With the shining sun and Covid restrictions letting up, Americans are eagerly booking vacations and flights for the upcoming summer months. Tired of regulations and staying at home, people are excited for a newfound freedom they’ve missed. Together with the enthusiasm to travel, experts warn of increasingly hefty airfares.
According to the Associated Press, the expected number of travelers this summer is higher than in pre-pandemic times. Prices of domestic flights are selling at rates 24% higher than during this season in 2019 and 45% more than this time last year. Similarly, international flights are going for 10% more than in 2019.
So, why the drastic increase?
According to airlines, there are a few factors. First and foremost is the rise in jet fuel prices. Additionally, there are fewer flights available for booking and many travelers interested in purchasing tickets. In the words of Hayley Berg, an economist for Hopper, “We have more travelers looking to book fewer seats, and each of those seats is going to be more expensive for airlines to fly this summer because of jet fuel.” Lastly, there is a major decrease in staff numbers in comparison to before the pandemic, and this often results in canceled flights.
Bottom line: If you are eager to make up for missed time during the Covid-19 restrictions, go for it – but be prepared to pay the price!
The global travel industry may be reeling a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, but at least one industry stalwart appears to believe the industry will recover from the crisis, and sooner rather than later.
Monday, Jet Blue Airlines (NASDAQ: JBLU) announced it would offer Mint class service, a high-end cabin with semi-private seating, lie-flat beds and bedside tables and a 17-inch screen, on its upcoming service between the United States and London. The airline is planning to launch non-stop flights between London and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, and from London to Boston’s Logan Airport before the end of 2021.
No decisions have been announced regarding an arrival/departure airport in London.
Jet Blue upended the domestic travel sector in 2014 by introducing Mint on non-stop flights between New York and San Francisco. The company later announced plans to include the luxury seating option on its Transatlantic routes but many industry analysists expected that uncertainty about the near-to-medium term outlook for the travel sector would cause the airline to shelve those plans, at least temporarily.
In October, McKinsey & Company, predicted that the blow to the global tourism sector could be far worse than previously thought, perhaps up to $8.1 trillion lower than initial predictions following the emergence and spread of the coronavirus last year.
Echoing the concerns, Yahoo!Finance said that international tourism dropped by 65% in the first half of 2020 and added that it could be 2024 before global travel returns to 2019 levels.
Despite the poor outlook, however, Jet Blue Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty told Bloomberg that the airline believes the travel industry will recover quickly once the pandemic is officially declared “over.”
“Demand changes quite quickly overnight when case counts come down and travel restrictions are lifted,” she said.
Business trips are cumbersome necessity of life. Be sure to follow some or all of the following tips to make your next business trip as event-free and headache-free as possible.
The best way to avoid losing your luggage is not to have any in the first place. Pack all you need in one carry-on bag. This will eliminate the chance that you and your luggage will separate during the trip. Always be ready for the next business trip by keeping you loyal carry-on packed with clean clothes and ready-to-go.
Keep a Copy of Your Itinerary
If you will need to make many stops in many cities, keep track of everything easily by having easy access to your complete itinerary. While you are at it, keep your passport, visa and any other essential papers easy to reach for inspection.
Whether you travel with a laptop, tablet or any other device, be sure to bring it along fully charged. Don’t forget to bring along the charger, as well.
Take Your Business Cards
Your business cards are a great way to network, which is a lot of what going on a business trip is all about. Keep your cards and your colleague’s cards handy, and be sure to hand them out.
As laptops, tablets and cell-phones grew and continue to grow in popularity and importance, we must remember they need to ‘eat,’ too. Airports are more and more offering docking stations for charging, and even some airplanes are equipped with SD ports to make it easier to charge.
Try and bring clothes that are less likely to wrinkle inside your carry-on. Take along neutral colors that can be worn with a large variety of different combinations of clothing. Two pairs of shoes at a minimum should be packed.