• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 32s

The good and the bad: Travel in 2014

By KTVA CBS 11 News 10:41 AM December 31, 2013

This coming year is shaping up to be a great year for travel, says Travel Guru Scott McMurren.

According to Travel Guru Scott McMurren, 2014 will bring some mixed news when it comes to travel.

The bad:

Airfares are going up. This is as a result of increased regulatory costs, but also because of reduced competition brought about by mergers.

Fees are also going up, including bag fees, change fees, fees for preferred seating, early-boarding fees and fees to hold your reservation. Be prepared.

Rampant “mileage inflation” for travelers means your airline miles are losing value.  Airlines are figuring out more creative ways to sell miles and pad travelers’ accounts — without actually redeeming them.

The good: 

Select fares in competitive markets are lower than ever. When airlines compete, travelers win. Seasonal entrants like JetBlue, Frontier Airlines, American Airlines and others put a damper on higher fares. Even in the winter, rivalries between Alaska, Delta, US Airways and United offer good deals from time to time.

Banks offer better deals than airlines on travel rewards. How you pay for your travel — and your everyday expenses — can have a direct effect on how well you travel. Many Alaskans have an Alaska Air Visa card from Bank of America, but other reward cards can pay big dividends on hotels and airfares, too.

Nonstop flights are good, and there are more than ever traveling out of Anchorage. In addition to the in-state routes, here are some of the year-round nonstop flights available:

  • Anchorage-Seattle (Alaska and United)
  • Anchorage-Portland (Alaska Airlines)
  • Anchorage-San Francisco (United Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Las Vegas (Alaska Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Phoenix (Alaska and United)
  • Anchorage-Denver (United Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Minneapolis (Delta Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Chicago (Alaska Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Honolulu (Alaska Airlines)

In the summertime, Alaskans get extra flights, including:

  • Anchorage-Minneapolis (Sun Country)
  • Anchorage-Seattle (Delta and Jet Blue)
  • Anchorage-Los Angeles/LAX (Alaska Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Long Beach (Jet Blue)
  • Anchorage-Salt Lake City (Delta Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Dallas (American Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Houston (United Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Denver (Frontier Airlines)
  • Anchorage-Frankfurt (Condor)
  • Anchorage-Reykjavik (Icelandair)

You can, indeed, buy travel happiness. Airlines in particular are offering more products and services that allow travelers to upgrade their experience: increased legroom, early boarding, lounge access, better seats and more. If you’re a frequent flyer you can often get these services at no additional charge. That adds to the benefit of being a “top tier” traveler with an airline, such as “MVP” status with Alaska Airlines.

Competition is the most important element in affordable air travel. Thankfully, competition is on the upswing in Alaska, particularly with new flights from Delta Air Lines. That means more bonus miles, lower fares on competitive routes and better product offering. While Virgin America tried to stake their flag last summer with nonstop trips to San Francisco, McMurren said they failed. Other airlines, like Southwest, are waiting in the wings.

This coming year is shaping up to be a great year for travel, McMurren said.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Troopers: Man severely injured in Mat-Su shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 7:56

    Authorities are investigating a Mat-Su Valley shooting that left a man with life-threatening injuries early Wednesday morning. Based on initial reports, a group of men went to the shooter’s home in the Butte “causing a disturbance,” according to an online dispatch from Alaska State Troopers. When the group would not leave, the resident of the […]

  • News

    APD: Hit-and-run driver nabbed

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 7:29

    The driver responsible for a severe hit-and-run crash Tuesday night was found Wednesday morning, authorities say. The crash happened around 8 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of C Street and Dimond Boulevard, according to the Anchorage Police Department. Police say a silver Dodge Stratus ran a red light and struck a blue Chevrolet SUV. The driver […]

  • Politics

    New bill would move billions out of Permanent Fund reserve

    by Kate McPherson on May 27, 7:10

    In a move that signals budget negotiations are failing, a bill was introduced Tuesday that would allow the Republican-led majority in the House to go around the Democrats to access the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR). The Democratic coalition in the House is holding off on voting yes to using the CBR until some of their […]

  • News

    East Anchorage trailer park development project put on hold

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 26, 18:13

    A project to turn an East Anchorage trailer park into upscale housing has been put on hold. Phase one of the project at the Riviera Terrace Mobile Home Park off of Boniface Parkway was supposed to start this summer. But owner and developer Cameron Johnson says contamination from an old heating fuel spill is worse […]

  • Crime

    UPDATE: Police release video in May 17 Fairbanks homicide

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 26, 17:18

    Updated May 26, 5:15 p.m. Fairbanks police have released video from the May 17 homicide of John D. Kavairlook, Jr. FPD is seeking the public’s help in identifying the three men shown in the video below — sought in connection with the events surrounding Kavairlook’s death. Anyone who can identify the individuals in the video is asked […]

  • Crime

    Fairbanks man arrested for trying to set occupied home on fire

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 26, 14:45

    A 52-year-old man was arrested on assault and attempted arson charges after he tried to set an occupied home on fire early Monday morning, authorities say. Around 4 a.m. Monday, Alaska State Troopers received a 911 call ”reporting an individual pouring gasoline around an occupied structure,” an online dispatch says. The home is located off Chena […]

  • News

    AST: Human remains recovered believed to be missing Kotlik child

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 26, 11:31

    Human remains found in a large, water-filled hole in the village of Kotlik Sunday are believed to be those of a 4-year-old child who went missing last year, authorities say. Last May, the Kotlik Police Department notified Alaska State Troopers in Emmonak that a 4-year-old boy in the village had not returned home after playing […]

  • News

    Wildfire officials monitor fire burning near Eagle

    by Associated Press on May 26, 8:49

    Alaska fire officials are monitoring a wildfire that was ignited over the holiday weekend by lighting. The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center reports the Seventy Mile Fire began Sunday and by Tuesday had burned 1,250 acres, or just under two square miles, near Eagle. The coordination center says the fire is moving northwest away from Eagle […]