Under normal circumstances, we would now be close to the summer travel season.
But Corona is putting a spank on holiday planning this year, most trips cannot take place in the next few months.
But should you already plan ahead and book for the end of the year? There are some arguments for this – but a lot also against it.
Usually the travel season of the year starts soon. But because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, things are different this summer. Millions of travelers are forced to cancel their trips because travel restrictions and border closures severely restrict freedom of movement.
The airlines’ flight plans have also been mixed up. Flights were canceled and merged in bulk.
The pandemic is affecting the tourism industry. But people want to continue traveling. Optimists are already looking for the best deals for future trips as soon as the crisis is over. For some travel destinations, travel for the coming autumn and winter has never been cheaper. The airlines are trying to recoup the profits lost in the spring.
However, experts warn that business will not recover as quickly as some airlines hope. It could take up to a year or more for travel to return to normal.
These reasons now speak for or against planning a trip
These reasons now speak for or against planning a trip
Pros: Flights for autumn and winter are now particularly cheap
Some flights are currently cheaper than ever. The offers are undoubtedly tempting.
Several travel experts told NewsABC.net that now is the best time to buy a plane ticket for those who plan to travel in the coming months.
Benjamin Zhang / NewsABC.net
Cons: The pandemic is not over yet.
Health experts doubt that public life will return to normal before a vaccine against the virus is found – and it can take more than a year. So until a vaccine or treatment is developed, we have no choice but to stick to the rules of social distance.
Nick Oxford / Reuters
Pros: Most major airlines do not charge rebooking fees for new bookings, which gives customers a degree of flexibility.
Travel has been very limited in flexibility in the past. Airlines have introduced additional fees over the years that penalize travelers for changing their booking. As a gesture of goodwill and to restore confidence in flight bookings, most major airlines in the United States and some other countries are now waiving change fees.
Passengers will still have to pay tariff differences, but there is some leeway if they need to change a trip after booking.
REUTERS / Lindsey Wasson
Cons: The pandemic meant that travelers no longer knew which airlines they could trust for reimbursements.
Before the pandemic, large full-service airlines were generally considered safer – especially since numerous low-cost and regional airlines, including Thomas Cook Airlines, Wow Air and Monarch Airlines, had collapsed in previous years.
However, the current unexpected situation has shown that even financially secure airlines are not immune to financial problems. As a result, they hesitate when passengers request their money back after a flight cancellation.
You may be able to cancel your flight, but you may not get your money back.
Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters
Pros: Some airlines waive cancellation fees.
A smaller selection of airlines that allow free rebookings also offers free cancellations for new bookings, giving you more flexibility for future trips. If travel plans change, passengers can have their booking costs reimbursed, for example, as a voucher that can be redeemed within a certain period of time.
Cons: The airlines can also decide afterwards that it is not worth doing some flights.
As future demand remains uncertain, airlines are cutting flights on an ongoing basis. The flight schedule may change frequently over the coming months as demand does not increase as airlines hope.
Pros: The planes themselves will be cleaner than ever.
Air travel is often associated with the spread of an illness during a pandemic because a symptom-free traveler can travel around the world and unwittingly infect others. The airlines recognized this problem early on in the Covid pandemic and adapted their cleaning measures to ensure passenger safety – using new methods, among other things, including “misting”. Electrically charged disinfectants are sprayed throughout the cabin to kill lingering pathogens.
Delta Air Lines
Cons: Not everyone can just choose to travel. It depends on where you live.
In addition to curfews, numerous countries have also ordered that trips that are not necessary be made. Some countries that are in the lockdown prevent citizens from leaving the country, according to the US newspaper Politico, but this is not the case everywhere.
Robin Utrecht / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty
Pros: Some airports take measures to keep their distance.
San Francisco International Airport, for example, is taking measures to ensure that travelers adhere to social distance.
At the security checkpoints and in the gate areas, stickers are strategically placed to remind travelers to keep their distance. This is to prevent the virus from spreading further.
The signage around the airport also reminds travelers to take reasonable precautions.
San Francisco International Airport
Cons: Even if there are no curfews for you, it can be different in the country of travel.
For example, US President Donald Trump restricted entry to the United States for non-citizens who were in China. In the meantime, he extended this to all of Europe.
That doesn’t just apply to the United States. There is currently a curfew in numerous countries. It is uncertain when it will end or what restrictions will remain after it is lifted.
DENIS BALIBOUSE / Reuters
Cons: Some countries are not even sure when they will open their borders again.
LARS HAGBERG / AFP / Getty
Cons: It is unclear when sights and attractions will open again.
In the old city of Jerusalem, one of the most popular travel destinations for tourists and pilgrims, sacred sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall and the al-Aqsa Mosque are closed due to government restrictions, according to the US daily Washington Post.
This also applies to other attractions such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Capitol Building in Washington and Walt Disney World in Orlando.
So far it is unclear when the sights will be accessible to tourists again.
This article has been translated from English by Claudia Saatz.
Mostafa Alkharouf / Anadolu Agency via Getty