This pandemic has upended the travel and hospitality industry. Some airlines filed bankruptcies while those airlines and hotels that are still running are continuing to update their safety measures to ensure your well-being. The travel industry has been ever-changing during this time - here are some updates from different areas in the industry.
Airlines on CARES Act
Due to continued low demand and expiration of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, American Airlines will be adjusting its October schedule to suspend its service to 15 markets.
Meanwhile, one of the leading US budget airlines, Southwest, turned down the US Treasury’s CARES Act loan offer even though it previously signed a non-binding letter of intent to take a total of $2.8 billion. Despite the low demand, revenues dropping by 70-75% and reduced capacities by around 31%, it seems that Southwest is still able to weather the storm.
Are Rental Cars Safe?
Short domestic trips have been one of the latest travel trends. Less hassle and risk since you don’t need to worry about any flight changes and will likely interact with fewer people. But what if you don’t have a car? No need to worry - a recent study by experts determined that it can be safe to rent a car, though it is still important that you take precautions.
Rental car companies maintain rigorous cleaning and sanitation policies. As an additional measure for peace of mind, you can also sanitize and disinfect high-touch areas (e.g. steering wheel) when you rent a car. The highest risk of exposure is person-to-person interaction, rather than the car itself. Make sure not to travel with individuals who you haven’t been in close contact with, ideally traveling with just your household. If not, you can wear a mask to reduce risk of transmission.
Europe’s Low-Cost Carriers to Reduce Capacity
Due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Europe and stagnant demand in travel, budget airlines, such as Ryanair and easyJet, may reduce their flight schedules by 20% in the next two months.
TSA Accepts Expired IDs
Due to shelter-in-place orders, you may not be able to renew your expired ID at the DMV. If this is the case and you’re traveling soon, no need to worry about your expired ID! TSA announced that they will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued IDs a year after expiration.
Layoffs and redundancy have been emerging since this pandemic started. To help employees in the hospitality sector, the Swiss government has started to take action to avoid mass layoffs. Wondering how it works? The employer pays a lower salary to its staff which is then supplemented by the government through unemployment insurance. Employees receive 80% of the loss of income through the government's compensation.
Update on Cruise Operations
The No Sail Order on all cruise ships over 250 passengers and crew that operate in U.S. waters by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will remain in place until at least September 30 or until there is no longer a public health emergency.
The first large cruise ship to sail was the Mein Schiff 2, which sailed from Hamburg, Germany on July 24 for a three-day voyage to the Baltic and returned to Hamburg on July 27 without having stopped at any ports.
Medications for COVID-19 are still being worked on with no timeline specified. For now, we can only hope that travel service providers keep holding on to serve us again very soon. In case you have an upcoming trip you need help with, we are here for you!