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It's no secret that Covid-19 has done serious damage to the travel industry. There have been millions of jobs and trillions of dollars lost in a matter of months. But what does that mean?
We're already starting to see the impact and it's unsettling, to say the least.
Millions of Jobs Lost
With less staff to run airports, operate flights, and carry baggage from check-in to the plane, airlines won't be able to offer as many flights. Some airlines have had to sell or dismantle some of their planes in an effort to stay in business. Fewer employees + fewer planes = fewer options for customers. That means more flights with 2+ connections, longer layovers, higher prices, and worse flight times.
It also means that you'll need to be extra patient next time you travel. Wait times and lines will be longer, there will be additional procedures throughout the airport like getting your temperature taken and filling out health declaration forms, and you'll rarely find yourself having a "wow, that was so convenient" moment. Not that those occur very often while traveling anyway... but still.
Trillions of Dollars Lost
With no employees and virtually no revenue, it's becoming increasingly difficult for airlines to operate. If things don't change soon, it could lead to smaller regional airports closing and some airlines going out of business. In fact, the industry is struggling so much that the American Society of Travel Advisors is threatening to sue the federal government if they don't provide further relief in the next stimulus bill. You can read more about that here.
Some travel vendors have stopped offering flights later into 2021 out of fear of the airlines going out of business and being unable to provide refunds. It's hard to say what will happen because we're still in the midst of it, but I think we'll start to see companies filing for bankruptcy, big layoffs, and airports closing, possibly even in the next 6 months (if nothing changes).
About the Author:
I'm Anna Mills - a travel agent, blogger, and author of the book "100 Ways to Make Travel More Affordable". I have been a guest on the Trip Sister's Podcast and TripScout's Roadtrip Expert Panel. You may have seen me in Texas Lifestyle Magazine, Opploans.com, or as a Rising Star for Travel Market Report.