Internet Travel With Context
August 30-September 5, 2020
Read all about it! The United States has now passed 6 million confirmed cases and 182,000 185,000 188,000 dead. That's about 24 percent of the global cases and 20 percent of the death toll. We are 4 percent of the world's population. Meanwhile, more and more 2021 events are cancelled as travel dials back from a brief summer "high." Latest items are at the top. Read up from the bottom for context.

Coronavirus Update for September 5, 2020

Happy Labor Day Weekend. Remember when Vice President Pence suggested the virus would be "behind us" by Memorial Day? Good times. Here are today's other developments:
        The ultimate indignity The Coronavirus began in Wuhan, China, and it required extraordinary measures by the already repressive Chinese government to get it under control. (We still don't have any reliable death and infection numbers.) But now with the virus raging out of control here in the United States, China is demanding U.S. visitors produce a negative test within three days of boarding a flight. The rule is effective starting September 15. The Chinese Embassy site has the details.
        Depressing double dip Spain and France both fought massive Coronavirus outbreaks in the spring. And now the virus is back. Both countries yesterday reported record-high numbers of new cases for a single day. For Spain, it was 10,476 new infections. For France, just under 9,000 new cases.
        Kaumaha Hawaii locked down hard at the first sign of Coronavirus and even shut down its crucial tourism industry. It didn't work. Politico.com has the kaumaha (sad) details.
        No travel, no euros The World Travel & Tourism Council, the global trade group, continues to churn out depressing numbers about the effect of the virus on travel. The tourism shortfall will cost France 48 billion euros by the end of the year. Italy's hit could be 37 billion euros by the end of the year.

Coronavirus Update for September 4, 2020

The University of Washington's IHME model, often referenced by the White House, now estimates 410,000 dead from Coronavirus by January 1. That's more than double the current death toll. Reuters has the details. Here are today's other developments:
        How far have we come? The TSA says 877,698 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday. That's a tenfold increase from 87,534 on the pandemic low point of April 14 and 41.5 percent of 2019 volume.
        United Airlines says it will fly 40 percent of its 2019 schedule in October. That is up from 34 percent of its 2019 schedule in September.
        Hotel occupancy in the United States fell for the second consecutive week, according to STR, the lodging statisticians. For the week ended August 29, U.S. hotels filled an average of 48.2 percent of their rooms.
        Delta Air Lines upgraded a Black woman to first class after she was subtly taunted by a person sitting next to her. TheHill.com has the details.
        Thai Airways has opened a restaurant that offers airplane-like seating and airline meals. Gary Leff of the View From the Wing blog has the details.

Coronavirus Update for September 3, 2020

The CDC is telling state-level agencies to be ready for a Coronavirus vaccine as early as on or around Election Day. No suspicious timing there, of course. Here are today's other developments:
        Exceptions and rules The TSA says that more than 578,000 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday. That's higher than last Wednesday, but otherwise the lowest Wednesday total since June. On the other hand, it is more than 30 percent of 2019 volume.
        Reality bites Nicholas Calio, chief executive of the absurdly named airline trade association, admits the obvious. "People talk about a V-shaped recovery. The airline industry has never seen a V-shaped recovery," he said yesterday. "We believe if things go well, it will be 2024 before demand is where it was."
        Dollars and sense The United States is losing $425 million a day in tourism-related economic activity. The 2020 damage will be $155 billion, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the global trade group.
        Reading, writing and road trips When you "home school" and your home is an RV on a road trip. Sara Clemence has the details for Bloomberg News.
        Another one bites the dust Add the Hilton Times Square to the list of New York hotels that are permanently closing. The 44-story property, closed since the pandemic began, will officially shutter in October. The hotel and building is just 20 years old.

Coronavirus Update for September 2, 2020

Iowa now has the highest Coronavirus positivity rate (22 percent) in the nation. So, of course, Iowa's Joni Ernst (R-State of Denial) is questioning the accuracy of the national death toll. Here are today's other developments:
        Ain't no cure for the summertime blues The TSA says about 516,000 people passed through airport checkpoints yesterday. That's lowest raw total since June 30, so you can safely say the summer "rebound," such as it was, is over.
        They're ba-a-a-ck! Air France and Lufthansa now have both resumed service at Dulles, the international airport serving Washington and environs.
        Horror Hotel Four in ten lodging employees are still out of work, says the AHLA, the industry's trade group. Almost two-thirds are at or below 50 percent occupancy, which is generally considered the level at which individual properties can break even and pay debt. Urban hotels are worst at about 38 percent occupancy.
        Ireland says that its international travel (both inbound and outbound) was down more than 85 percent in July.

