I was shocked to read the Wallstreet Journal this weekend and see that the Chinese government has issued a blunt message suggesting U.S. nationals in China are at risk of becoming ‘hostages’ in a Chinese diplomatic tactic. It is important that if you are traveling to China you are aware of the possible risks of becoming a pawn in the political tussle between both countries. This definitely throws cold water on people and businesses traveling to China anytime soon. I was planning to visit China in the coming months but will put that trip on hold until the Chinese government assures Americans they will be safe from harm. CLICK HERE to read the Wallstreet Journal story.
Expect airfares to increase next year once a vaccine is available – The airlines are all predicting a slow recovery from COVID. My crystal ball shows business travel will return next year at only 50% to 60% of pre-COVID travel. The airlines are betting that vacation travel will bounce back fastest once the vaccine is available. I think vacation travel will bounce back to 80% somewhere between spring and summer. The airlines, however, all say they plan to only have about 50% of the normal amount of flights in 2021. My thinking is that most airlines will try to maximize the revenue for the limited seats they have available before they add additional flights – The bottom line is airfares will go up as the planes start filling. Hang on for a wild ride.
Wearing a mask on an airplane and contacting COVID is “nearly non-existent” – We finally got some great news about the safety of flying during COVID. A new study this past week reported that inside an airplane is one of the safest indoor environments, even beating most homes. An article in Forbes magazine commenting about the study said passengers wearing masks are at very low risk of contracting COVID-19 on planes, even during packed flights. It turns out aggressive air filtration and circulation systems on planes lead to the near-immediate dispersal of particles carrying the infection. The study said it would take a minimum of 54 hours of sitting next to someone with COVID-19 to be exposed to an infectious dose if wearing a mask. With all the bad news this year it is nice to hear some positive news that might give people more confidence to travel in the future. CLICK HERE to read more.
Expect big discounts on international business class seats when the new digital health passport is launched – Last week I shared with you the energy that government and travel organizations are investing in a new digital health passport CLICK HERE to read more. Once that is implemented the airlines will try to fill the empty business class seats across the pond to Europe and beyond by offering great prices on business class seats. All the airlines are seeing vacation travelers returning to travel first and they also know that the vacation traveler is often much more price-conscious than the business traveler who is spending OPM (Other People’s Money). The end result will be great prices for business class seating for 3-4 months after the launch of the digital health passport.
Boeing 737 Max may rise from the dead by the end of the year –American Airlines just announced that, pending government approval and recertification, they plan to start flying the Boeing 737 Max before the end of the year. This is great news for Boeing as the new Boeing 737 Max has been grounded for over a year. Because of the pandemic, the roll-out of the new airplane will be slow but that should help travelers build trust in the beleaguered Boeing plane. The first flight will travel roundtrip from Miami to LaGuardia (NYC) on December 29. Reservations on this flight will be made starting on October 24. I am confident that this new airplane has now been tested more than any airplane in history and will be extremely safe to fly. CLICK HERE to read more.