Here it comes….part 4 of my travel industry predictions for 2017. For the last three weeks I provided you with 45 of my top predictions. (Click Here to see them) Today here comes 15 more (plus 5 bonus predictions!). During the past fourteen years 74% of my predictions have come true! Here’s the rest of what I think will happen in 2017 (part 4 of 4).
#46 – It will be cheaper to cruise than for seniors to stay in assisted living –
You do the math. A seven day cruise costs as low as about $75 a day. Living in an assisted living center is over $100 a day. I can’t wait to retire!
#47 – Pilot shortage will cause people to avoid regional jets as flight cancellations skyrocket –
There is a major shortage of pilots to fly small regional jets since the largest airlines are gulping up all the pilots of those regional jets as they expand their fleets around the world.
#48 – The assistant manager at McDonalds will make more than the co-pilot of that regional jet you fly on this afternoon –
Starting pay for pilots for some regional airlines start as low as $22,000 – $30,000 a year. This means that the people in charge of the life and safety of 50 people on a jet plane are in some cases being paid less than those asking if you want to super-size your french fries.
#49 – American will have the best frequent flyer program in 2017 , Delta the worst –
I have been a big fan of United’s Mileage Plus program for many years for its ease of use and availability of seats but the more I listen to frequent travelers they tell me that American may have the best frequent flyer program today. Delta Air Lines is doing many things extremely well on the customer service side of the business, however, their frequent flyer program is really bad and getting worse as they continue to devalue their miles. I think their planes are so full they simply don’t have any extra seats to provide their frequent flyer members.
#50 – Southwest Airlines’ credit card will offer free companion tickets when you fly in 2017 –
One of the best values in 2017 will continue to be the Companion Pass offered by Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier credit card. This program is the best thing since apple pie. This program works only for those who charge at least $110,000 on their credit card in one year or fly 100 one-way flights on Southwest. So if you travel a lot or charge a lot for your business this card may provide you with two-for-one tickets as you fly into the sunset.
#52 – Travel industry will move focus from Millennials to Gen X –
The travel industry will finally transition their focus on what one professor (not me!) called, high maintenance, debt burdened, free-wheeling and lackadaisical Millennials (Those born 1981 to 2006) and start to refocus on Gen X (those born between 1965 and 1981). Gen X occupies a massive 60% of the current workforce. They possess an entrepreneurial spirit, a do-it-yourself attitude and, in contrast to the generations before them, embrace change in the workplace. They are career-oriented but place a strong emphasis on family time and strive for a good work-life balance. And let’s face it baby boomers are still the sweet spot for the next 10 years for the travel industry as they hold over 70% of the U.S. disposable income. Why do all the marketing folks ignore the giant piece of pie of the boomers and GenX who make up over 85% of the spending power to focus on Gen Y who won’t power our economy for the next 20 years?
# 53 – Americans will travel the globe in record numbers in 2017 –
With fuel prices at rock bottom prices international airlines’ ticket prices will be the lowest in years. Add to that a strong dollar and weak Euro and you have set the table for a record breaking year to travel the globe by Americans. Expect most Americans to set their sights on Europe in 2017.
# 54 – Even new credit cards with security chips will not make it easier to use in Europe –
The United States finally is starting to catch up with Europe as almost all credit cards have converted to chip security in 2016. These new credit cards with chip security are still not as good as those in Europe as the US Banks are not using the “chip and pin” technology as they are worried Americans won’t like adding a pin number to a credit card transaction. Unfortunately, even with the new chips the new credit cards will not be able to be used in many European automated ticketing machines at train stations, etc. as they will require a PIN number to use.
# 55 – Airlines will quickly phase out the use of the small 50 passenger regional jets –
Larger regional jets with 70 passengers or more will quickly replace the older models and provide passengers with more space and the airlines lower operating costs. This is what they call a win-win.
# 56 – The airlines will start charging for “Emotional Baggage” in 2017 –
This is my attempt at humor. Ironically all the charges and fees charged by the airlines have gotten so outrageous that crazy ideas like this might not surprise some people.
# 57 – Airlines will continue to charge a fuel surcharge fee and wonder why they are trusted less than a used car salesman –
It is hard for me to even comprehend how the airlines can continue to charge a fuel surcharge on every ticket when the cost of fuel has come down over 50% in the last 4 years. It really makes you wonder about the ethics of the people running the airlines today. If the airlines want the revenue please just increase your prices instead of treating your customers as dummies.
# 58 – The number 1 item left behind at the hotel lost and found will be your cell phone charger –
I think we need to petition the phone companies to build a universal charger so we could use all the lost chargers at the hotels and we would never have to buy another charger again.
# 59 – All-Inclusive resorts will be launched in Hawaii and Florida this year –
Twenty plus years ago resorts in Jamaica, the Caribbean and Mexico were struggling to stay alive and compete with Hawaii as the tropical destination of choice so they launched the concept of an all-inclusive resort where people could leave their wallets in the room safe and enjoy food, drink and fun that was included in their hotel tariff. Now more and more resorts are jumping on the all-inclusive rage. Even luxury 5 star resorts are now offering this preferred service. For the last 5 years I have been predicting that some hotels in the U.S. and specifically Hawaii will break the mold and offer all-inclusive pricing. In 2017 it will finally happen.
# 60 – Car rental taxes can add up to 60% to the cost of renting a car –
I know when you read this many of you will shake your heads in disgust. Local city governments are becoming addicted to taxing the new traveler coming to town.
Bonus #61 – 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 $400 for a car rental, $600 for hotel, $300 for meals. Add these three things up and you are spending $1300 for car, hotel and meals compared to $500 for an airline ticket. What used to be over 50% of a business trip’s expense is now less than 30%.
Bonus #62 – Travel agents are back in vogue –
Having a great travel agent makes a trip easy and fun, plus saves time and money. Travelers are returning in droves to travel agents as they want someone to coach them to make sure their travels are worry free. Thanks so much for your business these past years.
Bonus #63 – Americans continue to be the best travelers in the world –
Don’t let anyone tell you that people hate American travelers. Everywhere I go people tell me that Americans are the best travelers in the world. They are friendly, easy going, law abiding, good spenders and great tippers. Even on a recent trip to Paris I found that the French love Americans.
Bonus #64 – Executive Travel will celebrate its 31st year anniversary in 2017 –
Thanks to all our customers, employees and friends who have helped make this happen.
Bonus #65 – Nebraska’s football team will win the Big 10 football Championship in 2017!
Need information on any of the above?
Call our friendly travel advisors….
Lincoln – 402-435-8888 Toll-free 800-737-0582