Hotel prices surging higher as hotel service tanks
Hotel research firm CBRE is projecting that average daily hotel room rates will increase 14.7% this year and reach $143 a night. This is well above the pre-COVID baseline year of 2019 of $129. Despite the higher rate, only about 6 out of 10 hotel rooms are full which is difficult for me to understand how the hotel rates keep going up and up. Also, the service and housekeeping at the hotels has declined precipitously during COVID and the hotel management seems to use that to justify poor service. Perhaps it’s time for a hotel service guarantee? CLICK HERE to read more about hotel pricing.
Airplanes are still full even after Labor Day – The kids are back at school and Labor Day has come and gone, yet all the airlines say that demand is staying strong well past the normal expected seasonal slowdown. Normally, once school starts most of the summer vacations slow to a trickle. Not this year as the shoulder season of September – October continues to sizzle with vacation travelers and now even business travelers are joining in on the fun. I am still hoping that things slow down the first two weeks of November and December to give the travel industry some breathing room and customers a little relief from high prices. CLICK HERE to read more of what the airlines are reporting.
I am starting to hear from customers they want to stay away from certain cities in the U.S. because of perceived crime and homelessness – It seems like every day many major cities are reporting massive crime waves that include murder, shootings, and major thefts. I have not given it much thought until recently three people asked me if they thought it was safe to travel to New Orleans, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. New York City, Detroit, Chicago, and Los Angeles usually lead the crime list but it appears some travelers are now questioning whether they want to travel to even more cities as crime and homelessness hits the front page news daily. Please take this two-question survey and let us know what cities in the U.S. you would not currently travel to. CLICK HERE for the survey.
Farmers Almanac is saying this winter we will “Shake, Shiver, and Shovel” – This week we are expected to have 100-degree temperatures in Nebraska but in just a few short months the famous Farmers Almanac says that it will be a wet and extremely cold winter. This is good news for hardware stores but bad news for travelers as we will have to navigate ice and delayed or cancelled flights if the ice and snow hit us hard. Once again, I recommend taking non-stop flights even if they cost $100 more to avoid the possibility of cancelled and delayed flights which caused missed connections. Also, you may want to arrive one day early for your business meeting or cruise as once the ship leaves port you are out of luck. CLICK HERE to read a summary of the Farmer’s Almanac.
Airport lounges are so full that it is hard to enjoy the atmosphere – The airlines have issued millions of credit cards that include complimentary airport lounge access so that the airport lounge experience now feels like being packed into a sardine can. Airport lounges are so full that on certain days of the week they will no longer accept one-time passes that the airlines sell. During the busy hours of connecting flights, all the airport lounge chairs are full, the charging stations are all taken, food service is lousy and they have long lines at the bar. I would think that the airlines will need to rethink how many free passes they will give out for new credit card perks, otherwise, business travelers will avoid the airport lounge like the plague.