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The Devastated Travel Industry

WalnutBaron

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Today's Wall Street Journal published a shocking story detailing the vast devastation of the travel industry by the numbers. Here are the most compelling:

  • 6--the number of years it took the airline industry to fully recover from 9/11. It will take longer this time because people will be very reluctant to sit like sardines in a tightly-packed airplane for hours at a time.
  • -95%--the change in air passenger traffic at the three major New York airports compared to the same period a year ago
  • -73%--the change in worldwide airline capacity compared to just one month ago
  • 15,500--the number of commercial airliners grounded since the beginning of March
  • 6--the number of Airbus A380's still flying...not much demand for jumbo liners that can carry 500 people when the number of passengers has plumetted
  • 7%--total hotel occupancy on Oahu during the first week of April
  • -94%--the number of advance airline tickets purchased last week compared to a year ago
  • 61 consecutive years--the winning streak of American Airlines flights from New York-Los Angeles, which commenced on 25 January 1959 and was served continuously since then--until last week. Number of flights American is now doing between the two cities: zero.
One might be curious about one other key statistic: 1.8 million metric tons: the amount of reduced carbon emissions from airplanes in the U.S. per day as a result of the grounding of so many planes.
 

Brett

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Today's Wall Street Journal published a shocking story detailing the vast devastation of the travel industry by the numbers. Here are the most compelling:

  • 6--the number of years it took the airline industry to fully recover from 9/11. It will take longer this time because people will be very reluctant to sit like sardines in a tightly-packed airplane for hours at a time.
  • -95%--the change in air passenger traffic at the three major New York airports compared to the same period a year ago
  • -73%--the change in worldwide airline capacity compared to just one month ago
  • 15,500--the number of commercial airliners grounded since the beginning of March
  • 6--the number of Airbus A380's still flying...not much demand for jumbo liners that can carry 500 people when the number of passengers has plumetted
  • 7%--total hotel occupancy on Oahu during the first week of April
  • -94%--the number of advance airline tickets purchased last week compared to a year ago
  • 61 consecutive years--the winning streak of American Airlines flights from New York-Los Angeles, which commenced on 25 January 1959 and was served continuously since then--until last week. Number of flights American is now doing between the two cities: zero.
One might be curious about one other key statistic: 1.8 million metric tons: the amount of reduced carbon emissions from airplanes in the U.S. per day as a result of the grounding of so many planes.


actually not so 'shocking' - the airlines will eventually recover but we might be paying more for plane tickets in the future

laguardia.jpg
 

Monykalyn

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It's not just the airlines-its all the up/down stream suppliers too-cleaners, baggage handlers, airport workers at the restaurants, suppliers to the restaurants -airport or not-paper, china, appliances, food, alcohol, furniture etc.; the same supplier to hotels including linen service; warehouse and farm workers who lost their big commercial stream of buyers. This is going to have a devastating ripple effect beyond what anyone can imagine I think. Not to mention the mental health toll from so many being isolated/alone and out of work. No one really wants to talk about the ripple deaths this cause longer term while we battle the here/now.
I do hope we can be smarter about air quality etc though-keep reading about good air quality with so many factories shut down across the world.
 

TravelTime

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Why would airfare go up? I would assume it would go down if people are scared to travel. Wouldn’t the airlines need to entice people with low fares to get them flying again?
 

missyrcrews

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@Monykalyn ... speaking of isolation/ depression, I am very concerned by the toll this is taking on children, teens I feel like they are forgotten in this

We are already talking about how this will affect the way we start school come fall. We will need to start from scratch. Kids will have been isolated from peers for almost 6 months. We'll have to work build trust and create community before we can even begin to teach.
 

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We are already talking about how this will affect the way we start school come fall. We will need to start from scratch. Kids will have been isolated from peers for almost 6 months. We'll have to work build trust and create community before we can even begin to teach.
I have so many thoughts on this but don’t want to hijack the thread. Nonetheless, makes me so sad for this generation of children.
 

WalnutBaron

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I have so many thoughts on this but don’t want to hijack the thread. Nonetheless, makes me so sad for this generation of children.
Let the thread go where it will, @Cornell . I, for one, would be interested in your thoughts.
 

Big Matt

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actually not so 'shocking' - the airlines will eventually recover but we might be paying more for plane tickets in the future

View attachment 19148
I assume that unless the airline industry is bailed out by the U.S. Government, there will be a shake out and more consolidation. This event also reinforces the model that Southwest uses where there are no change fees, etc.
 

