Low-cost cut-backs: the future of travel?

In 2009, the travel world was rocked by swine flu and ’staycations’, but what about 2010? In an extract from Lonely Planet Magazine’s January 2010 edition, Tim Moore takes a look at possible trends.

After successfully imposing a retrospective 'time flies' tax on all past journeys, one low-cost airline operator rolls out its latest scheme to trim costs. Under the new system, passengers wishing to avoid a £12 surcharge are required to inscribe the boarding-pass barcode into their forearms, using a template downloaded from the airline's website and an easy-to-use etching kit (£11). 'It's all about freedom of choice,' explained a spokesperson.

The take-up rate is impressive, but by Easter the airline has noted a collapse in passenger numbers. Following a disastrous summer, the firm finds inself in receivership. 'I've always said that the key to running a low-cost airline was to strip away your passengers' self-esteem, and it seems I was too good at my job.' So says the airline's unrepentant CEO, after leaked market research shows that 97% of the airline's customers felt so worthless they thought they no longer deserved a holiday.

So what else might be on the cards for 2010? Well, reverse-slum tours for starters. Oh, and anti-spas. And eschewing swimming with dolphins for standing on crabs.