Coronavirus Update for September 1, 2020

The TSA says about 711,000 people passed through TSA checkpoints yesterday. That was the lowest Monday raw total in August. Yet it also represents a fairly hefty 31.2 percent of 2019 volume. So you decide where we are. Here are today's other developments:
        There's a Greece-to-Wales flight? Even before the Coronavirus, U.S. travelers could not fly nonstop to Wales. Yet TUI, a large German tourism operator, has been flying between the Greek Island of Zante and Cardiff. And, yup, 16 passengers tested positive for Coronavirus. All 193 passengers and crew now have been forced to quarantine. The Welsh Public Health site has details.
        American Airlines says "net bookings were 75 percent down, revenues were maybe 20 [to] 25 percent of last year at best" during late July and early August. More of the traffic has been in the sunbelt and Midwest, the carrier says.
        Florida man spits in the wind. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who bungled the Coronavirus as the world watched, now wonders why no one is visiting Florida on a holiday. He says that 8.8 million people traveled from March to June in Florida, down from 24 million during the same time a year prior. Fox has the details.
        New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said restaurants in the state can reopen for indoor dining on Friday. Dining rooms will be allowed to operate at one-quarter capacity. New Jersey is the last state to remove indoor-dining restrictions although some cities still limit restaurants to takeaway and outdoor service.
        School stuff New York City schools, the largest system in the country, delayed their reopening until September 21 from the original September 10 date. Separately, Temple University in Philadelphia is pausing in-person classes for two weeks after a surge of Coronavirus cases.

Coronavirus Update for August 31, 2020

The United States is now averaging fewer than 900 coronavirus deaths per day for the first time in more than a month, according to a rolling seven-day average compiled by CNN from data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Here are today's other developments:
        Down, down, down The TSA says a total of 2,138,302 people passed through airport security checkpoints on Friday through Sunday (August 28-30). That is lower than the previous weekend (2,232,096 from August 21-23) and the weekend before that (2,336,588 from August 14-16). The Friday-Sunday numbers actually represent an increase in the percentage of 2019 travel, but that's because the comparative base is 2019's Labor Day weekend. Overall, the slide from August 14-16 is 8.49 percent.
        American Airlines has reduced its October flight operations to about 45 percent of 2019 levels. The carrier aggressively jacked up its schedule in the summer, but has been cutting back as travel has slowed again.
        Level, the low-fare transatlantic operation from the parent company of British Airways, is now scheduled to resume U.S. service on September 11. There'll be a weekly New York/Kennedy-Barcelona flight.
        Emirates Airline has received a previously undisclosed bailout of US$2 billion from the government of Dubai. The airline is owned by the Dubai royal family, which is the government, of course. Reuters has the details.
        Otra vez Health authorities in Valencia, Spain, have imposed a new lockdown on residents in the town of Benig√°nim after a surge in coronavirus infections. Residents are unable to enter or leave municipal limits of the town.
        New York stupid New York has promoted the slogan "New York Strong" during the pandemic. Now that it is largely stopped statewide, the young and stupid are coming out. The State University campus at Oneonta (near Cooperstown) has closed for two weeks after about 100 Coronavirus cases were reported on campus. The move comes shortly after 43 students at SUNY Plattsburgh (near the Canadian border) were suspended for violating Coronavirus guidelines.

Coronavirus Update for August 30, 2020

Anyone up for a 2-minute, 20-second rant by a man kicked out of Walmart in Alaska for not wearing a mask? Here are today's other developments:
        Aruba has cancelled its 2021 Carnival, which normally would last about a month and feature "jump ups" (parades) and other festivities. After the "mother" event in Trinidad, the Aruba Carnival is the best-known and largest in the Caribbean.
        Blame Canada (because, why not)! Point Roberts, Washington, is once again connected to the U.S. mainland, this time by ferry. Access to the community of 1,300 was cut when the pandemic began and Canada and the United States closed their land borders. TheHill.com has the details.
        (Don't) Play Ball! Today's game between the Oakland A's and the Houston Astros has been cancelled after an Oakland official tested positive for Coronavirus. Baseball has been attempting to complete its pandemic-shortened 60-game regular season.
        College daze Opening college campuses for in-person classes is going about as well as you'd expect. More than a thousand students at the University of Alabama have tested positive during the first week. And underclass students will not return to Northwestern's campus after all. Sorority and fraternity houses are closed and all learning will be remote for freshman and sophomore students.

Coronavirus Update for August 23-August 29, 2020

Read all about it! The death toll from Coronavirus surges past 175,000 180,000 182,000 as European and Asian nations deal with resurgences of the virus. Flying hits the wall as daily traffic sags noticeably. Airlines globally begin to pull down service again. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for August 16-August 22, 2020

