Internet Travel With Context
March 29-April 4, 2020
Read all about it! Domestic travel is down more than 90 percent from last year. More states impose stay-at-home orders. The death toll in Italy and Spain continues to skyrocket. And doctors and nurses are scrambling for supplies to help Coronavirus patients--and protect themselves. Here's how we're covering it. The latest items are at the top. Read up from the bottom for context.

Coronavirus Update for April 4, 2020

We're running out of airlines to ground and airports and hotels to close and are down to nine states still so dumb that they haven't issued shelter-in-place rules. Here are the other developments:
        Hmmm.... The TSA screened 129,763 flyers yesterday, up more than 5,000 from Thursday.
        Three more states, all run by Republican governors, finally issued a form of stay-at-home rules. Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri fell in line. That leaves nine states, also run by GOP governors, as holdouts.
        JetBlue Airways says it expects around 7,000 passengers a day in April and May compared to its normal daily load of about 120,000. It says it is booking about $1 million in revenue a day.
        Delta Air Lines said it flew 38,000 passengers last Saturday, down from its normal load of about 600,000 flyers.
        London/Heathrow, which already cut back to operating just one of its two runways, is now closing terminals, too. Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 are closed. All flights operate from T2 or T5, the airport's newest facilities.
        Hyatt yesterday announced it extended elite status for World of Hyatt members and slowed the expiration of certain awards.

Coronavirus Update for April 3, 2020

Travel today in brief: Everything sucks. Here are the other developments:
        The Transportation Department pointedly reminded airlines that they must refund tickets on flights that the carriers cancelled. The announcement is here.
        U.S. passenger traffic falls even more. The TSA reports it screened 124,000 flyers yesterday, down from 2.4 million last year. If you're still keeping track, that's a 95 percent decline.
        But, wait, there's more ... Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific said it carried fewer than 600 passengers one day this week compared to its normal daily load of around 100,000. The South China Morning Post has the astounding details.
        Accor Hotels, the French lodging giant, says half of its 5,000 properties worldwide are closed.
        Delta Air Lines says it has extended the validity of vouchers issued for cancelled flights into 2022. The details are here. But remember: If Delta cancelled, you are legally entitled to a refund. Call your bank and demand a chargeback.
        Air Transat, which is trying to merge into Air Canada, has now grounded all flights as promised. It won't fly again in April.
        American Airlines says virtually all seasonal summer flights to Europe (about 25 routes) are now officially cancelled. Most new international routes won't launch on the dates originally announced and previously scheduled winter seasonal flights are delayed or cancelled. And the carrier is making even deeper cuts in its remaining flight operations.

Coronavirus Update for April 2, 2020

Who says there's no politics in a pandemic? Now that the Republican governors of Florida and Georgia have reluctantly shut down their states, reports 38 states now have instituted stay-at-home or shelter-in-place rules. The 12 remaining states are also run by GOP governors. Here are today's other developments:
        U.S. passenger traffic falls more. The TSA reports it screened 136,023 flyers yesterday, a larger decline than in previous days.
        Las Vegas Airport has closed the B and E Concourses.
        Frankfurt Airport next week consolidates all operations in Terminal 1.
        U.S. hotel occupancy fell to 22.6 percent for the week of March 22-28, according to STR, the lodging analysts.
        The Democratic Party delayed its 2020 national convention until mid-August. The event in Milwaukee was scheduled for mid-July. The Republican Party convention is still scheduled for what is now the week after the Democratic event.

Coronavirus Update for April 1, 2020

The news about airline and hotel shutdowns is slowing down. So are details of new stay-at-home orders. The only thing not slowing down? The Coronavirus death toll. Here are today's developments:
        U.S. passenger traffic leveling? The TSA reports it screened 146,000 flyers yesterday, down only around 8,000 from March 30. It's the smallest day-to-day decline since the pandemic began.
        Russia locks down. After denying it had any cases of Coronavirus at all, Russia is now under a nationwide stay-at-home order. The Duma passed laws making it a crime punishable by up to seven years for breaking the rules.
        Not April Fools. If current schedules hold, American, United and Delta collectively will fly fewer than two dozen international routes in April.
        Wimbledon, the premier event in professional tennis, has been cancelled.

