What air journey has in retailer for us in 2021 | Options
Let’s look ahead to see what aviation has in store for us at the start of the year.
AIRPLANES ARE STILL LOW
The airlines were hoping for a Christmas miracle, but it didn’t. Although the number of people who flew on vacation hit the 2020 highs (which were, of course, unusually low), the numbers didn’t quite live up to the airlines’ expectations.
There are again more seats than flyers.
“Airlines had been thinking for a while about adjusting seats in line with demand,” said Seth Kaplan, analyst and co-author of Glory Lost and Found, a book about delta’s revival in the first decade of the 20th century. “But it turns out they haven’t cut enough. The demand for travel is being driven by the pandemic. “
And we saw how that went. Business travel is less than robust, and the continued rise in COVID-19 is keeping many people closer to home. That means tariffs are likely to remain low.
I checked LAX for Honolulu January 20-27, and Kayak, the airline aggregator, taunted me with the trifecta of tickets: the cheapest, best, and fastest flights were all $ 312 round-trip on United , Hawaiian and American – and that’s the main cabin, not a basic economy. (These tariffs may no longer be available.)
The bad news: Hawaii has a 10-day quarantine (if you can’t get a COVID-19 negative test), but if you’re willing to spend a week and a half in your hotel room and then experience the island delights, it can be worth it , especially to see some of the hotel prices for the dates January 20-27. Priceline has a $ 82-a-night tab for the Aqua Palms, my perfect address on Ala Moana Boulevard. It’s less than a mile from the Royal Hawaiian, a sentimental favorite that shows $ 277 a night, also on Priceline.
For now, however, I’ll be dreaming about it and hoping that the prices will hold up until we can travel like 2019. Good news: Most airlines are still waiving change fees for domestic flights.
Even better news: some airlines waive change fees on international flights as well, but policies vary from airline to airline. Keep in mind that if the new ticket you book costs more than the old one, you will likely pay the difference. Reading about guidelines and change fees isn’t an evening entertainment, but it can save you long-term heartache.
Even if you are a gamer, traveling internationally is a die roll. US travelers are currently not welcome in some countries including Japan, Canada, and the UK. While most of the UK is on lockdown, that’s not all. Check the website of the country you want to visit or visit the Department of State’s country information pages at travel.state.gov.
As with almost everything in 2020, all plans are subject to change and are not always at your discretion.
ABOUT THESE VACCINATIONS …
The UK appears to be moving with its COVID-19 blasts, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, thanks in part to the AstraZeneca / Oxford shot now available there and helping to speed up the vaccination program. (It’s not yet available in the U.S. due to questions about the tests.)
The big unknown is whether you need to have the vaccine in order to travel. The chairman of the Australian airline Qantas said in November that you would. Other airlines and countries are denied.
However, many destinations urge you to take a negative COVID-19 test. The International Air Transport Association is testing digital health passports. Singapore Airlines announced last month that they were testing IATA’s Travel Pass app on flights to Singapore from Jakarta, Indonesia and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The airline hopes to have Travel Pass integrated into its mobile app by mid-2021. other apps are in the works.
ANIMALS IN THE AIR
Alaska and American airlines have announced that they will ban animals for emotional support.
These creatures are not to be confused with service animals, which the Department of Transportation said last month were just dogs.
The difference between an emotional support animal and a service dog is in training. Animals with emotional support often turn out to be family pets, disguised with a vest and documents that can be forged. They may be special to the owner, but when it comes to special skills, they usually don’t measure up.
Service animals, on the other hand, receive extensive training so that the animal can provide assistance and carry out tasks that benefit its owner. Such dogs and dogs in training travel for free on the plane and must fit into a space provided for this purpose.
In its December 2 announcement, the DOT said it “no longer considers an animal used for emotional support as a service animal.”
Alaska Airlines allows emotional support animals to travel in the cabin if reservations are made before January 11th for flights before February 28th. American bans animals with emotional support starting February 1st. Delta does not accept reservations for animals with emotional support on January 11th.
That doesn’t mean your pet can’t travel in the cabin. Airlines allow box animals to fly in the cabin, but you have to pay for their passage.
In Alaska, for example, five crates are allowed in the main cabin and one in the premium class. The fee? On Alaska it’s $ 100 each way.
Not all airlines are on the same page about animals with emotional support versus service dogs. Therefore, contact your airline before making a reservation.
The revision of the DOT was in preparation for years. As the number of animals receiving emotional support and the number of incidents of poor animal behavior increased, so did the urgency for change.
Rory Diamond, executive director of K9s for Warriors, knows the value of a well-trained animal as he works with dogs with veterans. “Dogs react to each other,” he said, “but two service dogs do not.” We can put 10 service dogs in a van and have no problems at all. “
Untrained animals are not prepared for the challenges of air travel, said Carol Borden, founder and executive director of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, a nonprofit that raises, trains and donates medical service dogs for people with diverse conditions.
She hopes people will see such situations from the untrained dog’s perspective. “You traumatized a dog that has never been on an airplane,” she said, and that is unfamiliar with “sounds, sights, and smells – the way dogs process information.”
And she asked, “Who is training the person? So often (that person) doesn’t know what the right dog etiquette is. “
Here’s for everyone – animals, their people, airlines, and travelers – who are well behaved in 2021.