How COVID-19 Changed Air Travel for Good

airplanes parked at the airport
Photo by Ahmed Muntasir on Pexels.com

Before COVID-19, airports worldwide were buzzing with activity, with one flight after another taking off to an exciting destination. Families went on vacations together, and friends planned annual summer trips, sometimes flying to the other side of the world.

Everything changed when COVID-19 happened. Suddenly, airports were shut down, and airline companies had to park their planes and keep them inside hangars. Everyone had to stay at home.

Even if things have eased up a bit after three years, things aren’t really back to normal. There is some level of normalcy, but COVID-19 protocols are still very much around. The rules may no longer be as strict as when air travel first reopened, but some changes need getting used to – for both the travellers and the airline industry. After all, the pandemic is still here – and it probably will be for a long time.

Airline companies have gradually started operating again, but things are not how they used to be as certain changes have had to be made in the global aviation industry. Commercial airlines are back in business, but for those who have the financial capability, the best option is to charter private plane services wherever they have to go.

Whether you take a commercial airline or charter a private plane, certain changes in air travel may be around for good – or at least for several years. Fortunately, with the current positive developments in the COVID-19 situation, some of these changes may be welcome news for you and other travellers. 

Changes in Air Travel Post-Pandemic

1. Pre-travel information for travellers coming into the U.S. and those travelling to other countries. 

If you are travelling to international destinations, it is your responsibility to get information about COVID-19 protocols and related recommendations, including those coming from the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The said government agencies may have firmer rules and warnings for some countries, especially those with high numbers of COVID-positive individuals.

Similarly, you also need information from authorities in other countries you are travelling to. Requirements and restrictions vary according to the current COVID-19 status of the destination you are headed for.

2. Face masks are no longer mandatory in many countries.

Woman putting on a face mask
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Masks are a sensitive issue for many travellers, with over 5,700 reports of passengers displaying disruptive, violent behaviour while on the plane, mostly because of disputes about wearing a mask. This will no longer be a problem, however, as U.S. authorities recently announced that face masks are no longer necessary for airline travel.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have also dropped the mandatory wearing of face masks in airlines and airports. Both authorities, however, still recognize that wearing face masks is still one of the most effective and easiest ways to protect oneself from the COVID-19 virus.

However, passengers who are sneezing and coughing are highly encouraged to wear face masks at all times during their travel. Vulnerable passengers must wear high-protection masks, such as KN95, N95, or FFP2.

The rules for face masks vary from one airline to another, specifically those travelling to destinations where mask-wearing is still a strict requirement.

3. COVID-19 vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC no longer requires travellers from foreign countries to submit a proof of negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery before going onboard their flight. This took effect on June 12, 2022, at 12:01 AM ET.

However, the CDC will continue with its periodical assessment of the need for testing, particularly when there are new COVID-19 variants. Since the virus continues to evolve, the CDC will implement full health and safety measures to protect the public when the situation calls for it.

While COVID-19 tests and recovery documents are no longer necessary, authorities still require non-citizen, non-immigrant travellers entering the U.S. to present proof of vaccination against the virus.

4. Change in booking behaviour

Although the number of bookings continues to increase, airline representatives still notice some hesitation on the part of travellers. Many now prefer to book their flights or buy tickets at later dates, sometimes even one day before their chosen departure date. Planning flights months ahead is considered by many as too risky with all the uncertainties of the pandemic.  

5. Budget airlines

Several low-cost airlines did quite well during the pandemic, and some new ones have even launched their services quite recently. While these flights are nothing like the business class types that sell for thousands of dollars, there are reasonable enough alternatives for travellers who need to travel on a budget, especially now that airline fares continue to shoot up.

Most budget airlines travel U.S. and European routes and allow the affordable purchase of one-way tickets. Amenities, such as in-flight meals, may not be available for all flights.

Aside from low-cost airlines in the U.S., travellers may also want to check out budget airlines in Tokyo and the Dominican Republic. Travellers looking for new destinations to visit may also find budget airlines interesting.