Read all about it! As the nation begins two weeks of Zoom-like political conventions, the death toll from Coronavirus surges past 169,000 175,000 176,000. As many places open, others shut back down. Travel continues to wobble: Airline passenger volume flattens, hotel occupancy rates remain far below 2019 levels. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for August 9-August 15, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 162,000 165,000 169,000. There are now more than 20 million cases worldwide and a quarter of them have been in the United States. Travel continues to be in an extended holding pattern as Americans fret about schools, the football season--and the post office. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for August 2-August 8, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll spikes dramatically as the nationwide tally surges past 155,000 160,000 162,000. Countries that thought they'd tamed the virus are scaling back activities just as the August vacation season kicks into high gear. U.S. carriers and hotels face the wreckage of a shrunken travel industry. And more. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for July 26-August 1, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 146,000 150,000 154,000 as new cases and rising hospitalization rates tax hospitals in Florida, Texas and other Sunbelt states. European countries consider requirements for returning residents to test after holidays. The travel industry worries about the fragility--and shallow nature--of the "recovery." And more. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for July 19-25, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 140,000 145,000 146,000 while infections rage out of control throughout the Sunbelt. Countries close their borders again and reopenings in the United States are rolled back or curtailed. The travel industry faces a hard reality: There's no V-shaped recovery. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for July 12-18, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 135,000 140,000 while countries such as New Zealand can declare themselves virus-free. New York City, however, said it had its first death-free day since mid-March. Meanwhile, Florida is the new global epicenter of Coronavirus. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for July 5-11, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 130,000 135,000 and new virus infections are rising around the nation and around the world. The question is now what a post-Fourth travel scene will look like as several states with key hubs--California, Arizona, Texas, Florida--report record-breaking infection numbers. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for June 28-July 4, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 125,000 130,000. As the Coronavirus rages throughout the South, reality sets in about the pace of any possible "recovery" and reopenings. Europe drops most of its intra-continental travel restrictions, but most foreign visitors, including Americans, are still barred. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for June 21-27, 2020

Read all about it! The U.S. Coronavirus death toll surges past 115,000 120,000 125,000 126,000. Deaths slowed last week, but the infection rate is growing in half the states. U.S. travel picks up. The Northeast states that suffered in earlier months now quarantine arrivals from the high-infection states. European carriers grow capacity as the continent prepares for a July 1 reopening that may not permit Americans to visit. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for June 14-20, 2020

Read all about it! The nation's Coronavirus death toll surges past 115,000 119,000. The second wave seems to be starting in states that opened early. More airlines around the world resume service. U.S. airlines add back some flights, but traffic remains below 20 percent of 2019's totals. And more. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for June 7-13, 2020

Read all about it! The nation's Coronavirus death toll surges past 110,000 115,000 and the number of confirmed cases passes the two-million mark. Protests around the nation overshadow the pandemic and its effects. New York City opens up just as London and Britain launch 14-day quarantines. Flight traffic jumps yet remains a small fraction of 2019 volume. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 31-June 6, 2020

Read all about it! As the nation's Coronavirus death toll surges past 100,000 105,000 110,000, the nation's cities are hit with peaceful protests and violent riots. European carriers begin to fly again and the continent's major tourist countries plan to reopen to the world. U.S travel inches up from its mid-April floor. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 24-May 30, 2020

Read all about it! As the nation's Coronavirus death toll surges past 95,000 100,000 103,000, holiday travel "surges" back to about 13 percent of 2019's numbers. Some international travel resumes, but new bans are instituted, too. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 17-May 23, 2020

Read all about it! As the national Coronavirus death toll surges past the 85,000 90,000 95,000 96,000 mark, all eyes are on the states that opened quickly. Will their infection and death rates spike? Asia deals with zero tourism as bans on visitors continue. European countries sweat the decisions to open to some tourism. Flying is still down more than 90 percent compared to 2019, but surges for Memorial Day. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 10-May 16, 2020

Read all about it! The nationwide Coronavirus death toll surges past the 75,000 80,000 85,000 88,000 mark. European countries make plans for slow, phased openings. The United States is more chaotic. Airlines and airports go beyond masks to temperature checks. Travel is picking up--if you squint and squeeze the numbers. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for May 3-May 9, 2020

Read all about it! The nationwide Coronavirus death toll surges past the 65,000 70,000 75,000 78,000 mark. We enter the era of the masked flyer. New York closes its subways for the first time ever. Airline losses keep piling up. Traffic doesn't. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for April 26-May 2, 2020

Read all about it! The nationwide Coronavirus death toll surges past the 50,000 55,000 60,000 65,000 66,000 mark. Some states loosen restrictions while European countries will keep things closed into the summer. U.S. airline traffic begins to nudge up as airline earnings plunge. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for April 19-April 25, 2020

Read all about it! The nationwide Coronavirus death toll surges past the 35,000 40,000 45,000 50,000 52,000 mark, but progress is made in Italy, Spain, Austria and France. Governors start opening their states. Airlines begin to declare bankruptcy and the first tranche of first-quarter financial results are brutal. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for April 12-April 18, 2020

U.S. governors talk about when the states can reopen even as nationwide Coronavirus deaths surge past the 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 mark. Airlines whine about the terms of the bailout money they're getting from the nation's taxpayers. And only fools and self-important pundits know anything about the future of travel. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for April 5-April 11, 2020

Read all about it! As the world convulses with the waves of Coronavirus, the toll on the travel industry is revealed. Remaining flights are essentially empty, airports are shutting terminals and business travelers have nowhere to go--and aren't in a rush to get there. Here's how we're covering it. Click here for day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for 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. Click here for the day-to-day details.

Coronavirus Update for March 22-28, 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.