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Discussion Starter #181
[QUOTE="Longtimeago, post: 2089030, member: 349718"

The only real way to avoid paying in advance these days is to book a flight on the day of departure.
Even then, my experience has been in recent years, in various parts of the world, you still must pay in advance to be assured you'll get on. For example, if you call at 10 a.m. and say to the airline that you want a seat on the 2 p.m. flight to Oxdrift, the airline will not hold a seat for you until you show up with cash in hand at boarding time. You will be required to pay with a credit card to get a confirmed booking. At least, that has been my experience. At the same time, I must say it has never occurred to me to resist paying in advance on the day of travel. But I suspect that if I told the airline that I'll wait to pay until I get to the ticket counter, I'll be told my reservation won't be guaranteed. And I am not sure I would consider the airline to be behaving badly in that circumstance.
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Yes, I suppose I should have written show up at the airport and then book and pay for a seat on the next flight leaving for Oxdrift. ie. in the next 14 minutes or so.

I don' think the airline would even register a booking on their computer if you did not pay at time of booking. I wonder what they would say if you called and said, 'any seats on your 2pm flight to Oxbrift? Yes, OK, reserve one for me and I will pay cash when I get to the airport.' Probably can't be done these days.

Not all progress is in fact progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #182
This article raises some interesting points re future travel. Things we might not tend to think about in terms of the effects and who and how they will be affected.

I see the Air Canada 20,000 layoffs as a clear indication of what they expect to happen in terms of travel for the next few years. I don't think a lot of people realize just how impacted travel is going to be for a few years. When we read that cruise bookings are up 600%, those people obviously think it is going to be 'back to normal' sometime soon.

Another lay off that indicates what we can expect is the Vancouver Airport layoff of 25% of their workforce based on what they expect to happen over the next 3 years.

I also think that as some countries ease up on travel, some are tightening up on visitors who arrive. The UK is announcing a 14 day quarantine period for all international travellers arriving in the country and that includes almost all business travellers as well as tourists.
So just because an airline will let someone book a seat on a flight doesn't mean it will make any sense to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #184
Some latest news on future travel.

Some interesting questions and answers here:

This provides an interesting read from Rick Steves.
 

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We do not have enough information to even begin making travel plans. I suspect that we will not be going anywhere until next spring but who really knows. Things are getting better but some health experts are expecting a second wave of the virus in the September time frame. So we are not making any plans nor are we giving dime one to any travel provider until we are comfortable. Nor do we know what travel vendors will even be in business by the time this shakes out.

Like most people we will sit tight, stay safe, ignore the politicians, ignore the media hype, and wait this thing out. Not much else we can do. We do not see much point in speculation given that this is an entirely new challenge for all of us.
 

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Discussion Starter #186
We do not have enough information to even begin making travel plans. I suspect that we will not be going anywhere until next spring but who really knows. Things are getting better but some health experts are expecting a second wave of the virus in the September time frame. So we are not making any plans nor are we giving dime one to any travel provider until we are comfortable. Nor do we know what travel vendors will even be in business by the time this shakes out.

Like most people we will sit tight, stay safe, ignore the politicians, ignore the media hype, and wait this thing out. Not much else we can do. We do not see much point in speculation given that this is an entirely new challenge for all of us.
It's a good point about what travel vendors will even be in business ian. Hertz has filed for bankruptcy.

Not all their problems are related to Covid19 but it was obviously the straw that broke the camel's back. There may well be many other travel related businesses that we tend to think of as 'big and solid', who will also be gone in the next couple of years.

I think your guesstimate of next spring for travel may be optomistic unless you change your outlook on risk aversion or we have a vaccine.

One funny thing is that there are in fact safe places to go where there are zero cases and even in some cases have never had a single case since day one. The risk is actually to those living there if they allow tourism, not to the tourist going there. If we had a 'beam me up Scotty' mode of transport, I'd risk going to some of those places right now. It would in fact reduce our risk vs. staying where where we are!
 

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Discussion Starter #187
Well I suppose I have to admire Air Canada for trying. But that's all I will be doing.

I got an e-mail from them today linking to this:

So they are trying to get people to book by saying they are upgrading their cleaning and if you book and later decide to cancel they will give you a voucher that doesn't expire. They will NOT however give you a refund.

So they may get some suckers who will optimistically book and then only realize later on that it still isn't time to be flying anywhere if you don't have to.

Consensus seems to be that in the near future the airlines will be offering low prices to try and get bookings but in the longer term prices will rise to make up for having to fly with emptier planes.
 

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The airline schedules three months to a year out are far from solid. They may show 10 flights a day from x to y. You may make a reservation on the flight that you prefer. But, as the date approaches, the airline may well consolidate that schedule down to 3, 4, whatever. You are somewhat caught. You may get a refund but flight costs have increased. So you just may have to take that flight change. It may no longer be a direct flight or at a time of your preference. Let alone the seat preference that you may have already paid for!
 

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Well I suppose I have to admire Air Canada for trying. But that's all I will be doing.

I got an e-mail from them today linking to this:

So they are trying to get people to book by saying they are upgrading their cleaning and if you book and later decide to cancel they will give you a voucher that doesn't expire. They will NOT however give you a refund.

So they may get some suckers who will optimistically book and then only realize later on that it still isn't time to be flying anywhere if you don't have to.

Consensus seems to be that in the near future the airlines will be offering low prices to try and get bookings but in the longer term prices will rise to make up for having to fly with emptier planes.
I think those non-expiring vouchers will be unlikely to survive a bankruptcy. Most airlines will be gone within a few years. I still predict no workable vaccine, ever, and there will always be a "second wave", then a third, etc. So international travel will be largely a quaint relic, relegated to the dustbin of history.

As for "emptier planes", I think President Emirates says it well. Ain't gonna' fly:

 

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When we are in Europe or Asia we often fly on the low cost carriers. They seem to fly to many places that the nationals do not. We anticipate that some of them will be gone by the time of our next trip. And....either those destinations will disappear from flight schedules, flight offerings will be greatly decreased, and the fares substantially increased. In Greece last fall we we had several flights that were as little as $25-35 CAD for an hour of flight. Same in SE Asia and Australia (with jetstar) for the previous five winters.

No way we plan to book flights on any airline at the moment and when we do it certainly won't be more than 30 days in advance....probably more like 10-14.
 

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Discussion Starter #191
There is no doubt that air travel is going to be changed forever after this. The one good thought my wife and I have is that if we never get to fly somewhere again, we have had more than our fair share of travel to distant parts in the past.

I think of someone who was near to retirement when the virus arrived and who had big plans for travel in their retirement. Perhaps having never done much travel in the past but anticipating doing a lot in their future. Those plans and dreams may never be realized now.

We don't want to never be able to travel again but if that is what is, at least we have our memories of past travel.
 

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Discussion Starter #192
So now Westjet and Air Canada have both announced that starting July 1, they will no longer be keeping middle seats empty to provide some distancing. Money trumps health once again.

Argue as they will that they are taking all kinds of measures to insure our safety, the reality is that if you are seated right next to another person for hours on end, your risk is increased. There is no way to deny that reality and yet they sure are trying to do so.

I understand why they are making this decision, the reality is they simply cannot fly a plane with even 1/3rd less passengers and hope to make a profit. So their choice is don't fly or have the passengers take an increase in risk however small or large that risk turns out to be.

But I do somewhat resent them trying to say it will be safe. Just once I would like to see a company tell the truth about what they are doing and why. Imagine them issuing a statement saying, 'we can't fly without making a profit so we are asking you to accept an increase in risk to your safety if you want to fly. It's your choice to make.'

In other news related to this, the EU is preparing to put out a list of countries they are going to open up to visitors from. Canada is likely to be included on that list. This raises some interesting questions for the Canadian who wants to travel and is willing to take the risks of doing so.

Will you be able to get travel insurance that covers Covid-19?
What rules will apply re quarantine, etc. for the country/ies you wish to visit?
Currently, on your return to Canada you would need to quarantine for 14 days. Will that rule remain in place or will our government change it for those returning from EU countries?
 

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I understand why they are making this decision, the reality is they simply cannot fly a plane with even 1/3rd less passengers and hope to make a profit.
I'm sure there is some highly complex math they could use to figure out seat cost for a plane that is only 2/3 full. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #194
I'm sure there is some highly complex math they could use to figure out seat cost for a plane that is only 2/3 full. :)
Yes, off course they could but the result would be a price that not many would be willing to pay. So that would just result in them going out of business in the end as well.

They really have no choice. Don't fly or ask the passenger to accept the risk. Oh no wait a minute, they aren't asking us to accept the risk, they're trying to tell us they've got the risk covered for us. Believe that and I'll tell you about a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell to you.
 

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Yes, off course they could but the result would be a price that not many would be willing to pay. So that would just result in them going out of business in the end as well.
Not so sure that would be the case, I mean look at the prices discount airlines were charging (pre-pandemic) compared to regular airlines ... super cheap. Even regular airlines were not that expensive so I don't think a moderate rise in prices would kill them. But of course they'll make more money on a full plane and if the health regulations let them, why wouldn't they do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #196 (Edited by Moderator)
Not so sure that would be the case, I mean look at the prices discount airlines were charging (pre-pandemic) compared to regular airlines ... super cheap. Even regular airlines were not that expensive so I don't think a moderate rise in prices would kill them. But of course they'll make more money on a full plane and if the health regulations let them, why wouldn't they do it.
The key there is your use of the word 'moderate'. Simple math would tell you if you reduce your seats by 33% then you would need to increase prices by 33%. Do you consider a 33% rise in prices as being 'moderate'? I doubt most would agree with that.
 

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The key there is your use of the word 'moderate'. Simple math would tell you if you reduce your seats by 33% then you would need to increase prices by 33%. Do you consider a 33% rise in prices as being 'moderate'? I doubt most would agree with that.
In some cases yes ... Last cheap flight I booked (swoop) was close to $100 each way so changing it to $133 each way would not be a problem.

Add: Even booking a westjet flight at $300 going to say $400 is not likely going to stop someone from flying.
 

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We are watching the numbers. Looking at meeting up with UK travel friends in Crete. We can fly direct to Athens and ferry hop down. They are doing the same. If not fall, then spring. Could also be Morocco. One thing for certain, we will not be buying any air until the week we decide and depart. Very iffy at this point in time. Spouse is skeptical-especially on the Morocco part.
 

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Discussion Starter #199
In some cases yes ... Last cheap flight I booked (swoop) was close to $100 each way so changing it to $133 each way would not be a problem.
Try booking a flight to Europe for $100 cainvest. You are thinking in small terms, I think in bigger terms.

A typical flight to Switzerland for my wife and I runs $3000+ for both of us. Change that to $4000 and see if it doesn't discourage some people.

Westjet and Air Canada aren't going to stay in business long if all they have is people booking $100 flights.
 

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Try booking a flight to Europe for $100 cainvest. You are thinking in small terms, I think in bigger terms.

A typical flight to Switzerland for my wife and I runs $3000+ for both of us. Change that to $4000 and see if it doesn't discourage some people.

Westjet and Air Canada aren't going to stay in business long if all they have is people booking $100 flights.
Of course the price will different for europe and if you're really concerned about that price, fly economy class! :)
 
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