Let's bear in mind that most of the travel downturn is the result of CDC (and local equivalent) "travel recommendations" that have gotten insurers so nervous that companies fear the liability of sending employees on a trip, have resulted in mass cancellations for tour operators, and have discouraged individual travelers with quarantines and associated hurdles. If these "recommendations" were rescinded tomorrow, we'd see a nice uptick in travel again.
But wouldn't we also see a nice uptick in covid infections and deaths?
That's what's discouraging me from traveling.
I've cut my travel in half this year, but haven't stopped flying. To me and my family, the brave new world of "working from anywhere" means just that. In my view, airlines have gone on the offensive plenty of times to explain how older measures (e.g. Hepa filters) work together with more recent initiatives (increased cleaning, passing out wipes and water bottles in lieu of the pre-departure beverage) to create an environment that is much safer than many on-ground experiences (say a movie theatre or indoor in-person training even though distancing and capacity controls are there).
Examples: https://news.aa.com/news/news-details/2 ... 0s-FLT-06/https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/tr ... nplus.htmlhttps://news.delta.com/delivering-new-c ... ery-flight
I was at a recent government provided indoor training (mandatory) and one person tested positive afterward. Everyone else at that training has to provide negative tests to be reallowed into government facilities. Much higher risk apparently since none of my flight-related tests ever turned out positive. I know it's anecdotal, but I also think that one can't sit in isolation forever, especially when the airlines are making such a huge effort to be proactive about it. Many of my former non-stops are now 1 or even 2 stops with 4-5 hour connections. If we don't fly, the airlines will turn into daily flights into flights that only operate every other day or 1-2 a week on some of these routes. I decided that the current situation is bad enough as it is, and do my share to keep the airlines afloat. I respect everyone who isn't comfortable flying (or leaving their house) at this time and hope that consumer confidence will return as quickly as possible.
While it could be a much needed extra income, this is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.
One could make the same argument about just about any man made technology and most human practices.
Including but not limited to:
Going on vacation. Surely it hurts the environment to travel, unless you're bicycling there. Oh but wait, that bicycle is made from metal and rubber...scratch that
For perspective, aviation made up about 3.5% of greenhouse gas emissions pre-covid. It's likely near a third of that now. A handful of "flights to nowhere" won't even be noticeable compared to the other ~40,000 commercial flights every day (It was over 100,000 pre-covid).
Economic activity keeps the lights on for many people. Whether it's a flight, a hotel, a rental car, the motor fuel for that rental car, the restaurants on trips, the parking lot at the airport, there's a lot of money and a lot of livelihoods attached to transportation and other sectors. If we all went home and stopped supporting businesses, things would be a hundred times worse for most of us, as our own jobs would likely be affected by that eventually.
I don't understand why you would pay to just fly around for a bit and then land where you took off from? At that point, why don't you just book a regular flight and actually go somewhere.
I'm not flying right now not because I'm scared of the flight itself, but from all the contact I would potentially have with other people standing in line at TSA, aerosol in the restrooms, crowding around the gate area, standing in line in the jet bridge, etc.
Maybe I should take pictures on my international UA flights, or perhaps your parent can if they're still flying. On too many flights, it's basically like being on a plane that RONs, except you are in the air in broad daylight. You can walk past rows and rows of empty seats if you want to go to the bathroom or just do yoga in the back for 5 minutes.
There's no line at the TSA, restrooms are mostly empty and cleaned all the time now, gates don't crowd when your flight has 30 passengers for a plane that holds 350, you won't spend much time in the jet bridge either, and onboard people wear masks so religiously that newspaper articles are written when someone doesn't. The hotels sit empty, good for upgrades I guess. At many car rental lots, you can take your pick. Of course that only works until they turn in more excess cars to the lessor, until more hotels shut down, and until more airline flights get axed to meet whatever demand is left for a given product.
Even for domestic flights that are more full, people don't dare cough or sneeze for the most part, just because people are on the edge when it comes to that. As someone who traveled for years in the winter and is used to half the plane coughing then, and maybe 10% of people doing that non-stop, I have to say it has become very quiet now and people are a lot more polite now when it comes to coughing and sneezing because no one wants to be turned in.
2020: AMS | BRU | DEN | DFW | EWR | FRA | GUA | IAH | LAX | LIM | MCO | MUC | ORD | PTY | SAL | SCL | SFO | TXL