Internet Travel With Context
March 22-March 28, 2020
Read all about it! The new normal? International transit airports barring transit passengers. U.S. states demanding arrivals from other U.S. states quarantine themselves on arrival. U.S. passsenger volume dropping by 90 percent in a matter of days. Here's how we're covering it. New items are at the top; read up from the bottom for full context.

Coronavirus Update for March 28, 2020

Here is your snapshot: The TSA says it screened 199,644 passengers yesterday (Friday, March 27). That's the lowest number in a decade and compares to 2.5 million flyers one year earlier. Meanwhile, Eurocontrol says it handled 2,921 flights yesterday, down from 22,237 a year earlier. Here are today's other developments:
        Convention halls become hospitals. The Javits Center in New York will open as a 1,000-bed hospital on Monday. Now comes word that McCormick Place in Chicago will be converted into a 3,000-bed facility before the end of April.
        More states erect internal barriers. Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who wouldn't close his beaches during spring break, began the trend by creating travel rules for visitors from the New York tri-state area. Now several states are imposing similar bans. Politico wonders about the legality--and why President Trump hasn't acted nationally.
        Turkey has cancelled all international flights and imposed a travel ban on 30 cities, including Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
        France has extended its nationwide lockdown for at least two more weeks, until April 15. It began on March 17.
        Royal Jordanian has extended its shutdown until at least April 30.
        African carriers are beginning to crumble under the effects of the Coronavirus. Air Namibia and TAAG Angola are shutting down for the duration.

Coronavirus Update for March 27, 2020

Coronavirus death and infection rates are soaring nationwide, but Dr. Trump says hospitals couldn't possibly need more ventilators than they had before. Here are today's developments:
        Airports are empty. The TSA says it screened 203,000 passengers nationwide on Wednesday. That's down more than more than 90 percent from last year and 84 percent from 10 days ago.
        El Al is stopping all flights until April 4. Expect a longer closure, however.
        American Airlines has deepened its flight cuts. For April, domestic capacity will be down as much as 70 percent. For May, domestic capacity will be down up to 80 percent. International capacity for both months will be down upwards of 90 percent.
        Texas has joined Florida in requiring visitors from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to register and self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival in the state. Visitors from New Orleans must also self-quarantine. But visitors are only subject to the quarantine if they arrive on a nonstop flight. Because Texas apparently thinks the Coronavirus doesn't arrive by car or connecting flight.
        Australia this weekend will require all travelers to submit to mandatory 14-day quarantine at the place of arrival in accommodations designated by the arrival city. This new rule applies to visitors and residents who arrive in Australia at a different city than where they live.
        China, where the Coronavirus was first identified, is now barring all foreigners and temporarily suspending their visas. Meanwhile, aviation authorities have decided that each Chinese airline will be allowed to fly only one weekly roundtrip to one city per country. Load factors cannot exceed 75 percent. International carriers still serving China will be subject to the same rules.
        The Lanesborough hotel, one of London's most-revered properties, closed yesterday for the duration.

Coronavirus Update for March 26, 2020

Traffic at U.S. airports fell below 240,000 passengers yesterday, according to TSA statistics. That's nearly a 90 percent decline. Here are today's developments:
        Colorado and Idaho now have some form of stay-at-home orders.
        Alaska Airlines is slashing capacity by 70 percent in April and May. It had earlier projected only a 10 percent cut.
        Miami Airport has closed Concourse G due to falling traffic.
        More airlines shut down. Among the carriers grounding themselves are: Pacific Coastal, the Canadian regional carrier (until May 2); Copa Airlines (until at least April 21); Ukraine International (until April 3); and Winair of St. Maarten (until April 6).
        Malaysia Airlines has extended its national lockdown until at least April 14.

Coronavirus Update for March 25, 2020

Traffic at U.S. airports fell below 300,000 passengers yesterday, according to TSA statistics. The system is shutting down in front of our eyes. Here are today's developments:
        London/City Airport closes tonight until at least the end of April.
        President Trump and other government officials are not eligible for federal bailout funds--at least according to language in the current legislation. That means Trump Hotels--most of which have closed--would not receive any funding. The Washington Post has the details.
        Waffle House, the Southern fast-food chain so reliable in dangerous times that FEMA created an informal index, is bowing to the Coronavirus. It has shut more than 400 of its nearly 2,000 restaurants.
        Europe flights are rapidly disappearing. Eurocontrol says it handled just 6,268 flights yesterday, down 77 percent compared to last year.
        Chicago hotels are preparing to convert to makeshift hospitals. The Associated Press has a video report.
        Airlines scramble for jet parking. Where do you store a plane when you ground it? The Los Angeles Times reports on where airlines are ditching the planes and how they are scouring the planet for options.

