Whether traveling for business or pleasure, there are a few changes that travelers can expect to see in 2016. Not only are costs going up in certain areas, but the types of services available through various companies are also expected to undergo some changes. Here is a look at some of the changes in you can expect to see in travel for 2016.

Added Costs and Fees

Lodging costs were on the rise in 2015, reaching record highs. Nonetheless, many businesses within the travel industry are looking at ways to further increase profits with the addition of new fees. Delta Air Lines, for example, is reportedly looking at eliminating its free domestic first-class upgrades for elite frequent fliers. A number of urban hotels are also expected to start adding on a “resort fee,” while others will be adding upcharges for things such as use of the in-house fitness center or access to premium channels. DoubleTree, for example, has already announced the launch of its “Little Extras Upgrades,” which are bundles of upgrades for which you have to pay extra fees.

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Increased Lodging Options

As fees are going up, travelers can also expect to see an increase in lodging options available to them. Approximately 750 new hotels were opened in the United States in 2015, with the industry on track to open nearly 850 new properties in 2016 and 1,000 in 2017. Approximately two-thirds of these properties will be through Hilton, InterContinental or Marriott.

More Flights to and From Mexico

With the implementation of the new bilateral aviation agreement, which went into effect on January first, there will soon be more flights to and from Mexico. The agreement, which gives U.S. and Mexican airlines more freedom to choose where and when they fly between the two countries, will also result in more competition among U.S.-Mexico routes.

Increased Flights from China Carriers

In 2011, U.S. carriers offered twice as many flights to China than Chinese airlines. This trend has been quickly changing, however, with China’s carriers flying 9.4 percent more flights and 14.5 percent more seats than U.S. airlines in 2015. This trend is expected to continue into 2016, with the Chinese airline Hainan Airlines soon to launch its first nonstop flights from the United States to Changsha.

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Contract Negotiations

Following the 2001 terrorist attacks, many of those who were employed in the airline industry made major concessions to help the airlines stay afloat. In 2015, U.S. airlines made record profits, but have failed to pass the rewards on to their employees. Furthermore, airlines are continually looking for ways to cut costs through outsourcing to third-party contractors. All of the major airlines will face tough contract negotiations this year. While strikes are unlikely, labor unrest is likely to occur if management doesn’t agree to share the wealth. As such, travelers may find themselves dealing with some disgruntled workers.

While these changes are not likely to keep most travelers at home in 2016, it is good to be aware of the changes that can be expected. If you are interested in making a change in where you live, our team of luxury real estate experts will be glad to assist. Contact our agents. We specialize in helping our clients find homes in the most exclusive neighborhoods in Southern California.

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(all data current as of 10/19/2017)

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