My Unlikely, But Entertaining 2018 Travel Predictions

Greetings from Uyuni airport in Bolivia.  I have a few minutes before my flight, so I wanted to get this post published.  Sorry for the delay in posting this list, my crystal ball was in the shop for a tuneup. As you can tell from my 2017 travel predictions, I am wrong 99% of the time, so take these predictions with a grain of salt (that I took from the Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia).  Here are some of my highly unlikely, but entertaining travel predictions for 2018.  Enjoy!


  • After the Virgin America merger, Alaska Airlines will add new routes to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean
  • Delta Airlines will introduce cash and miles award tickets, then American Airlines and United Airlines will follow suit
  • Southwest Airlines will increase their Transfarency by automatically keeping track of travel funds in each account
  • JetBlue will add new routes along the West Coast and maybe to Hawaii
  • Singapore Airlines will allow you to book United Airlines awards online
  • British Airways will bring back the 4,500 Avios award price in the United States


  • Hilton and Hyatt will announce a merger
  • Wyndham and Choice will announce a merger
  • Club Carlson and Accor will announce a merger
  • Marriott will update their travel packages program

Credit Cards

  • Citi will get a hotel credit card after the loss of Hilton
  • American Express will update their 5 credit card limit to 8 credit cards
  • Discover will introduce a premium credit card with an annual fee
  • Chase will add a new airline and hotel transfer partner
  • Bank of America will lose Alaska Airlines as a credit card partner
  • US Bank will no longer need separate logins for personal and business credit cards


  • More Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass partners
  • More low cost airlines with routes to/from the United States
  • More international airports will accept TSA PreCheck
  • One airline or hotel will completely end their loyalty program (*long shot from my friend Jim)*

Let me know what you think of my travel predictions.  I am sure you have a few predictions of your own, so please leave a comment below letting me know.  Have a great day everyone!

9 thoughts on “My Unlikely, But Entertaining 2018 Travel Predictions

  1. Jeremiah

    >Delta Airlines will introduce cash and miles award tickets

    Don’t they basically have this with the pay with miles feature available to DL Amex cardholders? So an expansion of that?

    >British Airways will bring back the 4,500 Avios award price in the United States

    Why on earth would they do this?

    >Chase will add a new … hotel transfer partner

    Who? Accor seems like it would be one of the only attractive options. since i doubt Wyndham would be.

    >American Express will update their 5 credit card limit to 8 credit cards


    1. Grant Post author

      The Delta cash and miles would be close to the way British Airways has their different cash and miles award tiers. Stay tuned to see how wrong I will be.

  2. Robert

    Grant, thanks for doing your predictions for another year. These are always fun to read. A few of my thoughts on your thoughts:

    Cash and Miles tickets: I certainly hope so, but this would make too much sense for the consumer. When Doug Parker can’t even be bothered to step on his new 737 MAX planes to experience them from a customer’s perspective, why do anything for us that makes miles easier to use?

    Hotel Mergers: Actually, I hope not, at least not with Hyatt and Hilton. Competition is good. Wyndham and Choice might actually make sense, but they are not for me. Club Carlson with Accor would be a shame. Carlson hotels aren’t luxurious, but they are decent and the price is reasonable. I’d hate to see them dilute their brand with Accor properties.

    Discover premium card: I’d be very interested in this. I don’t see it happening based on their brand, but I would love to see what they could bring to the table.

    New Chase transfer partner: I would LOVE to see Chase get Alaska…

    BOA losing Alaska: I hope so. Alaska can do much better.

    Someone ending loyalty program: Any theories from your friend on whom? I can’t see any reputable mainstream airline or hotel doing this. Maybe from someone like Frontier or Spirit, in which case I couldn’t care less.

    Prediction of my own: Someone else will adopt their own version of the Chase 5/24 rule. Only a matter of time.

    Great list!

    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Robert, thank you for sharing your feedback on my predictions (actually more like wild guesses at best).

      My friend doesn’t have a hotel or airline in mind, but it would be hard to see a program go away since they are usually pretty profitable. I guess the closest thing to that would be the Air Canada / Aeroplan split coming in the next few years.

      I think you prediction is spot on: every credit card company will have their own version of 5/24.

        1. Grant Post author

          Oh wow, I didn’t hear about this, thanks for sharing that link. I think Sun Country is just eliminating their elite program but their loyalty program will still be around.

          Here is what Lucky said: as of March 1, 2018, Sun Country is discontinuing their Ufly Rewards Elite status. The airline will continue to award passengers points, though there won’t be any corresponding elite recognition for frequent flyers.

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