How airlines will make permanent changes to flying
Travel and lifestyle journalist Francesca Page on how air travel standards will shift due to coronavirus.
A surge in U.S. coronavirus cases and new government restrictions are keeping travelers from flying, according to data United Airlines Holdings Inc. shared with employees as it told them to prepare for potential furloughs.
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After New York, New Jersey and Connecticut said last month they would require people arriving from hot-spot states to quarantine for 14 days, United's reservations for travel within the coming month quickly began to slide, according to a presentation to United employees Monday reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The drop-off has been most acute at United's Newark hub, where near-term net bookings were about 16% of last year's levels as of July 1, according to the presentation. Just weeks earlier, net bookings there had climbed to about a third of last year's levels. The bookings metric, which is the difference between new reservations and cancellations, has also started to fall in other hubs, the airline told employees.
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That is a worrying sign for the struggling airline industry's hopes for a recovery. Denver-based Frontier Airlines also told employees this week that bookings had taken a hit, and that it is evaluating what schedule reductions it would need to make as a result.
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United shared the more dire outlook with many employees across the country Monday as it told them to prepare to receive notifications of potential furloughs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known as the WARN Act, as soon as this week.