Expected travel-industry annoyances in 2008

The cost of travel is expected to rise — but this is the least important thing we need to worry about for 2008 — says expert travel-troubleshooter Chris Elliot in his latest piece on MSNBC. He always seems to be out there warning us of travel-traps so we can avoid them.

So what are some of the travel trends that are going to get the better of us in 2008?

  • Shelling out “convenience fees”: Paying that extra dollar or two for using your credit card, renting a car, or booking online. According to Elliot, the disclosure of these fees will be negligible so you should be able to talk your way out of paying them.
  • Paying energy surcharges that have nothing to do with your bookings: Hotels and cruise-liners are increasingly seen to charge you for energy costs that have nothing to do with your stay or cruise booking. Should you see such surcharges on your contract that have not been provisioned for from the beginning, ask them to be deleted.
  • Higher cost for car rentals: Not only will there be a general price increase (2-4%), you might often be convinced to go for additional features/amenities when making your booking: unnecessary insurance, or succumbing to paying extra for a GPS navigation system. Don’t pay for what you don’t really need.
  • Awful traffic congestion: With about 250 million cars on the road in the US, this is inevitable. Take the train for a change?
  • Hotels taking customers for granted: Seems like you will have to pay a bigger price for being in hotels of choice. With the price of room rates increasing by 6%, and a 63% rate of occupancy — hotels can charge what they like and people will have to pay for it.
  • Consolidation of companies: Expect more mergers next year. This will mean fewer hotel, airline, or car rental companies; not necessarily the win-win situation they claim to be.

These seem to be trends specifically for the US that warrant more fees, more traffic, more headaches oh my. Have a full read of the piece here.