Big Matt

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Why would airfare go up? I would assume it would go down if people are scared to travel. Wouldn’t the airlines need to entice people with low fares to get them flying again?
The problem is that airlines flying at or below cost isn't a good business model.
 

Bailey#1

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Also there will be less business travelers paying the higher fares.
 

Monykalyn

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@Monykalyn ... speaking of isolation/ depression, I am very concerned by the toll this is taking on children, teens I feel like they are forgotten in this
I agree! Our kids schools the teachers are doing periodic "well" checks, and every week they send out a list of mental health resources. Not to hijack thread but I'm just as worried about seniors, particularly nursing home seniors.
Also there will be less business travelers paying the higher fares.
If business travel doesn't come back then I fear hotels and airlines are really really going to be hurting!
 

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@WalnutBaron You are very gracious. I took these comments about children from the Twitter account of Bethany S. Mandel. The words are not mine, but they express many of my feelings and concerns:

This is something that has been really bothering me for a while. In all of this, I don't think we've had anything resembling a conversation about how deeply unfair all of this is to kids. In an instant, we took everything away from them. School, friends, activities. All of it. We have no answers for them about when it might come back. And on some things, like their activities, we can't even promise it will come back. Will their dance school survive this? The Little Gym? The indoor playspaces? The places they take school and family trips? And my Facebook is filled with NOTHING but parents complaining about their kids. It's really self-centered behavior that we would never accept if it came from our own kids. Kids aren't really getting sick, and yet we are asking them to sacrifice their childhoods because they might be carriers. As I tell my kids they can't go on a playground because someone might call the police on us or post our pictures on NextDoor to complain, I'm getting angry. We are ripping everything away from them, complaining that they are reacting to it negatively, and we have no answers for them about any of it. This is going to have a lasting impact on a lot of kids. Kids who needed special ed services who aren't getting them. Kids who live with abusive parents and who no longer have mandatory reporters looking out for them. Teenagers who were already having mental health struggles. What I keep wondering is this: What's the end game here? So school is canceled the rest of the year and we're talking about "maybe" coming back in the fall. So summer camps are out (lets see if they survive a canceled season). Do we put their lives on hold until a vaccine? You can't hit pause on a kid's development. You can't just say wait two years so we can develop a shot. It doesn't work that way. We are making a deeply unfair decision for an entire generation if that's the expectation. At what point do we say that their lives have to be factored into this conversation? Into this calculus? Yes, reopening has its costs, that we have heard. But kids staying locked down like this has incalculable costs as well. We need to be discussing them.
 

Monykalyn

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You can't just say wait two years so we can develop a shot. It doesn't work that way.
Thank you for saying that. My high school senior is ending her year without all the "fun" stuff that they worked years for. She had bought her prom dress back in February...My college senior is graduating into an absolute mess. She has grad school lined up but if things are still shut down then the government needs to step in and mandate higher level education is FREE. The government likes to coddle the 1%-how about taking care of everyone else for a change?
@Monykalyn Speaking of seniors, my dear mother lives in assisted living. She has not had any outside visitor for 7 weeks now. Seriously breaks my heart. Us 5 kids are her whole life.
Oh that hurts my heart too! I adore so many of the residents I get to see, and I do AL visits once a quarter too. Looking through a window or on a screen isn't the same...
 

heathpack

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@Cornell, did you notice in that post you quoted how the author is telling her kids that they can’t go to the playground because someone might report them?

Not because there is a pandemic going on and that’s something that requires sacrifices to keeep other people safe and well.

I’m not talking here about the “meat” of what the author writes- because I agree there is significant impact on everyone but it’s unevenly distributed across society & some people feel more impact than others.

But what do you personally think of the parenting approach of telling kids that the pandemic response is something bad some other part of society is doing to you? As opposed to telling kids this is a force of nature outside of anyone’s control and it has an effect on everyone, sorry you’re going through this, let’s do X instead of the playground for now?

I bring this up because that comment struck me. Do you think framing it like that for kids results in adults who think of their community’s needs as well as their own needs?
 

Cornell

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@Monykalyn The ages of your kids are smack in the middle of the awfulness. I have a daughter who is finishing her junior year of high school. My parenting style is one where I push independence in a big way. Developmentally, teens should be pushing the limits of their independence (parents, in theory, should be trying to reign them in). Now we have a situation where teens are trapped inside all day with parents. It's just not good, healthy, or normal. Teens should be with peers, tasting freedom (even some "dangerous freedom"), perhaps WORKING to get a sense of the "real world", etc.
 

