The Rise of COVID-19 Travel Insurance

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Travel agencies and airlines are starting to wise up and realize that their passengers need some form of protection against COVID-19. Something for if an individual happens to test positive for COVID-19 and they’re in another country, they have some of the medical and/or travel costs wavered. 

The newest contender to this idea is Flight Center, a Canadian travel agency based in Vancouver who are offering COVID-19 coverage to their clients. This new form of insurance deals exclusively with COVID-19 and is meant to supplement your standard travel insurance plan, not replace it. 

From their spokesperson: 

“If you have to quarantine in your destination, the new insurance also covers the accommodation costs you incur.

It covers you basically until you’re able to come home. That’s why the quarantine coverage is important. You’re obviously not going to be able to get on a plane if you’ve tested positive and won’t be able to do so until you’ve been cleared to travel back, so the coverage applies while you’re in a destination, up until the point when you’re cleared to return home.”

This insurance package comes free to clients who book through Flight Center and is currently available in 50 countries worldwide. 

Are YOU going to start adding COVID-19 insurance to your flights when the pandemic is over? Why or why not? Reply to this newsletter and let us know why you made your decision!

$12 Billion Dumped Into American Airports by Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is one of the major American airlines that has been negatively impacted by all of COVID-19. And by extension, they were also one of the aviation companies who received a billion-dollar loan from the federal government to keep all of their employees on payroll and keep a bare minimum volume of flight activity. 

Yet in spite of burning through millions of dollars in cash per day, they somehow found $12 billion to invest into the construction of new airports across the country. 

One of their newest success stories involves a 900,000-square-foot airport located in Salt Lake City, where Flight 2020 officially took off for the very first time. A state-of-the-art parking garage and a more efficient baggage handling system are just some of the perks included in this airport. 

The remaining funds are expected to go towards making improvements at the LaGuardia Airport in New York, and the Los Angeles International Airport. 

Estimates reveal that the new Salt Lake City airport will add $5.5 billion in economic growth to the city, which I’m ecstatic about. This brand new airport means a LOT more jobs are needed in order to keep it going!

The Boeing 737 MAX Is Officially in the Sh*tter

A year and a half has passed since the tragically fatal airplane crashes involving the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Now, we have a full report explaining exactly what happened and how Boeing has screwed things up astronomically. 238 pages of scathing evidence against the now-disgraced airplane manufacturer. 

Here are the four main issues discovered, according to the report:

  • Financial and production pressures to compete with other aircraft that led to cutting costs and ramping up production at the expense of the public’s flying safety
  • Crappy aircraft design, combined with several misguided assumptions made about pilot competency and the technology used to power the aircraft
  • Information purposefully withheld from the Federal Aviation Administration that would have otherwise disqualified them from approval
  • Possible influence of Boeing on the FAA’s responsibility for overseeing the company

I won’t get into any more details, but just know that the deaths of 346 people could have easily been prevented. All of the warning signs were there. It’s just nobody wanted to see them until it was already too late. 

The 737 MAX is effectively dead, which explains why Boeing has invested so much energy and capital into brand new aircraft…

How Would You Like to Work Remotely in Aruba?

The brand new “One Happy Workation” program from Aruba is a massive effort from the tropical island to get as many digital nomads living and working there as possible. They use the word ‘workation’ because they want to create an experience that serves as a happy medium between working and taking a vacation. 

Some of the details that are part of this program include:

  • You cannot work for any company or individual in Aruba
  • Your stay is limited between 7-90 days
  • You need to submit a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival and purchase traveler’s insurance when you land (must be uploaded 12 hours prior to flying, depending on which state you are flying in from)
  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces
  • Hotel accommodations include all-inclusive food and drink packages and complimentary WiFi

If you ask me, it sounds like a reasonable offer. They certainly aren’t going as far as to impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine on American travelers, and why should they? They only have 3,150 confirmed COVID-19 infections over the entire course of the pandemic, which shows they’ve had a fairly good handle on things. 

Cybersecurity: The More Concerning “C” Word for Hotels and Airlines

Forget the coronavirus for just a brief moment: According to a collaborative effort from various security experts, the world’s largest chains for hotels and airlines have several vulnerabilities within their platforms that pose serious privacy risks to individual user data. This investigation targeted 98 companies, many of which you know, so this directly impacts you…

Major offenders that had particularly poor results include EasyJet, Marriott Hotels, and British Airways. They were exposed for having the highest number of risks, and the highest degree of seriousness associated with said risks. Combined, 350 million clients have their information posted on the dark web for other people to use maliciously. 

The sad part was that the hacking was not complex in nature at all. Using tools that are easily available via a Google search, the security experts were able to easily break into these company’s websites and retrieve the sensitive data. 

Yikes… once the coronavirus is fully resolved, hopefully this item is next on their agenda. Otherwise they’ll end up suffering many more financial losses!

Hop on a Plane Going… Absolutely Nowhere!?

Planes may not be able to fly to various cities and destinations around the world, much less within their own country, but that doesn’t stop them from flying around within the city they’re stationed in. At least that’s what Thailand plans to do in its latest tourism offering. 

Dubbed as “no-destination flights”, they mean exactly what you think they would. You go on the plane, you fly around for a few hours, and you arrive in the same destination you started at. For some routes, you could even have temporary stops at various amenities and hotels. 

Singapore Airlines is considering this idea, and several airlines in Thailand are also looking into this possibility. Due to operating at less than 50% of its original capacity this year, they need a way to make up for the lost passenger traffic. 

Features offered on these flights include fancy meals, text-messaging services, free WiFi capabilities, and the option to upgrade to business class for the duration of the flight. And if you just want to sit in a plane without it going anywhere, there are “plane cafes” in Thailand for that too. 

Sounds like some incredibly wacky measures, but whatever makes money is worth a shot. Right?

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