New and Noteworthy

New and Noteworthy

2012 Travel Trends

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With the busy summer travel season underway, there are a number of situations travelers will encounter this year.

Check out these 2012 travel trends according to Travel + Leisure magazine:

Hotel Renovations and Construction

Throughout the United States, many hotels are undergoing capital improvements, with renovated lobbies and rooms and improved technology.

Value

Because of increased demand and limited supply, and fluctuating fuel prices, airfares and hotel room rates are expected to rise by as much as 5% this year, according to Smith Travel Research. Bundle flight, room, and car rental into packages to save money.

Airport Security

The good news for some frequent fliers — airport security will be less of a hassle. With PreCheck, a Transportation Security Administration pilot program, travelers are sped through the screening process at many major airports in the United States. As of today, certain frequent flyers from Alaska Airlines, American Airlines Delta Air Lines and certain members of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Trusted Traveler programs, including Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS who are U.S. citizens, are eligible to participate.

Flight Cancellations on the Rise

In April 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation began fining airlines up to $27,500 per passenger for delays of more than three hours. Rather than risk a fine, airlines are now more likely to cancel a flight. In the 12 months before the Transportation Department’s rule went into effect, 63,948 flights were canceled at the nation’s busiest airports. That figure increased 19% in the following year. During the five months after the new rule was put into effect, flights delayed between two to three hours were more than three times as likely to be canceled than those during the same timeframe one year earlier, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Fewer Gadgets to Travel With

The latest tablets and notebooks are getting faster, skinnier, and are filled with features that make them do-it-all devices for travel.

Loyalty Programs

Hotels, airlines, and credit cards will be courting and rewarding customers who promote their brand on social media. One example is that travelers who use Foursquare can link their account to American Express and get discounts on purchases.

Crowdsourced Travel

The boom of social travel apps, sites, and services like Gtrot, Gogobot, AFAR, Trippy, Tripped Off, and Tripl are vying to be the go-to resource for sharing travel tips on Facebook. They’re pitching themselves as crowdsourced alternatives to purportedly planted or inaccurate reviews on the established travel portals.

Travel Agents

According to the Travel + Leisure article, the average person visits 21 sites during nine sessions while preparing for a trip. This sort of information overload can make it hard for people to make a travel decision. Fortunately, travel agents are available to help. Travel agents are seeing a boost in business — 80% of Virtuoso advisors saw an uptick in bookings over the past year.

Author: Darice Britt

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