Cassandra McAllister - Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Daifuku Airport Technologies
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that we work, live, and interact with others. We are currently living in unprecedented times where we are required to socially distance from others, reduce travel, and in some cases shelter in place. The past few months have presented new challenges within our industry, organization, the businesses of our members, and each of our individual lives. I’m sure like many of you, my life has been far from “normal” which makes me have a greater sense of appreciation for some of the more mundane tasks and events that took place before COVID.
I am sure that similar to some of you, the last time I traveled was to the March IASBC Meeting that took place in Dallas. The IABSC meetings are something that I look forward to each month. I thoroughly enjoy the educational presentations as well as the industry comradery and networking opportunities. Over the past few months, the IABSC has taken a much-appreciated approach to the monthly meetings – hosting them virtually over Zoom. I know that I speak for many when I say that seeing familiar faces each month albeit on a computer screen has been a great way to keep some normalcy in our lives.
On June 11th, the IABSC hosted the third virtual meeting where close to 80 IABSC members attended two presentations, in addition to a short networking session. The first session regarding Insurance and Risks was presented by Steve Buckner from the HILB Group. Steve walked the virtual attendees through the ways that COVID-19 may impact a business’s insurance. He covered many items from an employer’s liability to workers compensation as well as business interruptions. Steve discussed the overall state of affairs regarding insurance, specifically the effect of COVID-19 on businesses as the industry recovers.
The second presentation of the evening was from Doug Deihl from Vanderlande in which he discussed how checkpoint is changing post COVID-19. This was a presentation that I know many of us were looking forward to, as the pandemic will result in many changes in travel. Doug’s presentation was incredibly useful as he broke down each change that may be required as airports find a new “normal” for travel, specifically to passenger checkpoints.
Doug presented the following graphic that broke down his thoughts on a potential passenger journey post COVID-19. The general consensus was that there would be recommended to have a much more socially distant and automated process for passengers as they move throughout the airport.
While none of us know when our “normal” will begin, or what it will look like – it was wonderful to listen to what Doug believes our normal travel pattern could be and gave everyone hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel when all of this is over. Although this has been an incredibly difficult time, especially within the aviation industry, I am confident that we will come out of this stronger together.
Finally, the third presentation of the night gave everyone a glimmer of hope. Mark Baker discussed the current passenger and travel trends that Southwest Airlines is seeing. He provided an airline perspective of both our current situation and his opinion on both long- and short-term impacts on the industry. Mark informed the IABSC members that their passenger throughput levels had increased in the past two weeks. Although it is nowhere near the last year’s passenger levels, there has been an increase from what they had seen since March. Mark is hopeful that over the next week weeks and months we will continue to see passenger travel increase both for business and leisure.
The meeting wrapped up with a quick networking session amongst attendees where we were able to enjoy the industry comradery that we are all missing during this time of social distancing. Our in-person meetings and networking are very much missed, but the virtual sessions are a great way to stay connected to industry happenings as well as our peers until we can be together again. I am greatly looking forward to traveling to Dallas when we are able, but in the meantime, I will continue to log on to Zoom to chat with my fellow IABSC members.
About the Author:
Cassandra McAllister is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Daifuku Airport Technologies. She graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Public Relations and Adverting. Over the past few years, she has thoroughly enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the aviation industry. Last year, Cassandra became a member of the IABSC Marketing and Communications Committee as well as the Young Professionals Committee both of which have greatly contributed to her industry knowledge.