1 of what I think will happen in 2024. Part 2 of 4 will arrive in your inbox next week. Happy New Year! 

1. 2024 is the year of the “Upgrade” as people want to travel and live their life with “Gusto”– Most people are looking for an upgraded or luxury experience when they travel in 2024. Travelers are looking for great value, not always the cheapest. People will pay to get the most out of life. I flew to Italy with a friend this December and he flew coach. His comment to me was if he ever flew to Europe again it would be business class or nothing. People want to travel with “Gusto” in 2024. CLICK HERE for more.

2. Cool-cation is now top of mind when planning for a vacation – Scorching temperatures in Europe and around the world in 2023 are causing travelers to now look at cooler climates for their vacations (Cool-cation = Cool Vacation) in 2024. Historically, snowbirds from the Midwest flocked to the warmth of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas during the winter months. Now the people of those warm states and many around the country are looking at travel to “cool’ destinations in the summer months. The countries of Scandinavia, which include Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and also Iceland, will continue see amazing travel growth in 2024. Canada will also be a cool-cation destination in 2024. CLICK HERE to hear Paul and I discuss. 

3. Here’s what’s HOT for travel destinations in 2024 – Greece, Italy, Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland), Ireland, U.K., Dubai, Portugal, Japan, Istanbul, France (Olympics), Africa (Safaris), Canada (cool), Alaska, River Cruises (both Europe and U.S.), and Expedition cruising (Galapagos and Antarctica). CLICK HERE for more. 

4. Here’s what’s NOT for travel destinations in 2024 – Israel, Mexico, Jamaica, Spain, Nassau, Bahamas, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Southern Europe (July and August heat) and Hawaii (recovering from fires). CLICK HERE to hear more. 

5. You will need to watch a training video 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 about 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. CLICK HERE to hear more.

6. Death of the seat-back TV screens on airplanes will start to reverse in 2024 –First the airlines promoted seat-back TV screens as an added new service to pass the time away on your flight. Five years ago they got rid of seat-back TV screens and promoted travelers using their laptops to watch the airline movies. Now seat-back TV screens are coming back and many of the new airplanes being brought into service this year will have seat-back TV screens. CLICK HERE for more.

7. Airfares now make up less than 30% of the cost of a business trip- Can you believe it? Just a few years ago a business traveler used the price of the airline ticket as the gauge for the largest travel expense for a trip. Today a traveler going on a 3-night business trip can pay up to $300 for a car rental, $500 for a hotel, and $200 for meals. Add these three things up and you are spending $1000 for car, hotel, and meals compared to $400 for an airline ticket. What used to be over 50% of a business trip’s expense is now less than 30%. CLICK HERE for more. 

8. Airlines will purchase thousands of new airplanes in 2024 & 2025 and replace smaller jets with large jets –2024 will be the year where the airlines receive thousands of new larger jets and they will replace regional jets (50 seats) with those large jets that hold 200 or more seats. 25% of the departures in the U.S. in 2023 were regional jets with 50 seats or less. With pilot and labor challenges the airlines are rapidly increasing their jet sizes to minimize their labor costs. CLICK HERE for more. 

]9. It’s about time for better airplane Wi-Fi – Airplane Wi-Fi will move from sucky to poor in 2024 and better in 2025 – Using Wi-Fi on a plane can be an adventure as it is often painfully slow and constantly going on and off. Most major airlines started the process of upgrading the Wi-Fi service six years ago so people would actually want to pay for it. I hope with all the new airplanes the airlines are bringing onboard in the next two years that new WI-FI technology will be a part of the equation. CLICK HERE for more. 

10. Forget about a complimentary domestic upgrade unless you are a top elite airline member– There are now millions upon millions of travelers who are silver, gold and even platinum members of the major airlines’ frequent flyer programs. These programs offer complimentary first-class upgrades; however, the reality is that even if you are a gold or platinum member there can be 40 people ahead of you on the complimentary upgrade list for your flight. If you are not 1K or Global Services on United, Executive Platinum on AA or Diamond Status on Delta don’t hold your breath in 2024 that you will ever be upgraded. CLICK HERE for more. 

11. Airplanes seem full and should be profitable, yet they require 82% of the seats being full for the airlines to financially breakeven –In the good old days when an airplane was 66% full the airlines broke even financially. Today that number is 82%. Once again I don’t see how any of the major airlines can be profitable in 2024. CLICK HERE for more. 

12. More companies will allow their travelers to pay $100 or more for a direct flight – Once again, with airlines flying their planes 90% full means they only have a few seats available if a flight is canceled or delayed. Add a major storm into the mix and missing your connecting flight in 2024 might mean you are sitting in the airport waitlisted for the next available seat, which might be hours if not days. This is one reason why companies in 2024 will continue to relax their travel policies and allow their business travelers to spend $100 or more for the convenience of direct flights. CLICK HERE for more. 

13. 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 $55 airfare with $84 taxes for a total cost of $139. Basically, you pay 2X in taxes compared to the airfare. CRAZY. CLICK HERE for more. 

14. Great News! Prepare for a lot fewer travel hiccups in 2024 –Things should start to smooth out in the travel industry as travel begins to normalize in 2024. Airlines are adding new planes and flights every day. Shortages of supplies should be settled. Hotels are starting to build back their staffing levels and the business traveler is slowly climbing back into the saddle again. 2024 could see a few bumps in the road if the labor unions strike for more money but the other pieces of the puzzle are looking good. CLICK HERE for more. 

15. 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! (Actually, I never want to retire. I have the best job in the world!) CLICK HERE for more. 

Check out our Weekly Travel Alert Podcast – Did you know our Weekly Travel Alert Video Podcast is available on YouTube plus all your favorite podcast stations, SpotifyGoogle PodcastApple Podcast ? Each week we are adding new and upgraded features. Please jump on board. CLICK HERE to see the Weekly Travel Alert podcast that is hot off the presses.

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