The impact of COVID-19 is far reaching around the globe, and the airlines are one of the most affected industries. Worldwide travel restrictions and warnings in response to the global pandemic have caused many cancellations, schedule changes and virtually empty aircraft when they are actually in the air.
General travel guidelines suggest that most people avoid air travel whenever possible. If you do need to fly then you will need to pay especially close attention to airline flight schedules as they are constantly being adjusted.
In over 15 years working in the airline industry, and over 30 years of travel, I have never seen this level of uncertainty amongst some of the largest, well known, and established titans of this industry.
Airlines are panicking. They are forecasting months of little revenue. And no one knows when this nightmare will end.
If you must travel by air during this uncertain time:
\- Please follow all guidelines set forth by your local health agency so that you can stay safe.
\- Check with your airline before traveling to verify that there have been no schedule changes. Many airlines are consolidating flight schedules based on demand. This means if you are booked on a nearly empty flight, it might be cancelled, and you could be moved to a later flight.
Consolidated flights are becoming very common practice as the airlines are limiting the amount of planes in the air to cut costs. There are also issues with flight crew logistics that may be impacting flight schedules.
\- Research health guidelines for arriving air travelers at your destination. Certain destinations may require you to self isolate upon arrival. Make sure you are prepared to quarantine in some places.
\- Check in early for flights, and avoid split reservations! Make sure you are still checking in for flights early. You can usually do this 24 hours before flight departure via airline website or APP. Also make sure to avoid booking split reservations for connecting flights. If you have one reservation then the airline will know your actual destination, splitting into two may cause significant issues if you end up missing a flight.
\- Pack a Snack. Many airlines are cutting down on the available food an beverage options on flights due to the virus outbreak. You may not be offered food on your flight. You can bring your own food through security lines as long as it's not liquid.
If you take the appropriate measure to stay safe and check in with your airline periodically then you can still have a good travel experience, even in these times.
I am looking forward to better travel days ahead. We will overcome this pandemic! Until Then, Stay Safe!
Are you traveling in the near future or have you been on a plane in the last couple of weeks? I would love to hear about your experiences with the airlines. Please leave me a comment about your recent or upcoming travel. As always I am available for all of your airline needs. Drop me a line!
All images are from my personal collection and were taken by me.
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