Delta CEO Ed Bastian believes that people are ready to “reclaim” their lives and start traveling again.
Delta CEO Says People Are Ready To Reclaim Their Lives By Booking Travel
Speaking to Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News, Bastian proclaimed:
“As the case counts are coming down … and the vaccinations are starting to grow, people are ready to reclaim their lives. And, we’re seeing bookings pick up. … They’re ready to reclaim that lost period.”
The interview was brought to my attention by Bill Murphy, Jr. of INC. Get past his nauseatingly signature click-bait headline and you get a fair point. Interpreting Bastian’s message, Murphy says:
We shouldn’t just lick our wounds and try to return to some semblance of the lives before.
Instead, we should live with a vengeance. Do the things we would have done, and then some. Make up for lost time, because we’ve all had a reminder of just how little time we get.
If my travel this week is any indicator, we are seeing that already. Packed airports. Packed planes. And a sense that people have settled into a new coexistence with the virus.
It would not only be dangerous, but absurd to look at the latest numbers (still about 50,000 new cases per day in the USA) and declare the pandemic over. Hopefully our aggressive vaccine rollout this year will prevent a third wave, but let’s not forget that all of our waves have followed European waves and case numbers are not trending in the right direction throughout much of Western Europe (and India and Brazil).
But whether we go back into lockdown or not (and frankly, I think there is no more will for further lockdown measures), that feeling of wanting to “reclaim” our lives and start traveling again will not go away. In fact, it will only intensify.
And I think that is a good thing. There are so many discretionary trips I could have taken before eat pandemic but did not. And now I cannot. Air France A380 anyone? Korean Air 747-8?
But it is about so much more than that. My parents are advancing in age. So is my uncle. I want to travel with them again. I want to spend more time with them. Because looking back over the last year, a lost year for me in many respects, those cherished moments with loved ones helped to keep me going and gave me immense satisfaction and delight.
Life is not about self-indulgence, but giving to others. One of the best human avenues for giving to others is via travel.
Bastian is right. We are ready to reclaim our lives. The word “reclaim” is absolutely on-point. When it comes to travel, I don’t just expect a rebound, but a full-on surge in demand to make up for lost time. As long we can do that somewhat safely, I’m excited about the opportunity.