The travel industry is ever-changing. Here are a few things to keep your eyes out for this 2013:
Additional Fees With each passing day, the cost of living goes up. For an individual household, the changes are minimal, but for multi-billion dollar airlines and hotel chains, the changes are much more significant. In order to continue generating revenue, companies will be forced (or so they say) to add additional fees wherever they can – baggage fees, hotel safes, rental car extras, infant car seats, luggage storing fees, etc. According to 9NEWS, “Airlines collected $924 million in baggage fees alone in the third quarter of last year. They made another $652 million from fees to change reservations.” We’ve basically learned to accept it.
Airline Consolation First we had Delta and Northwest, then Southwest and AirTran, now United and Continental. “A merger of US Airways and American is inevitable,” says airline analyst Bob Herbst of AirlineFinancials.com. Delta announced at the end of 2012 that it was buying a 49% stake of Virgin Atlantic to give it more presence in the NYC to London flights. With larger corporations gaining more market power every year, it’s just a matter of time until the airline industry is made up of a few major lines who service the world.
Passenger Protection With taxes and fees growing exponentially, travelers are expecting a little more for their money. Not in terms of tangible items, but transparency. If an airline is going to be charging a fee for some ridiculous item or service, the least they could do is let the customer know before they swipe their credit card. The Transportation Department is working towards, among other things, having all fees displayed at point of sale. That way, you know what you are paying, and what you are paying for.
What do you expect to see this year in travel?
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