In 2012, Global Traveler compiled a group of its subscribers to serve as its Globility Board. After an interview and vetting process, the members have served the publication in many capacities: as a focus group for clients, as a resource for articles and, now, to provide thoughts, suggestions and more for tourism boards as they face the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.
On our airline committee was Steve and Angela White, a husband and wife based in Los Angeles that travel frequently for both business and leisure; Iris Childress, a cloud computing engineer with Microsoft Corp.; Tom and Celeste Linhard, another husband and wife, from Colorado, with elite status with United Airlines; Eric Ludwig, who achieved a personal goal in 2019 of visiting more countries than his age; Paula Vogel, recently retired from a career in international project management; and Dorothy Wood, a business leader in her Virginia Beach community.
The conversation started with everyone sharing their thoughts on the aid packages offered by the federal government that would benefit, in some ways, the travel industry. The general consensus? It’s not enough. It won’t help cruise lines, there are questions on how it supports hotels and there are still unknowns.
Which airlines do our committee members think have the best crisis messaging? One thing the group is critical of is converted messages from companies in an attempt to express concern. All agreed they’d received a lot of messaging from United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, with Vogel noting Alaska Airlines provided very specific messaging. Hawaiian Airlines was immediately mentioned by Angela White when the committee was asked which airline they would fly first following the easing of travel restrictions. All expressed trepidation about trying to contact the airlines about future flights for fear of long wait times. American Airlines was incentivizing travel for the future by offering credits greater than the original value.
The Linhards will opt for a Star Alliance airline first, but aren’t yet booking flights for the future because they don’t want to be stuck with vouchers for the same routings should things change. Childress, on the other hand, was taking advantage of airfare sales now to book flights for November.
At the time of our meeting, airlines had yet to announce plans for extending frequent-flyer status; all committee members were hoping for those announcements to come soon, and wishes were since granted from several of the large airlines.
Will the current situation cause airlines to consolidate? Tom Linhard thinks that may be the case in the future for Southeast Asian airlines, and some reported hearing some chatter about an unnamed U.S. airline interested in consolidation with Alaska Airlines.
Another point of absolute agreement? Travelers want prevention. How can airlines make them feel safer? Some of the suggestions mentioned were taking temperatures, stricter and published cleaning policies, providing disinfecting wipes to travelers, stop overcrowding planes and stop selling middle seats (many airlines have since instituted this policy), look into ways to improve filtration and require crew and passengers to wear masks, another policy recently instituted by a number of airlines.
What suggestions do you have for airlines in the face of the COVID-19 crisis? Share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with the Globility Board, we here at FXExpress Publications, Inc. cannot wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and have you all #ComeBacktoGT, #ComeBacktoTrazee and #ComeBacktoWF.
Huntsville, Alabama, is one of those destinations helping define the family-friendly vacation. Home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, the city is lovingly nicknamed Rocket City thanks to its history of always reaching for the stars. This is where you’ll find Space Camp, where kids and families can take part in various programs at the world’s largest space museum, U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Through Dec. 31, family travelers can enjoy the most unexpected thing in Florida: a white Christmas. The Now Snowing in Celebration festival in Kissimmee, Florida, embraces winter traditions for both locals and visitors. Free to visit, families will love heading to the town built by Disney.
Let family travels take you to one of these stunning aquariums around the United States. Recently, Aquarium Store Depot analyzed TripAdvisor reviews containing words such as beautiful, breathtaking and picturesque for 175 public aquariums across America. Each aquarium ranked based on the percentage of reviews to determine the most eye-catching aquariums.
Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
All aboard! A holiday afternoon tea on a vintage train winding its way through lush wine country? If that sounds a lovely to you as it does to us, the Napa Valley Wine Train is on track to offer you a great seasonal experience perfect for sharing with family or loved ones. Tea is served in a holiday-decked vintage Pullman rail car with historic features like Honduran mahogany paneling, etched glass partitions, sumptuous armchairs and gleaming brass accents.