¨Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.¨
Travel Economics 101: An Introduction
One of my main goals in this course is to give Fifty-Plus Nomads the skills necessary to create their dream journey. While many of the details of travel change rapidly, one of the skills that Fifty-Plus Nomads need most is a basic understanding of travel economics.
After reading this, some readers may ask: ¨That is well and good, but what does that have to do with my journey?¨. Just hang on.
I am surprised how often I can figure out solutions to problems and save money because I understand travel economics. I feel confident that as you travel more, you will see that this knowledge will help you anticipate changes, deal with problems, and be a better traveler consumer overall.
The USA used to have outstanding customer services throughout the travel industry. However, in recent years, the quality of this service has gone from among the best in the world to one of the worst—the reason: All of the changes to travel economics outlined in this course.
Airline check-in clerks, flight attendants, hotel counter staff, and car rental agents are often put into the position of acting more like poorly paid rule enforcers than customer service representatives. They can be fired for bad customer service. But, the customers are almost entirely angry about rules that these people have no control over.
If you understand their position and try to find some way that it is in their power to help you, they will usually work with you.
When I began traveling around the world as a Fifty-Plus Nomad, I got angry at these people. I remembered how wonderful they were 20-30 years ago and would blame them for not solving my problems.
However, as I researched this Travel Economics course, I realized that the customer service representatives were more victims of the changes in the travel industry than I was. Today, when I deal with them, they often ask me to write letters or file a complaint with their company to get the bosses to change their consumer-unfriendly policies. I even sometimes have them tell me a little secret loophole because they think I am their ally.
Travel Economics 101 Posts
Here are several posts designed to give Fifty-Plus Nomads a basic idea of how Travel Economics works. Being armed with a better economics education should make you a better travel consumer. (You can read the posts in any order) .
- Why Alliances are Essential to Travel Providers. Are they Good or Bad for Consumers?Travel industry alliances are essential to the business´s survival. However, alliances have both good and bad implications for consumers
- Extra Fees: What are Ancillary (Extra) Fees and Why Are They Increasingly Becoming A Travel Industry Lifeline?More and more the travel industry depends on the sale of other products to expand and maintain its profitability. Expect to be bombarded with hints to buy other things (ancillaries) on your next cruise, flight, etc.
- The Internet Has Changed the Face of the Travel Industry More than Any Other Major IndustryThe internet has changed the travel industry probably more than another industry. This article discusses how these changes affect the consumer.
- Travel Industry Cost Saving Techniques: The Good, the Bad, and the UglyThe travel industry has made several changes to save costs in recent times. Some like using more fuel-efficient planes do not affect consumers that much. Others like reducing staff have made the experience worse for consumers.
- Business Travelers Versus Leisure TravelersThe travel industry gets most of its clients from leisure travelers. However, it makes more money from business than leisure passengers. The airlines put up with us leisure travelers because they couldn’t survive without us. However, they don’t hide their preference for business travelers.
- Why Are There So Many Connecting Flights? A Discussion of Why Airlines Love the Hub-Spoke Model More than ConsumersUnbeknownst to most consumers, the cause of most of our airline-related complaints is the hub-spoke model. Unfortunately, however, the hub-spoke model is also essential to the airline industry’s financial viability.
- Airline Schedule Changes: Why Don’t Airlines Keep their Promises?Learn why airlines change their schedules after you buy your tickets and what you can do about it.
- How Many Taxes, Fees, and Other Charges Do Consumers Pay For Airfare, Hotels, and Other Travel Services?The amount and number of travel taxes, fees, and other charges added to your bill will probably surprise you. Many are hidden and like everything else, taxes keep going up.
- Airline Consolidation: What Are the Disadvantages and Advantages For the Consumer?The airlines have consolidated so fast in the USA and Canada that only 5 players dominate the market. Learn what this means for consumers.
- Travel Industry Consolidations (Non-Airlines): The Effect on Consumers (Negative or Positive)?Probably the most significant change in the travel industry in the past couple of decades has been the industry’s rapid consolidation. Read this post to discover how few travel players really exist in the market today. and how this rapid consolidation has affected consumers.
- Why the Sharing Economy Has Become So Popular in the Travel Industry?The sharing economy like Uber and Airbnb has made a major influence on the travel industry and will continue to affect the industry far into the future.
- Third World and Chinese Travelers: The Biggest Future Travel TrendThe biggest change affecting the travel industry is the gigantic increase in emerging countries and Chinese travelers. These travelers will change the future face of tourism more than anything else.
- The 3 Reasons Travel Prices Are So Radically Different than Other Products: Perishability, Capital Costs, and Yield ManagementHave you ever wondered why travel products seem to be priced so crazily? Learn the three economic factors that contribute to the pricing of travel products: perishability, high capital costs, and yield management.
- Travel Economics 101: Learn How the Industry Works and Save Yourself Money and HeadachesPaul Heller, the Fifty-Plus Nomad founder, has developed a series of posts about travel economics. Reading these posts will help Fifty-Plus Nomads deal with some of the problems with the travel industry they are likely to encounter during their long-term, round-the-world journeys.