Coronavirus Update for March 31, 2020

We're going down, down, down. Not into a burning ring of fire, a la Johnny Cash, but into a new world without flights and hotels. Yet we won't know it because we can't leave the house. Here are today's developments:
        U.S. passenger traffic continued falling yesterday. The TSA screened just 154,000 flyers, down from 2.3 million passengers on a similar day last year.
        Europe flights disappear. Eurocontrol says aircraft traffic fell 87 percent yesterday and there were 26,800 fewer flights, the largest one-day drop on record.
        British Airways ended flights at London/Gatwick airport. It already consolidated its shrinking Heathrow schedule into Terminal 5.
        Southwest Airlines, which was slow to cut its schedule, now says its flying in April and May will fall by 40 percent. That means 1,700 fewer daily flights.
        JetBlue Airways says its New York-area flying will be 80 percent below 2019 levels.
        Vermont ordered all hotels, motels and Airbnb-type lodging closed for the duration. Residents and visitors entering the state now must self-quarantine for 14 days.
        More stay-at-home orders issued. Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia--the so-called DMV--issued stay-at-home orders yesterday. Arizona and Tennessee also ordered residents to stay at home. Florida, however, only issued stay-at-home rules for Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Monroe counties. Kentucky now requires any resident leaving the state to submit to a 14-day self-quarantine when they return.

Coronavirus Update for March 30, 2020

As the travel network contracts and shuts down, you'll find all sorts of weird developments. Here are today's developments:
        U.S. passenger traffic declined 93 percent yesterday, according to statistics from the TSA. It screened 180,000 passengers yesterday compared to 2.5 million on a similar day last year.
        Global airline capacity is 50 percent of its size in mid-January, say schedulemeisters OAG. Twenty million seats were removed last week, the largest single-week decline in history, says OAG.
        Asia/Pacific airline traffic fell 43.9 percent in February compared to last year, according to the regional trade association.
        Hotels are shutting in bunches. With little business travel and virtually no leisure travel, hotels are suddenly unnecessary. Omni Hotels closed around two dozen of its properties yesterday, joining about 18 previously closed. Lowes Hotels has closed 19 properties. Ryman Hospitality, owner of the five Gaylord convention hotels, part of the Marriott chain, has closed them all, too.
        Texas today expands its self-quarantine rule to travelers arriving from Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami. All travelers from California and Washington States are also affected. The state previously ordered travelers arriving on nonstops from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to self-quarantine. Texas has also expanded the quarantine to all arrivals from Louisiana, not just New Orleans.
        Rhode Island says all out-of-state drivers on its major roads must go to designated rest areas and check in with state police. Rhode Island previously applied the policy only to New York State drivers.
        British Airways is consolidating all remaining flights in Terminal 5 of its London/Heathrow hub. At New York/Kennedy, BA has vacated Terminal 7--the one with its name on it--and moved into Terminal 8/9 with its Oneworld partners are housed.
        Air India has stopped all flying while India is in a 21-day lockdown.
        Easyjet, one of the two huge European discount carriers, is now totally shut down. Cabin crews have been furloughed for two months and the carrier says it has no idea when it will fly again.

Coronavirus Update for March 29, 2020

President Trump is fighting with state governors again. He promises 100,000 ventilators in 100 days. He threatens a Metro New York quarantine before changing his mind. Meanwhile, anyone seen a drive-thru testing center in the parking lot of a big-box store? Here are today's developments:
        Canada says travelers who exhibit signs of the Coronavirus will not be allowed to travel on domestic trains and flights. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the ban will start Monday.
        North Carolina will be under a stay-at-home order as of 5 p.m. Monday. Governor Roy Cooper says the order "has the force of law."
        London/Gatwick consolidates all operations into its South Terminal effective April 1.
        Passenger volume continues to plummet. The TSA says it screened 184,000 passengers at U.S. airports yesterday, down from 2.17 million a year ago. Meanwhile, Eurocontrol handled 3,85 commercial aircraft yesterday, down 85 percent from last year.
        China domestic flight service is bouncing back. Its year-on-year capacity is now down just 8 percent after a total shutdown of the sector earlier this year. Details are here.
        Bergamo's biological bomb? Was a football match the superspreader of the Coronavirus in Northern Italy? Could be, some researchers say.

Coronavirus Update for March 21-28, 2020

The new "new normal"? International transit airports barring transit passengers. U.S. states demanding arrivals from other U.S. states quarantine themselves on arrival. U.S. passenger volume dropping by 90 percent in a matter of days. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for the day-to-day details.

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.