Travel Well With Allan Wright: Airline Update Part 4

By October 23, 2020Travel Well Series
Airline Update

This week we have decided to replace my typical Travel Well With Allan video with a written format. It certainly allows me to get more information to you and might be more convenient for some. Please let us know what you think about this change by responding in the comments!

US Military Study Says Risk of Infection on Aircraft is Low

The U.S. Transportation Command issued a press release saying the risk of infection aboard an aircraft is low, thanks to the HEPA filters used and the top-to-bottom airflow. The study was done by the University of Nebraska and DARPA, the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency. This is not the first evidence to show on-aircraft infection risk is low.

Be Prepared For a Barrage of Holiday Travel Stories

Be prepared for a barrage of holiday travel stories. Sure, that happens every year but this year holiday travel during a pandemic is going to take up a lot of print (or web) space. Fox News reports on a survey about most holiday travelers not having been on vacation since March. The Tampa Bay Times says holiday air travel will be difficult.

Hawaii Mandatory Test or Quarantine Program

Hawaii has been in the news since airlines are facilitating tests for passengers so they can travel to the state without quarantining. Hawaii News Now released statistics on who took advantage of the new rules on the first day of the program. This is important for travel as Hawaii is an obvious tourism destination in the winter and the state requirement, combined with the airlines’ efforts, are providing a solution to travelers.

WestJet Airways to Refund for Canceled Flights

WestJet Airways, based in Canada, announced this week it will be refunding passengers for flights canceled due to COVID-19. Air Canada then rebuffed WestJet’s claim to be the first airline in Canada to do so. The truth is, all airlines should refund passengers for flights they cancel, during the pandemic or anytime. What is less clear is what should have happened to the millions of flights passengers canceled themselves because they were not allowed to fly or their reason for flying was eliminated. Most still have credits and some of these credits will begin expiring.

My Take

There is talk in the press about the US being in a “second wave” or even a third wave. I don’t believe that is true. If you take the United States as a whole, we never really got out of the first wave. Instead, we are in a second or third peak of the first wave. But looking at the US as a whole doesn’t make much sense, especially since we are not following a national strategy to combat the coronavirus. Some states (like New York) had a clear first wave, conquered it, and are still low with infections, albeit with increasing risks. Others (like Texas and Arizona) had their big surges in the summer. Still others (like South Dakota) are in the midst of their worst situation to date right now. So unfortunately, if we have no national strategy we need to also look at 50 different situations to see how we are doing as a country or where you can go as a traveler.

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