With all the COVID-19 travel cancellations this spring we are seeing that the majority of vacation travel is being moved to this fall. The 30-day travel ban to Europe has put a wrench in travel plans for many Americans. As a result, we are already seeing a wave of travel reservations rescheduled during the months of September and October. Bottom line, if you are planning a vacation for this Fall please understand that things are filling quickly and many of the trips planned for March, April, and May are being moved to the Fall months. Even during a travel ban, you can still make reservations for later this year. I think you are wise to do it now as the airlines are allowing you to cancel without penalty if things stay the same.
Ever had to wait 7 hours for an airline to answer the phone? –
We are hearing that some people have been on hold for up to 7 hours to get through to speak with an airline during this past week. You can imagine the nightmare the airlines are having with millions of people trying to cancel or reschedule their flights. This is another reason you should be using a friendly travel advisor for your next trip. Our average on-hold time? An amazing 12 seconds yesterday!
The biggest airfare sale in history, I predicted last week, will probably pop up in April –
The COVID-19 international travel ban is also keeping people from traveling domestically. The airlines are allowing most travelers who have reservations in March and April to reschedule or in some cases refund their tickets. There are thousands of empty planes that the airlines need to fill fast once the virus starts to decline and the risk of sickness subsides. They will do this with the biggest airfare sale in history that I predict will start when flights hopefully resume to Europe around the 15th of April. Also, some people predict that the Boeing 737MAX will soon be approved for flying again bringing on hundreds of additional airplanes into the summer flying season. This next airfare sale should be a whopper!
Hotel prices are falling like a rock –
In addition to the airlines hemorrhaging billions of dollars from COVID-19 the hotels are also seeing devastating cancellations. We understand many hotels are seeing occupancy rates as low as 10%. What is bad news for them is good news for you. Hotel rates are dropping like a rock. We are seeing some rates dropping 10% – 20% or more as travel has come to a standstill. As this virus starts to decline and people restart their travel planning, they can take advantage of great hotel discounts.
Millions of people are now working from home as the result of COVID-19 –
Working from home is very new for many workers but not for Executive Travel. Thirty years ago our company was one of the first to initiate a work from home (virtual) workforce. At the time, one of our exceptional agents, JP Hamblen, who still works for us, was moving to Illinois. We could not afford to lose her so we spent $1000 a month (before the internet) to set up a private phone line into her house so she could be connected to our systems. Now all our corporate agents work from home around the country using the internet ($50 a month cost). Looks like we were 30 years ahead of our time.
Is the internet slowing down as millions of people video conference and move to work from home? –
I have noticed that my internet speed has slowed down considerably and my guess is that as millions of meetings turn to the internet that bandwidth is being taxed and service degrades. Has anyone else noticed the internet slowing down?