Airlines, hotels, transportation companies and anyone in the tourism industry are taking extreme precautions to make sure travelers are safe. The simple truth is that many places rely on tourism to keep their economies afloat. It is predicted that by the end of 2020 there will be just over 100 million jobs lost globally in the tourism and travel market alone (Statista). People rely on these jobs and income, so they are going to do everything they possibly can to make sure they retain their positions. This begins with making sure customers are happy, and the key to this right now is safety. If a hotel receives bad press in regards to COVID-19 cases it could be detrimental. Therefore every company has increased their measures. From touches check-in to increased sanitary measures in public areas, social distancing throughout properties to required masks, and hand sanitizer everywhere you look they’ve got you covered, for your health and theirs.
A huge factor in your decision may not be where you stay or where you go, but getting there. The airlines have constantly been improving regulations and policies to make sure passengers are safe and to offer a desirable experience. With everyone on edge right now they want to be able to put you at ease.
This last week our C.O.O. David de L’Arbre, was invited to visit the United terminal at LAX. He was included in a small group tour that went through each step of extra sanitization and precautions the airline is taking to make sure their passengers are safe. The [masked] group was escorted on the tarmac and through an airplane to watch the sanitization and cleaning process of the aircraft. The cleaning staff uses electrostatic spraying to clean the seats after/before each and every flight. In the cockpit in order to make sure moisture does not get into the controls, the area is cleaned with UV light. Each airplane has installed HEPA filters which remove 99.97% of airborne particles shown here. All passengers and crew are required to wear masks at all times, except for eating and drinking.
In an honest answer when asked by his staff David who has been quarantining at home 95% of the time, if he would feel comfortable taking a trip right now, he simply shook his head yes. He then elaborated, explaining from his point of view that there is really nothing else the airline can do to make the flight cleaner and safer. Every surface was disinfected, the transition through the airport was seamless and socially distant and above all, he felt comfortable. The only drawback for him would be wearing a mask for several hours. However many of us are already used to this, depending on jobs and other obligations.
Our biggest piece of advice would be to come prepared. Check CDC guidelines, see what are the best precautions you can take prior to and during travel for your health and others. Wear a mask and a face shield for extra protection and peace of mind, bring hand sanitizer and a travel pack of disinfectant wipes (spray sanitizer is also very useful for wiping down phones, keys, handles, seats, etc). Bring a few snacks and a reusable water bottle that you can fill up after TSA (many airports have touches sensor filling stations). The airports are not busy right now so it is very easy to distance yourself from others, and on the bright side, TSA is a breeze! Even when you walk up to show your ID or passport that interaction is touchless as well. There are also PPE vending machines throughout the airport in case you need a backup.
Each destination has different protocols, some places and airlines require negative COVID-19 test results, if you need help finding a clinic for a test, contact a travel agent. Many destinations in the Caribbean are open to U.S. travelers, for specifics on what you need to enter, your agent can provide answers. We receive the latest information, which is constantly changing. We will make sure you are covered and don’t have to worry. So if you’re interested in sneaking in an end of summer vacation, visiting a relative, or traveling for business we will provide you with all the information to make an educated decision.