Transportation & Logistics

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Flying? The Odds Are in Your Favor

25 Oct, 2020

By: Mary Helen Sprecher

It’s not quite the same odds as those against getting a perfect NCAA bracket (92 quintillion to one, if you must know – greater than the odds of being killed by a vending machine falling from the sky and landing on you) but the aviation industry just released the news that your chances of catching COVID while flying are pretty low.

In fact, you have a better chance of being hit by lightning. Seriously.

According to The Points Guy, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has found only 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 caught on a flight from among the 1.2 billion people that flew between January and July this year, in a study released Thursday. That translates to one case for every 27.3 million flyers. Your chances of getting struck by lightning: one in 3,000. (By the way, the odds of getting hit by a meteorite also stand at about 1 in 3,000, according to NASA).

The Points Guy noted that major airline executives agreed that the combination of wearing a mask and the constant airflow through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters keep cabins safe. Another thing keeping people healthy is the practice of blocking middle seats to create social distancing. There are also multiple blogs about ways to keep from getting the flu when flying.

“The social distance onboard an aircraft are ensured by the airflow,” IATA medical advisor Dr. David Powell said during a briefing Thursday. “That’s the best protection onboard an aircraft.”

And with those odds, it’s no wonder an overwhelming number of people in the U.S. are getting itchy to travel again. In fact, according to Travel Agent Central, a recent study found that 94 percent of all people surveyed miss travel and want to get back on the road – and that they have that bucket list trip picked out.

This could be great news for event owners of travel sports. By marketing interesting destinations (and emphasizing the safety factors), events could grow exponentially. In fact, Travel Agent Central noted, individuals believe travel is key to their happiest memories.

“Further,” the article noted, “54 percent said travel memories are more important than their favorite piece of jewelry and 53 percent say those memories are more important than their smartphone.”

And public perception of the safety of travel has been steadily rising. In fact, Luxury Travel Advisor notes, the latest findings from MMGY Travel Intelligence's Travel Intentions Pulse Survey (TIPS) and MMGY Global’s Travel Safety Barometer show increasing confidence in the safety of domestic and international travel, cruising, dining and entertainment and lodging:

“For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Domestic Travel Safety Barometer score rose above 50, indicating travelers are increasingly confident about the idea of traveling. The barometer, which measures perceptions of safety on a scale of 0 (extremely unsafe) to 100 (extremely safe), rose to 52, which is 22 points higher than it was in April. Wave IX of the TIPS survey, conducted in late September, also found that 46 percent of respondents said they are likely to take a domestic leisure trip in the next six months. (This breaks down to 20 percent each expecting to take a tip within the next 30 days or within three months and 27 percent planning to do so in the next six months.)”

Need some more good news? Many airlines are re-introducing in-flight food and beverage services.

As far as destinations go, several areas are seeing tremendous interest already. SGB Media Online notes that resort destinations in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina saw strong growth in September, in both occupancy and rate. The report, compiled by DestiMetrics, shows an increasing recovery from the declines experienced last spring during the first weeks and months following COVID-19-related shutdowns and closures. 

Mountain destinations are also seeing a rebound, SGB Media noted. Those resorts in the past few weeks have shown an uptick with revenue gains for October into November – the first revenue gains since last February, according to Destimetrics.

All in all, travel seems to be peeking out of its slump – and it appears Americans are more than ready to take it on. And maybe they just feel lucky – although it won’t be because they’ve found a four-leaf clover, according to Stacker.com– something that happens to just 1 in every 10,000 clovers, says Dr. John Frett, professor of plant and soil sciences at University of Delaware.

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