I will be curious to see what happens to the corporate bookings over the next 4-6 weeks.
For many companies, they are either well into their "return to work / return to office" phases.
Some just jumped it and said effectively in June / July that they are fully open, while taking a bit of an optionality over the remainder of the summer.
Others still are sticking to their September timelines.
I know that some of the biggest business travel accounts - large professional service firms / consultancies have effectively removed any of their travel restrictions / pre-approvals for travel domestically for client-service or sales related travel. Their are taking the approach that "if your client(s) are in the office / on-site, then you should be on-site".
There is a push to rationalize / reduce travel, especially for one-off short meetings, but they are all about co-locating and getting back with their clients.
I anticipate we should see a step-function up in corporate travel bookings over the next several weeks, especially as people starting booking September and beyond travel.
The trade shows / professional organizations I am a part of are starting to schedule and conduct in-person events again later this fall. Starting to get invites to events in October. They are doing hybrid and expecting smaller turn-out but starting to show up on the calendar again.
I can say that traveling last week in / out of DTW & ORD, starting to see a lot more company logo shirts and backpacks again and a lot more laptop usage in the Skyclubs than in the June timeframe. I was in the Loop last week in Chicago, and its still noticably quieter but there are definetely signs of life and people in the offices again. We are still in peak summer vacation period, but I will be honest, most of the people I know that were doing a decent amount of travel before are yearning to get back out there and meet with clients / teams again, unless they hated it before and don't want to go back.
Anybody who hasn’t returned to the office yet, likely won’t do so until they’re forced - and the surge in infections will give them an excuse. I doubt the number of people in the office will grow between now and Labor Day.
NYC, Chicago, Boston, DC, LA, etc. aren’t expected to see half their workers return to the office until after the New Year at the earliest. Places like Atlanta, Nashville, Texas, etc. haven’t see any significant return to the office in recent months (all are around 50%).
So, there’s clearly going to be a ceiling on business travel for awhile.