COVID-19 Travel Slump Creates Opportunities for Good Deals in the Future

COVID-19 has decimated much of the travel industry. Many airlines are bankrupt or dissolved altogether. Others are barely hanging on with reduced flying and furloughs. Now that a vaccine (several, actually) has been developed, we predict that there will be many good deals to be had in the future.

While it is generally not yet safe to travel airlines are selling heavily discounted tickets paired with free changes and cancellations. Normally we do not recommend making speculative airfare bookings. This unprecedented time in history is an exception. Many airlines are making flights fully refundable and waiving change fees as well. This makes the risk of booking and not flying quite low!

This blog has been quiet lately as we ran out of trip reports to publish. We are doing the right thing and staying home. Our entire backlog of content only got us thru the end of August 2020. Now that a vaccine is available we are looking towards the second half of 2021 where travel to some places could be possible (and safer) again.

We have been monitoring the travel industry news and the progress of mass vaccinations. We are a long way from herd immunity, but vaccines are getting more widespread each coming day and week. We now feel that booking flights far into the future (6+ months away) could be a wise move paired with cheap fares–sometimes even in premium cabins.

This also extends to award tickets using miles and points. All of the domestic U.S. carriers have permanently removed change fees on award tickets. Paired with nearly non-existent load factors we are seeing good availability to most destinations–including business class!

We are looking into and booking trips for late-summer 2021 and beyond. With free changes to the tickets we can simply move our dates further out if needed if our estimates of “openness” and safety are incorrect. We are largely booking award tickets to minimize cash outlay and utilize miles and points that are sitting idle anyway.

We encourage everyone to stay home until it is safe to travel. For us that means more than 6 months from now, maybe even longer. We are optimistic that vaccinations will continue to increase and even speed up over time. We do not want anyone to travel in the near future! Do your part and stay home until herd immunity is confirmed. Be safe!