• 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

  • DayBreak

    Month-long bike fest kicks off Thursday night

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 29, 12:26

    Winter Bike Fest 2015 kicks off Thursday night in Anchorage. It is hosted by Bike Anchorage, which is calling on cyclists of all stripes to get involved. Thursday morning on Daybreak, Steve Cleary with Bike Anchorage joined James and Megan on the couch discuss what the festival is all about and why it is important […]

  • News

    Mental health system failing Valley youth, foundation says

    by Kate McPherson on Jan 29, 11:55

    The Mat-Su Health Foundations says youth in the Mat-Su Valley are resorting to self-harm because of a lack of mental health services. “The data was so shocking, our consultant group on this work was the McDowell Group, that we actually held a special meeting with our emergency department folks to make sure there wasn’t some […]

  • News

    Former Wasilla mayor appointed to fisheries commission

    by Associated Press on Jan 29, 11:24

    A former Wasilla mayor will help regulate participation in Alaska’s commercial fisheries. Grace Jang, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bill Walker, said Verne Rupright was appointed to the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Jan. 20. The three-member body decides who can participate in limited entry fisheries and adjudicates appeals. Jang wrote in an email that Rupright was […]

  • Politics

    Murkowski takes first stab at Obama’s ANWR proposal

    by Hope Miller on Jan 29, 11:10

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski made her first countermove to the Obama administration’s controversial Arctic conservation proposal Wednesday. The U.S. Senate shot down her amendment that would have put time limits on when Congress must designate wilderness study areas. It received 50 “yes” votes and needed 60 to pass — a three-fifths majority. The Keystone pipeline bill […]

  • Politics

    Lawmakers prepare to take on President Obama

    by Rhonda McBride on Jan 29, 10:09

    State lawmakers are gearing up for a fight against the president of the United States. Rep. Ben Nageak of Barrow introduced House Joint Resolution 10 to formally protest the Obama administration’s actions this week to put the brakes on Arctic development. On Sunday, the president proposed designating an additional 12 million acres in the Arctic […]

  • News

    Shell plans to resume drilling in Chukchi Sea this year

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 29, 8:53

    Shell plans to restart oil drilling in the Arctic this year, the company’s CEO announced Thursday. In a conference call in London, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said Shell wants to start drilling in the Chukchi Sea this summer, Reuters reported. In 2013, Shell halted its drilling program in Alaska after the grounding of drill rig […]

  • Weather

    Daybreak weather, Jan. 29

    by Brett Shepard on Jan 29, 7:54

    Increasing cloudiness today with snow for the Prince William Sound and eastern Kenai Peninsula. We could see 1-2 inches of snow in Anchorage tonight. In the Southeast most of the rain and snow will come to an end by the afternoon. In the Interior it will be another sunny and cold day with patchy ice […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage police: 1 confirmed dead in Russian Jack shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 29, 1:02

    One person has been confirmed dead after an early Thursday morning shooting in the Russian Jack neighborhood — an apparent homicide, police say. The Anchorage Police Department responded to the report of a shooting near the intersection of Bragaw Street and San Jeronimo Court at around 12:30 a.m. When they arrived they found a deceased […]