Timeshare Von

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Speaking of travel & the airlines . . . Delta just this week expanded their cancellation window for existing flights. Now if you have a trip beginning by the end of June, you may cancel and receive full credit voucher for use up to TWO YEARS from now (through May 31, 2022 actually). This is a deviation from their standard policy.

Keep in mind if the airline cancels your flight, you will be entitled to a full refund, not just a credit voucher for future use.

I did cancel my flight to Denver (6/28) for a previously cancelled conference for work. Everything else was cancelled, but I couldn't do so with my flights until Delta moved their dates forward . . . which thankfully they just did on Tuesday.
 

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@heathpack Here's where I have the problem...And these comments are probably going to piss off a lot of people, but here I go...

The whole concept of SIP was to flatten the curve. Society as a whole honored and respected that. We explained to our children why were were doing that. There is a now a large segment of society, me included, that feels we have accomplished that goal, time to loosen things up in a responsible way.

LOTS of people are going to start "doing their own thing" because they feel that the gov't rules / regs are unnecessary at this point. There is already an underground economy developing .
 

Cornell

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I'm going to leave my comments on this subject on the table and not go back and forth anymore b/c I view this subject as somewhat political in nature. I don't think I'll change anyone's minds, nor do I think they can change mine.

As Linda Richman said "Talk Amongt Yourselves":)
 

heathpack

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@Cornell, regardless of what you think personally about the shutdown or how reopening should occur, I wonder what you think of that language used with kids? Do you teach them that rules should be followed and the reasons behind them and to respect authority, even if you question a rule yourself? If you teach kids disrespect for authority, does that serve society well in the future? I’m just wondering your personal take.

I think it hit a nerve with me because of what I experience at work with young people. A great example is this week in the clinic. You may know I’m a veterinarian and I work in a very large specialty hospital owned by a corporation. We were bought by the corporation three years ago so I never know what to expect from them. I’ve been *shocked* by a crazy generous response from them re: employees. We’re open, but business is way down.

Yet no pay cuts, no hours cut. Employees have been provided extra sick leave, the ability to use unaccrued vacation time, the ability to go on extended leave no questions asked. We’ve gotten multiple daily email updates from all levels of management, keeping us informed as to the latest. There’s even therapists available via a hotline if your mental health is suffering. I have been so impressed.

This week we learned that we had a COVID positive employee. That person had been sent home sick April 1 and the COVID pos test came back April 12. All the contacts at work were identified and quarantined but their quarantine will only be a few days because their contact with the sick person was so long ago.

Anyway, a lower level (but still important) young employee was openly and aggressively trashing the company’s response to the COVID pos employee. High drama, claiming she was expected to work at risk of her own life, we should shut the whole hospital down for cleaning (which makes no sense because it’s regularly cleaned multiple times per day and has been cleaned many times since Apr 1). It was shocking to me that she’d trash her employer at work like that, so I notified her supervisor that intervention was necessary.

I witnessed the intervention and the employee would have nothing to do with any kind of rationality. SHE KNEW what the appropriate response should be (medically and epidemiologically she was wrong), she was unwilling to avail herself of any of the help her employer was offering her (eventually she did, she is out on paid leave), and she was generally just loudly and vociferously hostile to her employer at work. Zero appreciation for how much was being done on her behalf when the money is not coming in to the practice to support that.

Anyway, my take on it is: in vet med we’ve taken an oath to protect animal health. It’s really about something outside ourselves. This young lady seemed incapable of grasping that on her own. She could only see her own interests in this situation. So of course she should be out on leave, we can’t have that kind of attitude right now.

So your twitter author struck me, because I wonder if parents handling playground shut down conversations like this Twitter author did is part of why people think this way. Are kids taught to see the playground shutdown as annoyance to them rather than the parent using this as a teaching moment that there’s serious considerations for others, and to teach respect for authority, even if the parent questions the rule personally.
 

bbodb1

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I can't help but wonder how most kids dealt with the build up, the playing out, and the aftermath of the 1918 pandemic....just on the heels of World War 1.
Look, I understand that missing something you may have been looking forward to for an extended time is a kick received in the backside (graduation, prom, sports season, etc) but maybe the better way to look at this is the fact that we live in a time where these things are even possible and in the case of proms and sports season that they even exist.

Maybe a result of this 'lost year' will be a deeper appreciation of the people, places, events, things, etc that one does have and gets to experience.
 
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