Six Major Travel Stories from 2008

The Obama effect - The extent of Obama’s effect on the travel industry could be far-reaching.  Some areas of potential influence include stablilizing fuel prices, revisiting airport security, more ‘sane’ policies related to travel, and even easing restrictions on travel to Cuba.  This is only a start, or course, and the real impact remains to be seen over the coming months and years.

Fuel Cost Rollercoaster – Fuel prices went way up, and airlines scrambled to add fuel surcharges and other fees to claw back what they could.   They got creative, adding fees for baggage, seat selection, headphones, food, and numerous other ‘privileges’.  Then the prices went down… way down.  Most airlines have removed the fuel surcharges.  But what about all those other fees?

The Beijing Olympics – We wondered if we were going to see a train wreck.  We didn’t.  The Opening Ceremonies blew us away, and set the tone for very well run event, with plenty of memorable and inspirational stories to give us the warm and fuzzies.

AIrline Bankrupcies – It was certainly a rough year for the airline industry!  Fuel prices aside, finances were tough and numerous airlines bit the bullet – perhaps most notable to Canadians was the failure of Zoom Airlines.  A number of airlines were also forced to ground planes in 2008, causing inconvenience, but also concern.  American Airlines was the big one, but the consumer darling Southwest even got in on the act.

Mumbai Terrorist Attacks – The 3 days of attacks in late November rocked the nation of India and the world.  Most of the action centered on popular international hotels, making us wonder about how susceptible we are when we travel.

What Recession? – Perhaps not surprisingly, the travel industry is holding up fairly well overall in the midst of the financial meltdown. YES there are great deals to be had and we may be trying to be a bit more frugal in our spending, but most people seem to continue to give a high priority to their vacation plans.

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment