• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: LIVE - Memorial Day Ceremony at Ft. Richardson - Read More
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

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says Denali name should remain

    by Associated Press on May 29, 10:58

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says the name for America’s tallest mountain should remain Denali. The News-Miner reports that he spoke at the Fairbanks International Airport late Saturday on his way to a Memorial Day ceremony in Denali State Park. The peak was once called Mount McKinley, named after President William McKinley. […]

  • Police: Tiger Woods arrested in Florida for DUI

    by Associated Press on May 29, 10:52

    JUPITER, Fla. (AP) – Police say golf great Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says on its website that Woods was booked into a county jail around 7 a.m. on Monday. Jail records show Woods had been arrested by police in Jupiter. He was […]

  • News

    Interior Secretary Zinke focuses on energy, parks during Alaska visit

    by Heather Hintze on May 29, 10:29

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in Alaska for his first visit to the state since his confirmation to the position in March. His first public appearance included a ride to the Alaska Veteran’s Memorial on the George Parks Highway with the Alaska Vets Motorcycle Club for their 29th annual Memorial Run. “I think it’s important on […]

  • News

    North Korea launches short-range ballistic missile, U.S. military says

    by CBS News on May 28, 19:06

    North Korea on Sunday launched a short-range ballistic missile, the U.S. Pacific Command said. The missile was tracked for six minutes until it landed in the Sea of Japan, the U.S. Pacific Command said. The White House said President Trump had been briefed on the launch. This is the ninth missile test North Korea has […]

  • Living on water: Welcome to Freedom Cove

    by CBS News on May 28, 19:02

    While many people have made a houseboat their abode, Lee Cowan has found a designing couple who’s taken the idea of waterborne living even further: Wayne Adams rarely sets a foot on dry land … not even when he makes his way home to his wife, Catherine King, because their home ebbs and flows with […]

  • The hottest pepper in the world? Beware the ‘Dragon’s Breath’

    by CBS News on May 28, 18:58

    Farmers in Wales may have the world’s hottest chili pepper on their hands, according to British media reports. Mike Smith reportedly grew a chili pepper that smashes all previous heat records — all by accident. Smith said he never intended to breed a particularly spicy pepper and he doesn’t even like foods with heat, The […]

  • News

    Alcohol suspected in serious Seward Highway crash

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 28, 16:06

    The Seward Highway was completely closed in both directions for about five hours overnight following a crash at mile 76 near Portage Glacier Road. The crash occurred sometime just before 11 p.m. and the road finally reopened to traffic around 4 a.m. Anchorage Police say a northbound BMW crossed over into the oncoming traffic late […]

  • News

    1 dead in head-on Glenn Highway collision

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:59

    The Anchorage Police Department’s Traffic Unit is trying to determine what caused an SUV to lose control and cause a fatal crash Saturday. About 15 minutes after midnight Saturday morning, APD says a Chevy Suburban inbound on the Glenn Highway lost control, crossed the center median and struck a Ford Focus head-on. The driver of […]