Over the past eight years, 70% of Steve Glenn's predictions have been accurate. We chose a few of our favorites to share with you.
#1 - Airlines will start charging for carry-on bags in 2011.
The airlines have become addicted to ancillary fees (i.e. checked baggage) and they will keep pushing with the introduction of carry-on fees for anything more than a single piece of carry-on (like a purse or laptop bag).
#2 - Airlines will charge extra for using a credit card.
Airlines pay 2-4% of the cost of your airline ticket to credit card companies. Charging a fee to use your credit card is being done now in Europe by some airlines. As the airlines continue to grow, they will start attacking this cost.
#3 - American Airlines and US Airways will merge.
This will not be a match made in heaven as AA and US both have labor problems that may veto such a merger. American has been watching United merge with Continental, Delta merge with Northwest, Southwest merge with AirTran, and may feel like they are being left at the terminal.
#4 - Only 4 major airlines will be left standing.
United, Delta, Southwest and American. All others, will be small players as the mega's capture 85% of all flyers. This will give everyone access to great networks but the price of travel will go up a lot as competition is eliminated.
#5 - Car rental companies will charge a "no show" fee in 2011.
I thought this would have happened last year but am convinced it will in 2011. Car rental companies have been quietly putting the systems in place to be able to launch a new "no-show" fee for renters who make a reservation and do not show up or cancel a reservation.
#6 - Use your frequent flyer miles soon.
The window to maximize your frequent flyer miles is closing fast. Because most planes are full, today, it takes twice as many miles, plus redemption fees to use your frequent flyer miles.
#7 - Book early to get the best prices in 2011.
Hotels, resorts, cruise lines and wholesalers all tell us they want reservations to be made early to build a solid year. They are offering the best deals when you make your vacation plans months in advance. To get the best deal, make your reservations at least 90 days in advance.
#8 - A passport will soon be required to graduate from college.
We are in a global economy that requires participation and knowledge of the world we live in order to be successful in business. Why do Colleges not mandate international travel as part of the curriculum. 1 month of traveling the globe is worth more than two years in a classroom. A passport will replace the drivers license as the prominent identification for business travelers.
#9 - People will start sending their luggage by FedEx instead of checking it with the airlines. Every major airline (except Southwest) now charges as much as $100 roundtrip to check your luggage. We anticipate that UPS and Fedex will promote to travelers a new service that will handle their luggage door-to-door at a cost equal to or less. We recently priced a 40 pound package with FedEx from Lincoln to Atlanta at a cost of $18.04. If you are checking two bags, you will save about $14 to send via FedEx.
#10 - Luxury travel is up and getting stronger!
Everyone wants a good deal. Even though the top end hotels are seeing a resurgence, there are still suppliers offering strong discounts. This is a fantastic time to take advantage of amazing prices on luxury travel. Luxury cruise lines are offering deep discounts for early bird bookings. Luxury hotel prices, which were often at 50% off last year have risen but there are still great deals as hotels struggle to keep perishable hotel rooms full. Luxury travel is still not cheap but is the best value in 2011.
#11 - Airlines will stop answering the phone during a snowstorm. Do you need the airlines in a massive blizzard? Good luck! The airlines are staffed to handle normal call volume. Throw in a snowstorm that cancels 10,000 flights and you will have better luck calling the moon. Why not make life simple and book your reservations using a professional, friendly travel agent. Let them fight your battles for you.
#12 - 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!