Travel Trends for 2016 and How To Prepare For Them
Travel for the year of 2015 saw some major changes in industry trends. Airlines and hotels are adapting to the supply and demand of the industry by taking new approaches to everything from fees to customer service. Here is a look at the main travel trends for 2016 and how to prepare for them.
Individual Companies Versus Third-Party Agents
Individual airlines, hotels, and even car rental companies want to cut out the middle man to reap loyal customers versus the random guest just staying for a “good deal” on rates. It’s a push that began with the rise of third-party sites popularity. Those handy sites like Orbitz and Travelocity get a cut of each sale, meaning the airline, hotel, or airline has to pay not only the third-party site but Global Distribution Systems, which facilitates the transaction.
Expect to see the continued push for customer loyalty and Airlines and hotels aiming to get consumer to visit them directly for the sale. As Tourist Meets Traveler has preached for years – this is why it will pay to call the hotel directly to book a room. Individual companies are giving loyal customers, or at least those who book directly through them, incentives along with great deals. Find the deal via the third-party aggregators but call directly to book. If the company doesn’t offer you the same rate, then mention your discounted rate you found online. Often, they will be quick to match the offer and throw in an additional incentive. You will also find rates and offers on the company’s website that aren’t show on third-party website.
Airlines are adapting to changes, demands, and new tactics competing airlines are benefiting from. A la carte airlines like Spirit and Frontier may not be synonymous with comfort and customer satisfaction, but the lines continuously see a sizable demand. In fact, Spirit was the fastest growing airline in 2014 thanks to deeply discounted ticket fares baiting in customers who then get slew of addition fees beyond just baggage prices.
In answer, the bulk of airlines are making changes to compete. Many frequent flier programs underwent a makeover. The new model rewards the biggest spenders versus the number of miles flown. American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta all switched to a program that rewards the amount spent on a ticket in lieu of the miles flown.
International carries also made some changes. British Airways made an adjustment, putting a cap on the amount of miles an economy ticket can accumulate. Essentially, trends are leaning toward carriers making changes to reward the big spenders.
Get to know all your options and make sure you are inquiring about changes being made to your currently loyalty program. You could see more benefits depending on your travel habits.
Share Travel Business
Uber and Airbnb are the well-known and quickly growing companies that offer both business and pleasure travelers a savings. Thanks to Uber’s app and new Uber for Business platform, the company will help corporate accounts sift through rides to set limits and even monitor rides to legitimize the expense.
As for Airbnb, the sharing economy company is also making changes to appeal to the business side of travel. Don’t be surprised if your corporate offices begin to use Airbnb for your next business trip.