Are we ready to travel again?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Whilst there are always people who can’t wait to travel again, are there really the same numbers that travelled before the pandemic had an impact?

Planes seem relativly safe but how safe are airports where tens of thousands of people have to go through?

Are you ready to fly again?

And if so are you as confident flying long-haul as well as short-haul?

Each quarter, ACI (Airports Council International, a body representing over 150 airports of all sizes around the world) undertakes its Global Traveller Survey and the most recent results have just been published.

It suggests that 48% “considered themselves likely to travel within the next three months.”

Whilst this headline might cheer-up those in the travel industry it comes with some caveats not the least of which is that responders expect measures to be in place to deal with health issues.

It also highlights a change in the make-up of travel which is going to have an impact, firstly on the airlines and then secondly on us, the leisure passenger.

The survey results suggest that there will be fewer business passengers presumably because companies firstly have a duty of care to their employees and may not want them to fly so much as they once did and secondly, because Zoom, Skype, Jitsi, Zoho and any number of video-conferencing software has proven that some journeys aren’t necessary.

Leisure travellers and probably those visiting friends and relatives will be the mainstay of the airline business at least for a little while. But we don’t tend to pay the prices for business or first class travel so does that mean prices will rise for economy seats at least after the initial sales and discounts to lure us back?

The survey also reveals that passengers believe that there should be mandatory masks for passengers and staff, COVID-19 testing prior to the trip, hand sanitizing stations, and the development of a more contactless airport experience.

The question for airports is whether antigen testing is sufficient or are PCR tests required? In this case, testing times need to be cut to hours from days. And making the journey more contactless means that people should probably check in at home, print their own baggage labels, attach them and dump their luggage. What of people without printers at home?

Airports have a lot more thinking to do as they seem to be the pinch point between us wanting to fly and feeling safe to get on the plane.

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