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Say it isn’t so – CDC says they are considering requiring COVID-19 test for domestic flights – Reports are surfacing that the Center for Disease Control is considering requiring that passengers must be tested for the virus before they can take a domestic flight. This would kill the airline and travel industry for the rest of the year. The airlines all now require face masks to fly and that seems to be working well. Requiring a test or vaccination to fly domestically would essentially eliminate upwards of 50% of the potential domestic travelers as many either don’t trust the vaccine or don’t want to mess with the hassle and cost of testing. Personally, I have been tested and although it was uncomfortable it would not bother me to be tested again. I also caught the monster virus about 5 weeks ago and according to my doctor, I have at least a 90-day get-out-of-jail-free card before I have to consider taking the vaccine. The bottom line is the more you make it difficult to travel the less likely some people will be to travel. I hope some kind of balanced approach can be found that keeps the virus from spreading yet allows the travel industry to not be a casualty of this COVID war. CLICK HERE to read more.
Look up in the sky and you will only see about half the airplanes you saw a year ago – There are 44% fewer flights than there were a year ago and 70% fewer people traveling than a year ago. Many people thought things would start to accelerate with the start of the new year but until the vaccine gets rolled out to more people, I think the travel industry will stay in the frozen tundra it is in.
We were spoiled pre-COVID-19 with easy ways to fly almost anywhere – But with airlines cutting almost 50% of their flights as well as pulling out of secondary cities the ease of flying to some secondary or tertiary cities is now pricey and painful. Today, it may take you all day to fly to a smaller city just 500 miles away. And while prices are really good right now, I am already starting to see prices starting to creep up. I think if you are planning to travel and you wait until after Memorial Day to make your reservation you may be shocked to see the prices.
Getting the COVID vaccine is setting seniors free to start making travel plans – There has been a cited and measurable movement in the last week of seniors and baby boomers to start making travel reservations. Many seniors have been able to get vaccinated for COVID starting last week and our phones have amazingly started ringing again. The vaccine appears to be a magical psychological boost for those receiving the vaccine to the point they are immediately making travel reservations to get out of Dodge this year if possible.
Canada is putting the kibosh to Alaska cruising this year – Our neighbor to the north said they are prohibiting cruising for the rest of the year. This is putting all the large cruise ships that planned to cruise to Alaska this year out of business. This is also going to kill many small businesses in the port cities where cruise ships stop during the summer cruising season. I understand that some small cruise ships (100 pax or less) have figured out a way they can operate around this cruise blackout and plan to have several ships somehow do day trips and other short excursions based out of U.S. ports to circumvent the ban.
Small domestic airlines like Frontier and Allegiant are expanding like crazy while the large airlines are cutting back service to try to stop the hemorrhaging – I have been amazed at how the small domestic airlines(Frontier and Allegiant) that primarily serve vacation travelers are expanding like crazy while the giant international airlines who make their money with business travelers are cutting service and trying to just stay alive. Frontier alone is expanding into 21 cities this year. I think you basically have a David vs. Goliath story here as the small guys are going to beat the big guys this year.