We’re Already At Dollar-Euro Parity, But Your Europe Trips Could Get Cheaper

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • And by the way, if the European Central Bank doesn’t follow through on the rate raises priced in by the market (a real possibility as recession looms) the Euro could fall even further.

  • Maybe the old way of doing things isn’t so bad (except for taxis, which suck)

  • Sending positive vibes.

  • Someone knew this was the case prior to boarding, and did not care.

  • Unions aren’t the cause of this, management is, bad management who don’t prioritize culture, product, or performance when negotiating contracts. This person is likely entitled not to work, but is this really who they want working to begin with?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Actually, I kind of disagree with your take on taxis. I’ve sort of come back around to them, especially for business travel and when arriving at an airport. You show up and they’re waiting for you in a line instead of you having to guide them in and find them, the drivers actually know where they’re going as opposed to blindly following GPS, and honestly a lot of taxi drivers are a lot more professional and grateful now that Uber keeps them honest. There are bad taxi drivers, sure, but a lot of them these days actually know what they’re doing – I think a lot of the second-rate ones have flipped to doing rideshare.

  2. @CW I’m fine taking a taxi if they’re available when you need a ride…. but my last few flights (JFK, SFO, EWR) there have been 45+ minute waits for cabs. I’ve often had to make the calculation of whether 15-20 minute wait on Uber/lyft (vs 45+ cab) is worth 2x the price, and at that point its about a tossup.

  3. @Gary – You specifically cite management mistakes in negotiating contracts; I disagree, this was a hiring mistake. Your larger point about management failing to cultivate an appropriate culture still stands, though! 🙂

  4. I alternate between cabs, Uber, and Lyft, depending on the situation. The $15 Uber credit per month from AMEX helps, but not if Uber is in a surge situation and they’re charging up the wazoo. From fixed point to fixed point, say JFK-LGA, the price is fixed for taxis and there’s often a steady supply.

    As for dollar-euro parity, when your kid goes to university in Europe and they fixed your price back in 2019, we’re talking several thousand dollars a year cheaper. Not to mention not getting hit with the constant price increases from US universities. It was already cheaper to begin with, now it’s getting even cheaper. If you have a kid looking at colleges, European universities are a steal for a world class education at a bargain price. There are more US students doing this than you realize, and it’s always going to be an interesting thing to put on your resume. Bonus – they tend to let you put your tuition charges on credit card, so miles/points by the bucket-load, especially useful if you’re aiming for status.

  5. @jamesb2147 – maybe, but management put themselves in the position where there’s little they can do about hiring mistakes. And high exit costs make it very challenging to hire well, you need to be 100% sure ex ante, and that’s frequently not possible

  6. The Euro – dollar parity is so exciting.

    I remember traveling to Germany about a year after the E.U. started using the Euro, and a Euro cost 97 or 98 cents. That was 20 years ago! At first, I missed francs, marks and lire, but I’ve gotten over that nostalgia a long time ago.

  7. It will be interesting to see if the US Federal Reserve Bank will diverge from the ECB on rate policy going into a recession and what that divergence translates into with regard to difference economic outcomes going into and out of recession.

    I think there will be a drop in inflation rates before the second half of 2023 with the highly volatile food and energy segment leading the drop, but companies hooked to the inflated prices are going to do what they can to pad their bottom line by keeping prices high as long as possible and shrinkflating leaving people still getting way less for their money in 2023 than in 2019.

    How much have those Trump tax cuts for the wealthiest minority lead to this crazy inflation situation? More than the fiscal relief measures for the pandemic? The inadequately conditioned pandemic relief measures granted to businesses/business owners by Trump and Congress, and the Fed’s ultra-easy monetary policy, those combined together to helped the upper classes the most.

  8. @C_M depends on which university. The elite universities in the US are always cheaper if you make less than $3 million a year because of the grants and financial aid. It only cost me $75,000 for two girls to go to Yale University for four years each. The list price was over $400,000 and way cheaper than most public schools.

  9. @JohnC – I call BS. $3 million? Try $200k as the cutoff. Even the Yale financial aid page says that. If you have two kids going at the same time, they might give you a bit of a break, but as a general rule, the cutoff for aid at the Ivies and top liberal arts colleges is an income of $200k – although I know of families who manipulate their income to trigger aid, so on paper, they’re earning less, but most of us don’t have the ability to manipulate our income that way.

    And FWIW, the list price of attending Yale has never been $400k for a four year degree. It isn’t that even now. The current estimate is $340k.

  10. @C_M at a prefrosh meeting, that what the the admissions director from MIT said about the $3 million. The $400K is for two kids (50K per year each). My kids went from 2002-2008, since then they have even made it easier. You have to remember that both Yale and Harvard both have enormous endowments and make more money from the endowments every year than most schools budgets. And both parents had engineering jobs, so income was better than average. My youngest daughter’s last year only cost me $7,500, a true blessing and well worth it.

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