If there’s one thing that’s certain about the travel industry right now, it’s that there is no certainty anywhere. Not a jot.
No one really knows when they’ll be able to jump on a plane again with any kind of freedom. Or whether the destination they’re heading to will even allow them to disembark if they do get a flight. And that’s before we talk about the visitor quarantines that will doubtless feature in any future holiday planning.
Assuming you do secure that flight and the borders are open, then what? At the airport, how much longer will you need to build into your journey to clear security and how is social distancing going to be enforced – both on the ground and in the air? What kind of PPE might you be required to wear?
All of the above is undoubtably true and worth thinking about, but it’s also undoubtably thinking that’s based on perception and fear, rather than the broader reality that’s forming alongside it. Already, we’re seeing airlines taking to the skies again: Etihad has just resumed flights from London to Australia, with Emirates following suit; while some European carriers – Wizz and Ryanair, for example – are making bold, headline-grabbing predictions about getting their fleets back in the air as early as next month. I don’t doubt it will spark a domino effect among other airlines, too.
We also know – for a fact – that people are increasingly desperate to travel. You just need to witness the daily increasing numbers searching for flights to see that.
Put those factors together and it’s safe to assume that we will all be travelling sooner than we think – even if the journey itself is more painful than it was before the Covid-19 outbreak. The industry will find a way to make it happen, and we’ll just put up with it. There will be short term over reaction. If we are kind, sympathetic and considerate to our fellow passengers, remember the hygiene rules, life will be even better than before.
And you know what? When we get to where we’re going, that feeling will be just as glorious and life-affirming as it was before – if not more so. The flight forgotten in an instance. Why? Because we’ll no longer take any of it for granted. As soon as you’re lying on that beach or enjoying that first margarita, or just connecting with friends you’ve not seen for a while in a familiar far-off place, you will feel more alive. I guarantee it.
The pictures on social media will change from the doom mongers, to pictures of people enjoying themselves once again. The FOMO will kick in. The prices will be attractive enough for you to put fear aside and go and live your life.
I’m so certain, in fact, that we’ve just made a short film about this very subject, which I’d urge you to watch if you’re feeling depressed about the future, as it that makes this case far better than I can here. In imagining just how we’ll all feel when we’re finally allowed to travel again (hint: bloody marvellous) and just what we’ll be doing (going everywhere, seeing everything, hugging everyone), it a provides what I think is a real reason to be cheerful about the future amidst all this uncertainty.