Cranky on the Web: Flying In the Age of COVID, United’s Future

Cranky on the Web, Southwest

After coronavirus: Your next flight may look like thisLos Angeles Times
From the title, this mean seem like a look at what travel will be like in the near future, but I was interviewed specifically about pricing. As I mentioned, if there are social distancing rules in place, it could have a huge impact on pricing. Do middle seats need to be blocked? Will distance between seats need to grow? In the short term, none of this matters, because airplanes are empty. But in the longer term, if this stays in place, then there will be problems.

Your Southwest Airlines flight might soon include face masks and health screenings. Is that enough to make flying feel safe again?Dallas Morning News
Here’s another look at the near-term travel experience. On this one, I again talked about social distancing issues.

United Airlines may change route map post-coronavirus, says no hub is ‘sacred’TPG
What will United do post-COVID? Great question. Apparently all is on the table.

What will the future of travel look like? TPG asked 16 industry expertsTPG
TPG sent out an email to a bunch of people asking what travel would look like. They included a couple of my responses in here alongside thoughts from people like David Neeleman and Ben Baldanza.

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2 comments on “Cranky on the Web: Flying In the Age of COVID, United’s Future

  1. Regarding empty planes and low, low prices: I have been tracking pricing from my hometown CLT to AMS over the last two moths as I am seriously overdue to visit my ailing mom. She’s in a care home so for now visits are banned anyway. But contemplating a possible relaxing of those rules in June or July, I have been looking at flights and do not see any real price advantage at all. Prices appear to be the same as always or perhaps even a little higher. I need to make a connection somewhere and none of the options seem cheaper than others at the moment… Just my observation.

    1. CLTflyer – I think that’s right. Until airlines actually see demand coming back, there’s no reason to discount. There’s too much uncertainty, so they should keep fares at normal levels. But once people start showing more willingness to fly again, that will change. (Latin America is an exception. There are some dirt cheap fares there.)

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