Coronavirus Update for March 24, 2020

The Tokyo Olympics, scheduled for late July, has now been delayed for a year. So we're in this for the long haul. Don't kid yourselves. Here are today's developments:
        Florida now requires arrivals from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days. The restriction begins today. The executive order from Governor Ron DeSantis is here.
        Domestic airline traffic has plunged. Only 330,000 flyers were screened by the TSA yesterday compared to 2.4 million travelers on a similar day last year.
        Emirates and Etihad shut down all flights tomorrow local time. The closure required due to the two-week flight ban orderd by the United Arab Emirates.
        Austrian Airlines has extended its grounding until at least April 19.
        More stay-at-home orders. Michigan, Denver, Georgia, South Africa and the United Kingdom are among the places adding or tightening restrictions on non-essential businesses, general commerce and other functions of daily life.
        Brazil airlines are shutting down operations. Both Gol and Azul are pulling down more than 90 percent of capacity.
        India is shutting down all domestic flights and rail service until the end of the month.
        Ryanair, Europe's largest carrier, says it does not expect to operate any flights in April or May.
        French hotels have an occupancy rate of less than 4 percent, according to lodging analyst STR.

Coronavirus Update for March 23, 2020

We all may not be separating enough personally, but countries are making sure they are coming off the grid and keeping people away from them. Here are today's developments:
        Hong Kong will bar all visitors except from Macao and Taiwan. This includes transit passengers. With both Hong Kong and Singapore essentially barring connecting passengers, Seoul/Incheon is the last major airport of any side if you need to travel in Asia.
        Emirates reversed a decision to ground all flights and will now keep some international links to its Dubai hub.
        McDonald's has closed all its restaurants in Britain and Ireland. That includes take-out and drive-thru.
        Greece has gone into lockdown. Meanwhile, Italy, France and Spain have tightened existing restrictions. Germany has banned all gatherings of more than two people except for families.
        Ohio and Louisiana have now ordered statewide versions of stay-at-home rules.
        Europe airline capacity to the United States is down 71 percent as of Sunday (March 22). Systemwide, Eurocontrol handled just 7,536 flights yesterday, a 72 percent year-on-year decline.

Coronavirus Update for March 22, 2020

There are few enough flights remaining and now airports are beginning to ban connecting transit passengers, too. Here are today's developments:
        Hawaii has ordered mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for all arriving passengers. The rule goes into effect on Thursday and affects both residents and visitors.
        Emirates Airline is shutting down all passenger flights by Wednesday (March 25). Until a few days ago, Emirates and the other Gulf carriers had been maintaining almost full service.
        United Airlines has restored a few international flights through April to facilitate the return of U.S. citizens. That includes flights to Frankfurt, London/Heathrow and Sydney.
        Asian airports barring transit passengers. Singapore, which already has 14-day quarantine rules for arrivals, is now banning transit passengers at Changi Airport. Ditto Taipei, which will also bar flyers en route to another destination.
        India has banned all incoming international flights for a week.
        London/Heathrow lounges are closing as airlines and third-party operators adjust to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new rules on group locations.

Coronavirus Update for March 15-21, 2020

Read all about it! The world is closing--and we watch in personal and transportation isolation. Countries are closing borders, airlines are all but shut and hotels are putting the keys in the door. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for March 8-14, 2020

Read all about it! Italy, Spain, France and Israel shut down. Other countries close their borders as the United States preps for what's to come. The Trump Administration botches the roll out of a ban on "all travel from Europe." U.S. carriers begin cutting service to the bone. Here's how it's happening. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for March 1-7, 2020

Read all about it! Italy emerges as the new Coronavirus hotspot so airlines begin making huge service cuts there. Meanwhile, Chinese airlines resume some flying. The chief rabbi of Israel says don't kiss the mezuzah. The travel industry starts tallying the financial damage. Here's how it's happening. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for February 15-29, 2020

Read all about it! The Coronavirus spreads around the globe. Japan, South Korea and Italy are hit hard and airlines quickly drop their flights. Tourism disappears and companies begin telling employees to curtail business travel. The Tokyo Summer Olympics may be threatened. Airlines begin rolling out gimmicky fee waivers to nervous flyers. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for February 1-14, 2020

Read all about it! The spread of the Coronavirus is still mostly affecting mainland China, but Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are losing flights and visitors, too. As Chinese tourists stay home, however, the travel industry learns how much they mean to airline traffic, cruise ships and hotels. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for January 23-31, 2020

Read all about it! As the Coronavirus worsens, airlines have reacted by slashing service to Hong Kong and mainland China. Retailers and food-service giants such as McDonald's are closing locations, too. And neighboring countries are closing their borders. Click here for the day-to-day details.