Last week I provided you with 15 of my 60 annual predictions. Today you get 15 more. During the past seventeen years, 73% of my predictions have come true! Here’s more of what I think will happen in 2020 (part 2/4).
CLICK HERE to see Steve’s first 15 predictions.
#16- Those dastardly hotel resort fees will magically disappear in 2020 – One of the most hated fees in the travel industry are the hidden resort fees of $25 to $75 that many hotels charge you when you check into a hotel. There are currently two major lawsuits pending against Marriott and Hilton that are challenging these fees. There has also been legislation introduced to outlaw the fees. I think the stars are aligning to get this done in 2020. Three cheers for Nebraska Attorney General Doug Petersen who filed a lawsuit against Hilton and Nebraska Representative Jeff Fortenberry who filed a new bill that requires resort fees to be listed in the rate of the hotel when booking.
#17- You will not have to pay to use the restroom on flights in 2020 – I say this “tongue-in-cheek” as all these fees the airline’s charge are getting ridiculous.
#18- Yeti will replace plastic bottles in airports –Last year the San Francisco International Airport banned plastic water bottles from being sold in the airport. Instead, they have put in 100 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.
#19- There will be so many emotional-support service dogs on planes that airlines will convert the last row of seats into a kennel – Over the last year, there has been a stampede of dogs, cats and even peacocks entering planes as emotional support service animals. It is starting to get way out of hand. My comments about a kennel onboard the airplane are of course very tongue- in- cheek. However, there is a big scam going on where passengers are getting their doctors to give them a letter saying they need an emotional- support service animal to travel to overcome their fears. I understand that some people have serious medical or mental difficulties and need this assistance. However, I think many people are just using this for a way to transport their dogs on a flight for free. I think the airlines need to be much more aggressive and come up with tighter standards before the planes turn into zoos.
#20- Amazon will enter the travel selling space in 2020 – Amazon wants to capture the world and the travel industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. I expect Amazon to use all that data they have about you to start marketing travel services to you in 2020. I think I might join Amazon Prime and at the same time list my wife Marie as a third party product and see if I can get FREE prime delivery of her to Hawaii for our next trip.
#21- TSA Pre-Check lines will get longer and slower in 2020 – As they add millions more to this express lane security line service you can expect the lines to be longer and slower in the year ahead as they are not adding additional lines or personnel to keep up with demand. Four times in 2019 I saw the TSA Pre-Check lines were longer than the normal lines. I hope I am wrong on this one.
#22- Free WiFi is a year away on airplanes – For the last year Delta has tried to pioneer offering free in-flight WiFi for their customers. Well, it turns out that the current technology they are using for WiFi service does not have the bandwidth so that if they offered the service for free it would crash (WiFi not the plane) from the overload. I hope that Delta continues to push forward with this idea. Delta was also one of the first airlines to offer free texting service which the other airlines are still very late jumping into this service.
#23- Death of the seat-back TV screens will come this year – First the airlines promoted seat-back TV screens as an added new service to pass the time away on your flight. Now that everyone has an iPhone or iPad or computer when flying the airlines are promoting downloading their airline apps and use that to watch your favorite movie. Bottom line is that this year the new planes that come online will not have seatback TV screens as this saves the airlines a lot of money and they will argue that you still have access on your phone to this service.
#24- Americans will stampede to Hawaii this year as the airlines continue with low prices and fare wars from the west coast – Last year Southwest Airlines started service to Hawaii. Other airlines want to make it painful for Southwest to capture market share so I expect great airfare sales will continue from the west coast of the U.S. Expect hotel prices in Hawaii to stay high however as more demand brings higher prices.
#25- IRS will drop vehicle reimbursement rate to 57.5 cents a mile – The Internal Revenue Service has just announced the new vehicle reimbursement rate will decrease from 58 cents a mile in 2019 to 57.5 cents in 2020.
#26- One airline will start offering wireless charging stations on the seat trays of the plane – Someone is going to figure out how to jump past adding plugins at every seat for people to charge their phone and simply add wireless charging stations to the seat trays. Easy Peasy.
#27- Restrooms at airports will slowly get better – I swear that the architects who design the bathrooms at airports have never flown. Most of the airport bathrooms have the smallest size and layout for the massive wall of people who unload after a 3-hour flight and run directly toward the closest restroom. The entryways are too small and only allow for one-way traffic. Most airport restrooms are way undersized and understaffed. You would think if an airport charges every passenger a $10 airport fee as part of your ticket price like they do, the least they could do is have large restrooms that are clean.
#28- Forget selfie sticks this year. It’s drones, drones, drones – The coolest pix this year during your vacation will come from your hand-launched drone. Drones are shrinking in size and price, and will soon be seen buzzing around a site near you in view-blocking, photo-spoiling drones.
#29- More companies will allow their travelers to pay $100 or more for a direct flight. Missing a connecting flight in 2020 could keep you stranded in an airport for up to four days – 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 2020 might mean you are sitting in the airport waitlisted for the next available seat, which might be two to four days later. This is a giant reason why companies in 2020 will continue to relax their travel policies and allow their business travelers to spend $100 or more for the convenience of direct flights.
#30- Travelers are craving authentic experiences in 2020 – They want boutique hotels, unique eating experiences where the locals eat and ways to stay away from the plastic-fantastic tourist traps in 2020.