Greetings from crisp Los Angeles!
Yesterday was Veterans Day and in case you don’t get my daily travel tip newsletter, (you can sign up here) we honored our brave veterans and active military with some stories (see below). Although I’ve never served in the military, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of all the sacrifices our brave soldiers have made to allow me and the hundreds of millions of people in the USA and abroad, to live the lives we live. I try to pay them back as often as possible, including when I travel.
–48 Ways We Can All Honor Veterans
–Escorting a Fallen Soldier Home on my Delta Flight
–How an Airline Worker Honors Fallen Military Members
–Giving Your Upgrade to a Soldier
–Pass Your Extra Vouchers to a Soldier
Uber Will Let Users Book Rides 30 Days in Advance and Pick a Favorite Driver
This is great news for travelers. Read the full story here.
United Airlines Is Returning to JFK
In 2016, United Airlines decided to move their New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) flights to somewhat nearby Newark (EWR). But earlier this week, they made a big announcement about their return to JFK. Read the full story here.
Travel Deals You Don’t Want to Miss
Check out this week’s travel deals here.
So, do you want the good news or the bad news first? I like to start with the bad news too and end on a happy note. Medical experts all warned us that the fall and winter would be worse for COVID-19 than the year has already been. I thought that perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad because our political leaders were saying otherwise. Lesson learned: Always listen to the experts.
COVID-19 is Out of Control
According to CNN.com, “The nation reported more than 144,000 new daily coronavirus cases yesterday, the single highest daily count since the pandemic began. The country also saw its highest daily death toll since early May. More people are hospitalized with Covid-19 this week than at any point in the pandemic, and hospitals are running out of health care workers, which could cause some major problems.”
New York Governor Cuomo announced yesterday (November 11) that effective tomorrow (November 13), bars, restaurants and gyms statewide will close at 10pm and gatherings at private residences will be limited to 10 people. Source: Ali Velshi
Analyst Comment: “Restrictions on businesses and gatherings are likely forthcoming in other locations in the U.S. in view of a sustained increase in COVID-19 cases in the country. Health officials registered a daily record of more than 145,000 new COVID-19 cases on 11 November, with more than 100,000 new cases registered daily for a ninth consecutive day. More than 65,000 patients infected with the virus remain hospitalized, which has raised concerns regarding hospital capacity.” Source
Europe and Sweden
Cases are also surging in Europe including Sweden, which “banned alcohol sales after 10 p.m. in a bid to control infections. “Unfortunately, it looks like we are going into darker times both across the world, in Europe and Sweden in terms of the spread of the disease,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said.
“The UK became the first country in Europe to pass 50,000 Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, the same day Spain reported more than 40,000 Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began.
“Italy topped one million Covid-19 cases yesterday as images emerged of suspected COVID-19 patients being treated with emergency oxygen inside their cars while waiting to be admitted into a hospital in Naples.” Source
The First Cruise Ship to Resume Sailing in the Caribbean is Having a COVID Scare
If you follow Gene Sloan, who is the founder of USA Today’s Cruises and now works for The Points Guy, you’ll know he is on the first Caribbean cruise since March. The 112-passenger luxurious Sea Dream ship has 53 passengers on board and they seemed to be doing everything right. However, just one day into the trip, a passenger tested positive for COVID so the boat turned around and headed back to Barbados where each passenger is sequestered in their cabins. This is terrible news for the cruise industry and will likely delay future voyages or scare people away from going. The cruise industry just needs to sit tight for a while.
I’m Officially Canceling My Trips
There aren’t many people who love travel more than I do and I hate to be the bearer of bad news but COVID is a reality we’re all trying to deal with. As my buddy Rudy Maxa said in his newsletter today, it’s a personal decision for everyone. I’m not telling anyone what to do. I’m just telling you what I’m doing and what I would recommend.
Unfortunately, with COVID-19 being out of control in the USA and most of the world, I’ve canceled the trip I was thinking about taking to surprise my dad for his 92nd birthday next week. It’s just too risky for me since I have a history of asthma and more importantly, I have two little kids at home. I’m going to hunker down for December and January since we’re canceling our annual Toronto (for Christmas) and Hawaii (for New Year’s) trips. I will wait until the last minute to see if American Airlines cancels the flight or changes the times by two hours so I can get a full refund instead of a credit. I don’t need any more travel vouchers.
This Week’s TSA Numbers
Three weeks ago (Sunday, October 18) the TSA crossed over the one million mark (1,031,505) for the first time since the pandemic’s low point of April 14, when only 87,534 people were screened. The numbers have been bouncing around ever since. You can do your own comparison using the TSA website but according to my own analysis, the numbers for the week went up 153,459 which is good news for the travel industry.
Last 7 days (11/11-11/5): 5,532,875
Previous 7 days (11/4-10/29): 5,379,416
Now for The Good News
Pfizer says their vaccine is 90% effective, which made the stock market soar, especially travel companies. It’s great news! However, a widespread vaccination is months away so we just need to be patient … and not a COVID-19 patient. But … it’s awfully skeptical that the same day the Pfizer news hit, their Chairman and CEO sold millions of dollars worth of company stock. Something doesn’t seem right about that to me, you? Side note: Russia says its COVID-19 vaccine is 92% effective. Now that’s funny.
Airline and Airport News:
- Singapore Airlines To Retire Seven A380s Amid Record Loss
- Responding to Thanksgiving Travel Demand, United Adds Over 1,400 Domestic Flights to Schedule
- Ryanair Trolls US Presidential Election On Twitter
- Jackson Hole Airport Decides To Close For Two Months
- See all the airline and airport news that’s got people talking this week…
- What We Know So Far About the CDC’s Required Cruise Ship Test Sailings
- Cruise Lines Are Looking for Volunteers to Sail On Mock Voyages to Test COVID-19 Safety Protocol
- Key West voters deliver a blow to cruise lines with big-ship ban
- CRUISE CRYSTAL BALL: What will the industry look like this time next year
- See all the cruise news that’s got people talking this week…
- Vermont ‘strongly urging people to lay low,’ not to travel for the holidays
- What the travel industry can expect from a Biden Administration
- San Diego mom: Hawaii didn’t accept negative COVID test, sent to quarantine
- ‘SNL’ Destroys Rudy Giuliani’s Four Seasons Total Landscaping Disaster
- See all the domestic travel news that’s got people talking this week…
International Travel News:
- This Pacific island nation recorded its first Covid-19 case in a man who visited the US
- Taiwan startup StarLux Airlines targets flights to 15 North American cities
- Photos show a deserted Italy with new curfew regulations
- This place in New Zealand might be the only place in the world experiencing over tourism right now
- See all the international travel news that’s got people talking this week…
Hotel and Lodging Travel News:
- Marriott reported a surprise profit last quarter. But keep in mind…expenses were down 57%.
- Customers of Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia and other major booking sites have reportedly had their personal data exposed.
- Peninsula Hotels Is Scrapping Check-in and Check-out Times so You Can Come and Go When You Please
- Disneyland hotels stop taking 2020 reservations
- See all the hotel and lodging news that’s got people talking this week…
Miscellaneous Travel News:
- ‘Vaccine tourism’: Rich Americans might travel abroad for COVID shot
- Flight attendants can keep an eye on minors traveling alone, but they aren’t babysitters
- ‘Travel is good for the soul’ — how limitations on our movement affects us psychologically
- ‘Unusually high call volume’? It’s a lie
- See all the rest of the travel news that’s got people talking this week…