Inflation may spark labor strikes and stoppages in the travel industry in 2023
Many people are hopeful that the high inflation we saw this fall in the U.S. will continue to fall in the coming months. The psychology of high inflation, however, could have a major impact in the coming months as employees in the airline industry, hotels, food service, and even convention center staff have all sent up smoke signals that they demand higher wages and are willing to strike to get them. Delta pilots this fall are playing hardball and have voted to authorize a strike if negotiations break down. Pilots at United Airlines and American Airlines all say they want higher wages and appear willing to walk if the airlines don’t play ball. Not only will this lead to higher travel prices across the board it could be punctuated by strikes that disrupt family and business travel plans. Let’s keep our fingers crossed those negotiations are successful and that no work stoppages or strikes will happen in the months ahead.
At first glance it appears that the airlines survived Thanksgiving travel without too many hiccups – Thanksgiving travel was back to almost the level of travel seen in 2019. From all the news articles I read it appears the airlines did a pretty good job of dealing with the added stress of millions of travelers during this holiday weekend. I was surprised at how smoothly things went at Chicago O’Hare airport on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when I returned home from a trip to Europe. The planes were packed full but the airlines all appeared to be working well with departures and arrivals. Having great weather in the Midwest helped out a lot. Let’s hope good weather holds on through the Christmas holiday season as well.
Holiday travel is spreading out over a longer period of time – Thanksgiving travel used to run from Wednesday to Sunday. This year it appears that Thanksgiving travel was spread out over a longer period of time. With Thanksgiving travel expanding over 7-10 days, the peaks and valleys of the standard Wednesday to Sunday flying patterns are leveled out. CLICK HERE to read more.
I anticipate hotel rates that have gone sky-high this year will moderate as leisure demand softens – Hotel rates have gone sky-high in 2022. As of October, the average occupancy for hotels was 67.2% with an average daily rate of $155.63 according to STR hotel bench marketing service. I think we will see hotel rates increasing a moderate 2% to 5% in 2023.
President Biden is joining the war on outlawing hotel resort fees – I have long argued that hotel resort fees should be illegal. These fees, ranging from $25 to $75 a night, are added by hotels on top of the hotel prices they quote to customers. Just a few short weeks ago President Biden said he was going to see how the federal government could put an end to such fees. Let’s hope we can finally see the end of these unethical hidden fees. CLICK HERE to read more.
Final Call for Hawaii – The Perfect Winter Getaway – There is no better winter getaway than a trip to Hawaii! Join one of our fully escorted tours, January 24 – February 2 (for couples and solo travelers), or February 21 – March 2 (a women-only departure). Experience Oahu, Big Island, and Maui, perfect temperatures, waterfalls, rainforests, tropical flowers, sandy beaches, whales, and much more. We allow a maximum of twenty travelers for your comfort. To see the details, click on the dates above. Do not hesitate to call or email our friendly group department at (402) 435 8888 / GroupDepartment@executivetravel.com.