What will next year look like? How about next month? Or next week? Will we contain COVID-19? How much will it destroy the world economy?
Short and honest answer: we don’t know.
Are You Panning Travel Or Just Dreaming About It?
While the status of travel in the short-term and even long-term remain up in the air, I am dreaming about all the places I’ll go, but I’m not actually planning specifics.
I did take advantage of the cheap Air France First Class fares from Algeria…maybe I’ll dedicate a post to that after the dust has settled. But that was a very exceptional circumstance and I’m not looking into the details yet (like visas, hotels, or side trips to Libya). To assume that everything will be back to normal so I can go to Cuba and fly the IL-96 or fly from Copenhagen to Greenland after visiting the Faroe Islands this summer is too speculative at this point. In fact, I’m not even booking my Christmas travel to Germany yet…it may be that I’ll still be locked up in California.
I don’t think so. I hope not. But airlines like Lufthansa and United–my two go-to airlines–don’t exactly incentivize bookings when they won’t even (expeditiously) refund tickets for cancelled flights.
And even once flights resume borders may not re-open.
All of this puts me in a strange position, a position I’ve never been in since I started traveling regularly over 15 years ago. We are seeing airlines destruct before our eyes, with load factors that make continued operations, even at reduced levels, simply unsustainable. I’m not counting on anything returning to “status quo” at this point.
I still have quite a nest egg of miles and I wonder if some of them will still be valid once this is all said and done (I’m looking at you Korean Air). But I cannot bring myself to book a speculative trip, even in 2021, since I really don’t know how much our world will change…or indeed what financial position I will be in once this plague finally passes.
I’m dreaming about Singapore Suites, Korean Air Kosmo Suites 2.0, and even being barked at in American Airlines first class. But despite many great deals right now, I’m holding back on pulling the trigger.
How about you? Are you in the dreaming phase or actively in the planning phase?