Couple of quick questions, I was watching COVID-19 coverage this morning and one of the analyst stated, since airlines have drawn down so much capacity, COVID-19 could give rise once again to the road trip here in the U.S. as we get into those summer months with people seeing their car or SUV as a safer option to flying. In their (the analysts) opinion people are not going to "cancel" their summer they are going to get out and there has been data showing more and more Americans are not staying home the deeper into spring we go. Also according to this analyst in certain parts of the country (states with beautiful beach locations and even Las Vegas) hotels and other lodging areas are stating to seeing more people inquiring or actually booking summer travel than there are people canceling. That trend if true does not necessarily mean more people are looking to fly to their destination.
My questions are how will airlines decided when to increase capacity and where to increase capacity? Even as some states reopen what are some key data points airlines are looking at to guide their decision making for their June, July, and August domestic schedules? Can the data be skewed if more people turn to road trips as their means of transportation instead of flying?
Airlines will see their actual bookings increase, if/when they see 50+% of seats filled on a route consistently, they will add flights before raising prices, otherwise their competition swoops in. So they are both watching portal traffic, clicks, and actual reservations.
Trips by car will certainly be an alternate to flying destinations, it seems like car trips are the first to come back. The first trips will be for 2 or 3 nights within a few hours drive, for me going to the coast or the mountains. Things like restaurants, attractions not open, not in a party mood will point to a simpler life for a while. Ocean front condos and hotels are available for rent on a June weekend, normally totally booked. Nice places for $160/night, so 4 hours in the car each way with great scenery, kitchens in the rooms $ 320 for lodging 2 nights $60 in gas, great crab shacks and seafood spots run by locals. A lot of trip for not much. Just flying to Vegas would add $500 and I will be in places that are either ghost town or flat packed. No thank you