The travel industry came crashing to a stop in April with COVID-19. At the time, I shared that in order to start filling some of the empty seats, the airlines would most likely launch a giant airfare sale. Well, here you go! It looks like the airlines are ready to put the pedal to the metal and try to coax people to return to the friendly skies. The giant airfare sales are offering one-way fares ranging from $49 to $99 for travel ending August 31. The lowest prices require a 14-day advance purchase, and you must book between now and June 12, 2020. Fares are, of course, non-refundable but some airlines are also giving you 2X bonus frequent flyer miles as an extra bonus. I hope the airlines quickly add more flights so that people don’t get shut out of these great airfares.
This airfare sale will make using your frequent flyer miles very difficult – The good news? There is a great airfare sale going on. The bad news? I expect millions of seats will be sold with these low airfares which means it will be very difficult to find seats to redeem your frequent flyer miles in the coming days. If you don’t want to have to use your miles to redeem for magazine subscriptions to Motorcross Monthly you better start searching for free seats ASAP.
Hotels are rolling out new cleaning standards that I bet will include not cleaning your room every day and perhaps a cleaning surcharge – I really hope I am wrong on this gut feeling. Last week I listened to many hotel executives explain how they will be super cleaning your hotel room and many have even launched certification programs to guarantee you have a safe and clean room. One thing that I read between the lines was the idea that in order to have fewer interactions with you during your stay that housekeeping may not clean your room every day. Hey, wait a minute. This is going too far in my book. I want my room cleaned every day with clean towels and a cleanroom. And the biggest thing I see coming down the pike is a cleaning surcharge similar to a resort fee of $15 to $25 a day being assessed to your bill. I hope I am wrong on both counts.
Here is a great visualization of the new timelines to open up the travel industry – It looks like the travel industry is about to make a positive comeback in the coming weeks. I have found an outstanding visualization of all the news around the world identifying all elements of the travel industry from airlines to hotels and even attractions with a timeline of their planned reopenings. Please CLICK HERE to take a peek at the amazing progress the industry is planning this week and into the future.
Airplanes are full? How can it be? – Many people are amazed to see pictures show up on social media of people flying in planes that are full. Some are outraged that they are sitting shoulder to shoulder with people they don’t know and they feel vulnerable. The question becomes if indeed the number of people flying is down almost 95% or more how can planes be full? The answer is simple. The airlines have removed up to 90% of their planes from flying. They have removed their large jets and replaced those remaining flights with small jets and regional jets. Many people expected that because the number of flyers is down so much that airplanes should be empty. That would be the case if the same number of planes were still flying however the airlines have tried to match the downturn in flyers with a proportional decrease in the number of aircraft. Basically before COVID – 19 planes were 80% + full. Now the airlines want to have planes 80% full before they take planes out of mothball status and return to more planes to service. Full planes will make some people nervous and not want to fly. I personally like what United Airlines is doing. Rather than promise you an empty seat beside you they are notifying you before your flight if your scheduled flight is more than 70% full and giving you an option to rebook on another flight. At least you have an option.
TSA Airport Security screening does not want to touch your boarding pass anymore – Last week TSA announced that they have started new protocols that will change the way you present your boarding pass for security clearance. In the future instead of handing your boarding pass to the agent, they will ask you to hold your boarding pass (or smartphone) on the boarding pass reader so it becomes touchless for the TSA agent. I have been doing this for years with my iPhone, but for many people, it will be a new experience. CLICK HERE to read more changes in-store at the airport.
Last call! We still have face masks available if you plan to travel – Many airlines are requiring a face mask if you travel this year. Executive Travel has been able to secure additional 3-ply face masks as well as 4-ply KN95 face masks and will now make them available while supplies last. We have secured a price of 99 cents each (packages of 50 for a total of $49.50 per box) for the 3- ply, disposable masks that are FDA approved and certified. The KN95 masks are 4-ply, damp proof, non-woven fabric plus anti-dust cotton. The KN95 masks are available for a price of $3.99 each in packets of 10. Executive Travel is making these available at our cost as a service to our customers. Sales tax and shipping cost ($5) will be additional. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your company information, phone, and address they should be shipped to. Upon confirmation, Nancy will send you a link for secure payment by credit card.