Travel Demand Is Down… Yet Travel Is Safer?

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Yesterday’s newsletter highlighted the decreasing demand for travel, as evidenced by the progressively lower number of passengers passing through TSA checkpoints.

However, it appears as if PERCEPTIONS of travel have started to change for the better.

According to a prestigious monthly survey done by MMGY Global, their sixth publication of the “Travel Safety Barometer” reveals an increased favorability for domestic travel (46/100 versus 44/100 from last month), a slightly lower rating for international travel (31/100 versus 30/100 from last month), and no changes for business travel (38/100) or conferences (30/100).

This is a huge jump when you consider the Travel Safety Barometer ranking for domestic travel was at an all-time low of 22/100 in mid-April!

Overall, passengers are expressing an increasing amount of confidence in flying and hotels with regard to their safety. The numbers are more-or-less unchanged regarding the percentage of Americans (40%) who plan on taking a trip for leisure within the next six months.

And out of the modes of transportation, cars are seen as the safest option at a score of 72/100.

This finding shouldn’t be surprising to anybody who knows a thing or two about travel. Americans REALLY want to leave their current surroundings and explore someplace new, but not at the expense of their health. The desire has always been there, yet the coronavirus has made it unfavorable to act on said desire.

Keep in mind that these perceptions of travel safety could easily change if the headlines surrounding new COVID-19 deaths and infections in America continue to get worse. We will only put up with so much chaos before we throw in the towel and call it quits.

But I want to know what YOU think about these statistics. Does your current viewpoint match with the Travel Safety Barometer or is it way off? If so, in which direction? Reply to this newsletter and tell us how safe you feel with regard to travel!

Masked Guests in All US-Based Marriott Hotels From Now On

Hotels have been quite rapid in their efforts to ensure that both staff and guests are living in the safest environment possible. Employees were already required to wear masks once the COVID-19 pandemic started but now it appears this same ruling will be enforced on guests.

As of the coming Monday (July 27th), all guests in Marriott hotels across the United States will be required to wear a face covering while they’re in any of their indoor public spaces.

This ruling is being implemented on top of brand-new social distancing policies, active encouragement to maintain good hand hygiene, contactless check-ins, and strong recommendations to stay at home if you have (or had) COVID-19 symptoms.

While this new rule is being implemented in good faith, I can’t help but wonder how they will handle guests who can’t wear face coverings due to pre-existing medical conditions.

We’re already seeing the struggle Delta Airlines is going through with regard to this same circumstance, and it’s unclear how an exception to the rule will be handled.

Let’s just hope their guests comply and don the masks. It will certainly make the hotel experience far safer and less stressful for anybody who is staying or working in a Marriott property.

70% of Brits Are on Board With Mandatory Face Masks in Public

The United Kingdom is still under some lockdown restrictions, with their border being well-isolated from the rest of the world as they attempt to handle the coronavirus pandemic.

To the surprise of the UK government, the majority of their citizens are concerned about their health. So much so, in fact, that more of them are standing behind public health measures to make the UK a much safer country to live in.

A recent poll found that 71% of all respondents would happily support a ruling for face masks to be mandatory in public spaces. Furthermore, these same individuals fully believe masks are one of the most effective ways to keep COVID-19 contained.

When you take this new finding alongside the highest approval rating of the UK government since mid-May for handling the viral outbreak (38%), it seems as if everybody is finally on board to do whatever it takes to return to some level of normalcy.

When you think about it… this is phenomenal news for mask manufacturers of all sizes, whether they’re mass-producing surgical masks or selling their own face coverings from their home!

What the Hell Are We Gonna Do with All These Boeing 787s!?”

With next to nobody willing to hop on a plane, you have to wonder where all of the aircraft are being stored. It’s not like you can just create a parking space for airplanes out of thin air!

This is the precise situation being faced by Boeing, as roughly 50 of their newly produced 787 Dreamliners have absolutely nowhere to go. They aren’t being flown and there isn’t a single company or investor who is willing to buy them. Demand is at an absolute zero.

So where on God’s green earth are they going to be stored? Well, it turns out all of their airfields in close proximity to their manufacturing factories are fully occupied by these planes. They have resorted to using desert lots located in California and even those might not be enough to store all of their out-of-service planes.

Folks, the wide-bodied 787 was supposed to be their “redemption” after the two disastrous crashes with their 737 MAX planes in March of last year. It was going to bankroll the $20 billion in costs the company has stacked up since the 737 MAX planes were outright banned from being used for commercial flights.

And to date, a measly total of three 787s have been used over the past two months. Boeing doesn’t care, as they’re still producing ten of these planes a month in anticipation of a sudden surge in travel demand.

At this point, there is nowhere for Boeing to go but down (no pun intended). They will likely have to halt 787 production altogether, which consequently leads to even more begging for bailout funds, severe salary cuts, and even more layoffs!

Icelandair Loves Its Pilots More Than Its Flight Attendants…

As of two days ago, Icelandair has officially laid off every single flight attendant under their payroll. Their statement made it very clear that the termination of each attendant’s employment is permanent.

To replace their duties, pilots will temporarily take on the roles of these flight attendants. They will be doing the absolute bare minimum required to maintain in-flight safety while also flying the plane. Considering how 48 hours is most definitely not enough to learn all the essential roles of a flight attendant, some industry experts are questioning the legality of this move in the US and EU.

This is financial desperation, pure and simple. The month of May in 2020 saw just over 3,000 passengers flying on Icelandair, compared to 419,000 in May 2019. One of the most vital skills of any good flight attendant is maintaining good communication with passengers, especially when passengers are being irate and/or flying conditions become unsavory mid-flight.

I don’t doubt that pilots are good human beings, but I would seriously question their ability to take on a “human relations” role with next-to-no prior training…

COVID-19 Fashionwear: Coming to a Store Near You??

If there’s any industry that loves pushing the envelope and defying norms, it has to be the fashion industry. They’ve always managed to rise up against what is considered conventional, and COVID-19 has apparently provided them enough fuel to start a brand new fashion trend.

Of course, I’m talking about “anti-viral” fabrics being used in luxury fashionwear to guard people from the harmful effects of COVID-19. Supposedly, they have an identical feel and look to existing clothing, albeit with the extra protection.

One of the major celebrity brands hopping on this train is Diesel, who claims their denim wear will “stop” up to 99% of any viral activity taking place on their clothes. And it’s all thanks to the partnership they formed with Swedish chemical company Polygiene and their “ViralOff” technology.

Several high-profile brands are starting to collaborate with companies who claim to have their own technology for fighting off bacterial and viral infections.

The name of the game is to see who can fend off the coronavirus and look the most stylish while doing so. If it were up to me, I would have two separate competitions: One would be the usual cat walk on the stage, and the other would be a heads-on battle to see which fabric is most effective at halting viral activity.

But let me know what YOU think about this new fashion trend. Is it legitimate or just an empty gesture for something which will be no more or less effective than existing fabrics? Reply to this newsletter and let us know how you feel about “antiviral” fashion gear!

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