My Travel Predictions (Both Good and Bad) for 2014
Happy holidays everyone! As 2014 quickly approaches, I wanted to share my predictions for 2014, regarding airlines, hotels, and credit card rewards. Feel free to agree, disagree, or share your own comments below.
- British Airways – I think the 4,500 and 7,500 (maybe even 10,000) Avios award prices will go away or the entire award chart will be revamped. The current prices are just too good.
- Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines – since there has been a lot of fighting over routes to/from SEA and SLC, I think Alaska will no longer allow you to earn or redeem miles with Delta.
- American Airlines and US Airways – after the merger, we will see some new “enhancements” (aka devaluations) to the new award chart. Maybe off-peak awards will be changed or removed.
- Southwest Airlines and AirTran – hopefully the merger goes through smoothly and quickly. I look forward to using Southwest Rapid Reward Points for flights to Hawaii, Mexico City, and other tropical destinations south of the border. I also think the 50,000 Southwest Rapid Reward sign up bonus will no longer count for companion pass status, it is just too easy to get Companion Pass.
- Hawaiian Airlines – merge with another airline, maybe JetBlue or Alaska Airlines.
- Lufthansa – revamp their award chart after everyone signs up for their credit card.
- Virgin Atlantic – miles will be transferable 1:1 with Virgin America and Virgin Australia.
- I think the new American Airlines and Hilton will create a partnership (similar to SPG-Delta and United-Marriott) for reciprocal elite benefits. What do you think Hilton Gold will be worth?
- Starwood – their credit card from American Express will offer no foreign transaction fees so I can use the card at SPG hotels outside the United States.
- Hyatt – change the credit card from “2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world” to something not as good (maybe exclude top tier properties).
- Hilton – since there are so many ways to get Hilton Gold, I think we will see some benefits dropped, like no free breakfast.
- IHG – I hope they run more Points Break deals, but I think they will raise award night prices or Points Break prices, from 5,000 to 10,000 points a night.
- Club Carlson – Revamp stay 2 nights for the price of 1 night award chart.
- Points Hound and Rocket Miles will merge into one company – Points Miles or Rocket Hound?
- Credit card sign up bonuses – I think more cards will go from having huge sign up bonuses, to having larger spending bonuses (such as $10,000, $20,000, and up) to receive more bonus points/miles.
- Chase Ultimate Reward Points – add more travel partners, but not offer any transfer bonuses.
- American Express Membership Reward Points – less transfer bonuses and less transfer partners.
- Citi Thank You Points – add more transfer partners and allow transfer from all Thank You accounts.
- Discover It card – will have a $500 sign up bonus (please!)
- Capital One – revamp their reward program and offer 5x rotating categories to entice more credit card sign ups.
- A new card will come out from now where to surprise and overwhelm the travel credit card industry (please!)
That is all the predictions I can think of, time to go open some presents. Happy holidays everyone! What do you think? Share your thoughts below in the comments.
Boy, someone sure woke up in a negative mood:) Lets just hope most of your predictions don’t come through. Would love to see Chase get some more travel partners. Also will be interesting to see what Virgin America does regarding their new credit card.
Thanks, Grant, for all of your effort in this blog. I read them all, but rarely bother to comment at the others. Yours seems a little more personal, especially since a lot of us live in OC.
Thanks Steve, I know, I sound like a very negative person with this post, but they are just guesses. I hope I am wrong regarding a lot of my predictions. This post was meant to show what could happen over the next year and how miles/points might be come worth less over time. There hasn’t been too many improvements to the miles/points world lately, so maybe they will announce positive changes soon. Enjoy your warm, sunny Southern California Christmas.
I agree with Steve. This is my favorite site because of the personal feeling. Thanks for all you do Grant.
Thanks guys, I think it feels more personal because I respond to almost every comment posted on my website.
I agree in many cases. Perhaps of greatest interest for the industry as a whole will be merger talks between Hawaiian and Alaska, and a combined airline perhaps with “Pacific” in the title?
However, in a couple I think you’re well off:
– Virgin Atlantic – miles will be transferable 1:1 with Virgin America and Virgin Australia.
Not going to happen. Compare Virgin Atlantic’s award chart with Virgin America’s redemptions on Virgin Atlantic; It’s a 2:1 ratio. Also look at Membership Rewards to VS and VX; Again, 2:1 difference. Virgin America points are clearly worth more. Plus you’d also be allowing earning in Delta and redemption in Virgin America, and vice-versa. I don’t see that being popular. Finally, why would they? Other airlines don’t permit such 1:1 transfers. Remember that Virgin America had to put a lot of effort into establishing itself as a separate US airline, so that it could operate freely within the US. They’re keen to avoid anything that makes it look like they’re just another integrated part of the Virgin empire.
– Club Carlson – Revamp stay 2 nights for the price of 1 night award chart.
Agreed that something has to go. Their chart is so much more generous than other chains, given the earnings rate. However, as this is a relatively new perk, I’m not convinced we’ll lose it. The value of a point in Club Carlson is highly variable across the chart at the moment, so I expect a devaluation for redemptions, particularly at the top end, with the more expensive properties increasing possibly as much as 50-100%
Thank you for your feedback Karl. It will be interesting to see what happens (maybe nothing) over the next few months. I just hope Club Carlson doesn’t change anything until I redeem my points. I have 100k coming my way soon.
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