Last month I wrote in this column about the experiences of some colleagues who have been traveling recently. Within the past month, I have had opportunity to travel via airline on multiple trips. These visits have included meeting colleagues and business associates, who have all been impacted by the pandemic in different manners. Despite the countless challenges, the individuals I have interfaced with continue to exhibit a positivity in their work ethic and in the overall viewpoint of the future.
Our industry continues to be impacted, as confidence in travel remains low. COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb throughout the United States. Borders remain restricted for crossing. In Europe, we know that cases are increasing to the level of shutting down gathering locations again.
Yet we continue to see some signs of positivity. If you have observed any sports events over the past few weeks, you have likely seen live audiences in stadiums. A recently published limited study from the Department of Defense shows that the risk of COVID-19 infections on flights is very low. A surprising factoid from this study is that airplane cabin air filtration systems offer greater protection against COVID-19 than hospital operating rooms. Who would have known?
I was pleasantly surprised at the outbound crowd at the airport on a recent Monday. Certainly not as crowded in the past, but busy with lines at check in counters and at the security checkpoint. My observation is that the majority of people are observing protocol and taking personal responsibility for their protection. My hotel experience while traveling has been fine. Sanitized, minimal contact, low risk. Same observations with dining out.
Our personal adjustments to this new style of existence are critical, especially as it begins to be clear that this pandemic will continue to be with us for some time. Find a comfortable mask, and get several of them. We will all be using personal protective equipment for the foreseeable future.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and responses. Feel free to drop me a message, and share your perspectives from your corner of the industry.