What Recession? The CEO of United Airlines just said that hybrid work–in other words you reading this email while sipping your coffee in your pajamas while also on a Zoom call–is causing a “permanent structural change” in leisure travel demand.
He said that the flexibility that this new post-pandemic existence offers for leisure travel is one of the major “industry trailwinds” that he believes is responsible for overcoming current economic challenges. What he means is that this hybrid work model makes it so that “every weekend could be a holiday weekend.” Makes sense, given you can leave on a Thursday night, arrive in Paris Friday morning rested and ready to work, and have the weekend to enjoy sampling croissants and baguettes. In the past, people would have had to strategically take time off and plan far in advance for these types of jaunts. No longer the case.
“That’s why September, a normally off-peak month, was the third-strongest month in our history,” he said. People clearly are ready to see the world again, and these hybrid work setups untether them from the traditional stuffy office and give them a freedom and flexibility that we would have never thought possible, before the pandemic.
But he makes one thing clear. These record-breaking numbers are not a result of pent-up demand. Rather, he explains, “it’s the new normal.
There’s been lots of reporting as of late on etiquette, especially when it comes to behavior up at 10000 feet. Perhaps it’s that Covid has made us all a little more testy, or maybe we’re reactionary and looking for a fight. Either way, our collective behavior in the skies has seen better days. Readers of the New York Post recently weighed in on some hot button topics. One that caught our eye is this age-old conundrum:
Do you swap seats when a fellow passenger asks you to change? Readers shared their two cents.
“I was asked by a mom to switch seats for her seat further back and when I refused, she wasn’t too happy. What got me was the flight attendant wasn’t so pleased either. I got over it.”
“I’d give up my seat for a veteran. But then, that’s just me.”
“I remember when I was [a] teenager in the early ’90s on a flight to Los Angeles a guy offered me 20 bucks so that he could sit next to his woman. He didn’t have to ask me twice. Money talks!”
“Absolutely not. I often travel alone, and airline employees will ask solo travelers to switch seats first. Whether it’s the family member asking, or the airline, nobody should be pressured into giving up their seat (not unless doing so results in an upgrade or voucher). I don’t care what the circumstances [are].”
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