It seems like every state and many big cities are all putting in their own travel restrictions that are causing confusion and frustration for people traveling for business and pleasure. I was looking at an article on USA Today CLICK HERE that shows all the state restrictions and was surprised that even my state of Nebraska has self-quarantine rules for international travelers. Now cities like Chicago CLICK HERE are identifying high COVID-19 states and preventing them from flying to the city without testing or a 14-day self-quarantine. Obviously, these new restrictions are making the travel industry very frustrated as the hoped-for slow rebound in travel is being pushed later and later into the year. The airlines are adding thousands of flights in August with the hope that things will settle down. I think we will know about how fast the travel industry will rebound when we learn in the coming weeks what will happen with the back to school plans.
Getting a Global Entry pass is a mess – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has extended the temporary closure of Trusted Traveler Program enrollment centers until at least August 10th, 2020. Basically the last four months travelers have not been able to join the Global Entry program and TSA Pre-Check programs that allow for expedited security line access at airports. Having TSA pre-Check and Global Entry are very valuable for frequent travelers who can save hours of time not standing in line at airports if they have these two valuable passes. Let’s hope the government gets these enrollment centers open soon so when travel does come back, travelers can enjoy these outstanding programs.
It soon may be cheaper to buy a used airplane than a used car – The airlines have parked thousands of airplanes around the world and the airlines say that many of those planes will be retired permanently. Some of these planes are 30 years old and need to be retired but some of the planes are actually in great shape but are being retired as they are too big to fill with the limited number of passengers projected now and into the future. I can imagine that most retired aircraft will be stripped of their electronic gear and seats and then sent to the metal scrap yard. Several decades ago we bought 3 rows of seats and put them in our front lobby. They made great conversation pieces as school children would come in to experience their first flight. CLICK HERE to see samples of all the airplane seats for sale.
United Airlines will need a “Whale of a sale” to fill the 25,000 flights they are adding in August – United Airlines is betting that passenger traffic will start rebounding next month and is adding a whopping 25,000 new flights to their schedule that month. Even with the new flights, they will still be operating at only 48% of their pre-COVID capacity. American Airlines is also adding thousands of flights in July and is even more bullish as it will be operating at about 55% of pre-COVID capacity. Southwest Airlines is quietly adding new flights to cities where Delta Air Lines is pulling down service. It would appear that Delta’s strategy is the most bearish of all the major airlines. It will be interesting to see if that conservative plan will preserve the cash needed to make it through this financial tsunami. P.S. United is offering a super duper airfare sale to try to fill some seats. Book travel by Thursday, July 9 for travel by December 17 and you can find flights as low as $99 one way with no change fees. CLICK HERE to see the big United sale.
Here are the four major domestic airlines that block selling the middle seats – Alaska, Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest Airlines are the four major airlines that continue to block the selling of middle seats in the near future. They are betting that with the slow recovery of air travel that they can offer the few people flying something of value. American and United are communicating with passengers when flights are full so people can reschedule however they will continue to try to sell middle seats to try to pull out of the financial hole that COVID-19 has left them with. Here is a nice article that shares all the airline social distancing guidelines. CLICK HERE.
Travel advisors are the big winners from COVID-19 – The world has changed and travel has now gotten a lot more complicated. If you are planning to travel wouldn’t it be smart to use the professional coaching that a professional travel advisor provides? Let us be your coach to find not only the best pricing and schedules but also safety alerts, security, face masks, passport processing, city, state, and country entry requirements, etc. Your friendly travel advisor is now the easiest way to make sure your trip goes smoothly. If you are investing hundreds if not thousands in travel for business or personal travel the best safety net you have is a professional travel advisor. Feel free to call one of our friendly travel advisors today at 402-435-8888.