Holiday Travel Plans Altered Due to Pandemic

By Emily Malloy

As coronavirus cases continue to increase with Thanksgiving and various other holidays on the horizon, the new risks through traveling and doing what used to be considered “normal” is challenging to not only people, but to the travel industries during what is normally some of its most profitable few months. An article written by Elaine Glusac for The New York Times states that in a weekly survey done by market research firm Destination Analysts, which surveys 1,200 Americans, “only 28% expected to travel for the holidays, including both Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the same survey, 53% said they had traveled for the holidays last year.”

Because of the upcoming holiday travel craze, travelers should prepare for an increase of crowded planes (since middle seats have not been a purchasing option during the pandemic), keeping the six feet guideline as much as possible, wearing a mask, and the day-to-day cleaning and sanitary precautions we have become accustomed to. Some airlines including Southwest Airlines, Alaska, and JetBlue are considering making all seats available starting December 1 at the latest, and others like Delta are saying that this change will likely be made around January 6, 2021. Air quality in an airplane, however, is actually quite high with the air volume in the cabin being completely refreshed about every four minutes. 

But what about Oak Hall families? In a mini survey done at the Upper School, 15 students were asked about the holidays in the era of Covid and if the virus has altered any plans or traditions. While a majority of students said plans this year would be the same as in previous years, which includes safely seeing family members in town, the students who normally travel by air indicated that because of the virus their safety in an airplane was compromised. 

Not only are families altering Thanksgiving plans to remain safe, but other Thanksgiving Day traditions have changed due to the pandemic as well. Aside from football games on Thanksgiving, one of the most-watched programs is the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade”. In previous years, the parade route would have thousands of on lookers trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite celebrity or float. This year, however, the parade route is shorter, the use of high school marching bands is in question, and the general public is not allowed to stand along the route to watch in-person. Thankfully, the parade will be broadcasted live, in the hopes of bringing a little bit of normalcy to this year.