Phobic Traveller: Challenges and Innovation in the Travel Industry

Phobic Traveller: Challenges and Innovation in the Travel Industry
May 20, 2020

The 21st century has once again ushered a new age in travel.

First, the World Wide Web made the creation of travel websites sites so easy that phobic travellers had their own runway to competitive choice. This became an oasis of inexpensive air fares, that would fly you anywhere, anytime. Soon it became an electronic, paperless realm, with an app on your smartphone. You were checked in, and you just had to get  to the airport complete security, and take that flight.

Then, along came 9/11 and with it heightened security, which at the time was very intense but after 20 years the world has adjusted.

Now we have COVID-19. It’s created a new challenge that could last another 20 years. Thus begins a new chapter in the history of travel, to the dismay of phobic travellers everywhere.

Travel agents will now include special assistance as a new feature in their post COVID roles, especially for their corporate travellers. There will be a duty of care with in-depth guidance and check lists galore. This will make the reservation process lengthier.

The demand for travel will not be great initially. As confidence creeps back, air fares will be reshaped, and rise. The phobic traveller will now be worrying that travel will no longer be as affordable.

Airlines will use strategy when choosing their aircraft, and retire older models. They will replace them with a more modern and cost effect fleet. This will help them revitalise and kick start their new financial model.

It will be a tough struggle, but the tide will turn slowly.

The phobic traveller will be twitching and panicking, as the old way of travel becomes a distant memory.

A new era of post-COVID travel may see Airports ask travellers for immunity passports. Security checks will take place with much sanitation.

‘Manage My Booking’ tools may be rebranded to supply post-COVID, pre-flight additional guidance. We are certain that we will see the creation of travel assist COVID-apps which you can download on your smart phone, reducing the stress and worry in the new age of travel.

This will be great support for phobic travellers everywhere.

All airlines already introduced checked and unchecked bag fare types, and post-COVID travel may see a limitation on cabin bags.

Airfares will restructured for a host of reasons. Will we return to an age when only the rich could afford to travel extensively?

The UK Foreign Office currently advises against all non-essential travel. You can check border controls for all countries on the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

The UK Government has announced from next month arrivals in the UK will face a 14-day quarantine this will include returning British holiday makers, with a possible air bridge to exclude Australia and Greece where COVID has been low. This could be very traumatic for the phobic traveller.

Right now it is twilight zone – reality hasn’t quite sunk in. We we are in speculation mode.Are  you ready to take to a runway and travel again soon?

Stay tuned to more editions of Travel in the Covid Zone.

More information:

Read: Phobic Traveller: The What, When & How of COVID-19 Travel

Study Guide: Epidemics Throughout The Ages

Read: Tips For Coping During Lockdown

Neda Dorudi for the Forensic Traveller

Main image: Departures Terminal 5, London Heathrow Airport, Andrew Milligan Sumo, Flickr Creative Commons

Phobic Traveller: The What, When & How of COVID-19 Travel

Phobic Traveller: The What, When & How of COVID-19 Travel
May 6, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and it’s temporary freeze on travel is proving to be an enormous worry for the world’s Phobic Travellers.

Never in the history of travel in the 20th and 21st centuries have we seen such a major decline in travel – thousands of aircraft parked without a destination to fly to. Not even during The Gulf War or 9/11 was there such a dip. It is fair to say that right now we have a frozen industry.

For many who have booked their summer vacations, and hope for a refund, there will be further disappointment, as cash strapped airlines and travel companies cling on to their cash reserves which are paramount to their very survival. Many will only refund by giving their customers vouchers for future travel.

The Phobic Travellers among us will experience very dark days, weeks and even possibly months ahead. The are many recurring questions: What if I don’t get my refund, or a voucher?;  What if my voucher expires before I can travel again?; When will it be safe to travel?

The truth is none of us know when travel will take off again. It may not be until the end of this year. For the Phobic Traveller, everything right now is a weight of worry. Will people regain their confidence to travel again?  

When movement is unlocked, the desire to see the world will hopefully overcome anxieties. But for the moment we can only escape from lockdown by dreaming of sandy beaches and sunny days ahead.

Feeling deflated? Watch Travelling in the 70’s for some good, old fashioned fun!

In one rather dystopian fell swoop, air fares will increase, security and health checks will morph into a 4 hour process and will become the new norm. Masks will be mandatory when flying and meals may no longer be offered.

On the upside, the rejection and subsequent reduction in this kind of travel could be great news for the environment. How many aircraft have you seen in a clean and clear sky recently? Greta Thunberg has recently called for a “new way forward” upon the end of the pandemic — is this what she has in mind?

Future forward decisions aside, budget airline Wizz Air has just started its operations again and we are certain many others will follow.

For airlines, it will be the survival of the strongest. Of the carriers who make it out the other side, how many will introspectively assess the vulnerabilities of their businesses? Global economic disasters always expose fragility, especially in cash-flow and supply chains.

However, for survivors, there will be ample opportunities for airlines to entice twitchy customers with imaginative deals to encourage them to book and fly away to to far away lands. To say the world deserves a holiday is a huge understatement! 

But for the Phobic Traveller the questions will multiply. Reassurance will be the key to close the door on nervous and worrying thoughts.

Stay tuned for more encouraging updates on the re-emergence of travel as we once knew.

More information:

Study Guide: Epidemics Throughout The Ages

Read: Tips For Coping During Lockdown

Neda Dorudi for The Forensic Traveller

Main image: Dublin Airport, Sean MacEntee, Flickr Creative Commons

Oktoberfest Becomes Latest Travel Industry Victim

Oktoberfest Becomes Latest Travel Industry Victim
April 22, 2020

The world-famous 210 year old Bavarian beer festival has been cancelled this year due to concerns over the continued spread of coronavirus.

It is the biggest annual tourist attraction in Germany, drawing 6 million global visitors a year, and employing some 13,000 staff.

Read: Oom-pah and Ale: The Oktoberfest Beer Festival

While some lockdown restrictions have been slightly relaxed in parts of the country this week, German authorities have banned all large events until at least August 31 in a bid to avoid a second wave of infections towards the end of the summer. Due to the nature of the event – festival goers are seated in very close proximity and the consumption of alcohol is thought to cause diminished regard for social distancing — the organisers had already indicated that the event might not go ahead.

Bavarian officials, have expressed regret that the businesses who take part in the festivities will lose out financially. It is reported that last year’s revenue amounted to around 1 billion euros.

The Oktoberfest started in 1810 on 12 October, as a celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, and was due to take place from 19 September to 4 October this year.

Read: Top 5 things to see and do in Munich

Meanwhile, in the UK, Home Sercretary Michael Gove has warned that the hospitality industry, most notably pubs and bars, will be of the last to see restrictions lifted levaing some businesses attempting to prepare for closures lasting until Christmas.

In the USA, of the states where lockdown rules are being relaxed, bars, nightclubs and restaurants will also be among the last businesses to see restrictions lifted.

More information:

Study Guide: A Short History Of Beer

Watch: The Story of Beer

Read: Wine Sales Are Booming

Read: Tips For Coping During Lockdown

 Main image: Munich, Germany. Oktoberfest, Polybert49, Flickr Creative Commons