6. More travellers prefer private jets.

Private jets at an airport
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

When airports reopened after the long lockdown, the private jet industry thrived because they became the preferred means of air travel by many. Private jets weren’t a new thing for the rich and moneyed, but they were for those who were used to saving so they could travel. Many of these travellers didn’t have the money to charter a private plane, but they still preferred it overriding a commercial airline and risking their health and safety.

Even with most pandemic restrictions already lifted, there are now significantly more private jet travellers. As of January 2022, there is a 40% increase in take-offs and landings in 2021 compared to 2019.

It is safe to say that flights to nowhere will be around for a while, though not all airline companies will adopt the concept.

7. New technologies

Even if millions of people have already been vaccinated against COVID-19, and even if face mask use is no longer strictly implemented, authorities will continue to explore new technologies that ensure the safety of travellers and airlines.

Airline companies will continue to offer contactless check-ins and various virtual services. Travellers will continue to look for safer alternatives for services and amenities they’ve been availing of even before the pandemic. More and more people now prefer to book their flights online. Financially-stable families would rather travel on private charter jets than on commercial airlines.

Long after the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, new technologies that ensure everyone’s safety will continue to emerge.

Regardless of where you are flying from, where you are going, or what airline you are flying with, expect changes to welcome you. After all, the travel industry is always changing and evolving, especially at a challenging time like the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Author:

Melissa Hull is the Content Marketing Strategist for Aviation Charters, a West Trenton, New Jersey-based private aviation company that provides on-demand aircraft charter, aircraft management, and aircraft acquisition services. Aside from her passion for writing, she loves to travel and read espionage books.

6 Unique Road Trips in Canada

Unique road trips in Canada

Exploring one of the most beautiful countries in the world needs to be something special. Don’t settle for ordinary sightseeing tours. Go on a road trip and tailor your travel according to your preferences. You can make it one of a kind experience where you’ll get a whole new level of enjoyment. Hop in your car and see some of the most beautiful natural sights – and we’ll show you where to go. Exploring this huge country can make you feel puzzled, not knowing what direction you should choose. Well, we’re here to help you. Here are the six unique road trips in Canada – get some gas, pack some snacks and let’s go on a road trip!

Reasons to go on a road trip

Road trips are quite a unique way to explore a certain part of the country. Even though they require a bit of organization and planning, they guarantee many travel benefits. The reasons you’ll enjoy going on a road trip are many:

  • It’s a great way to relax – Driving through the countryside is a way to get some time to think about certain things and relax while enjoying a beautiful view
  • Explore more than just a beaten path– Road trips give you the freedom to make stops and visit places that are not in common sightseeing routes
  • Get closer to your travel companion – Whether you’re traveling with your partner, family, or friends, road trips are a great way to get closer to each other. You’ll share stories, explore new things together, and bond. Also, traveling by yourself is fantastic for getting to know yourself. It gives you time to rethink certain choices and make plans for the future
  • Explore potential places to move to – Road trips are the chance to visit specific locations and see what it’s like to live there. It’s perfect for those looking for a place to move – explore potential homes while traveling. Professional Movers Canada suggests people always visit their future homes and try to find out more about life there. These visits will give you more insight into the life in that area so you can be sure you’ll enjoy it.
A man looking at the sky on a road trip in Canada
Let yourself have the best adventure – explore unique road trips in Canada and plan your next trip.

Icefields Parkway, Alberta

This adventure spreads across 235km (146miles) of the most amazing scenery. Waterfalls, Glaciers, turquoise lakes, and breathtaking valleys – all of these will blow your mind if you opt for Icefields Parkway. This wild route will surely lead you to many amazing spots where you stop to take a picture or simply grasp the beauty of our planet. Some of the stops to include in your itinerary are surely Lake Louise, Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Peyto Lake, and more. However, be smart with the gas situation – there are not so many gas stations along the route. However, there are increased once-in-a-lifetime chances to see common wildlife creatures in the area.

Interlake Region, Manitoba

This is a longer route that you can enjoy for about two or three days. Interlake region is one of the unique road trips in Canada as you can see history and nature connect. This is the place where you can hear stories about Vikings, as many communities here proudly tell about their roots. The region gets its name due to its location. You can find it between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. The area offers spectacular views, but it’s also a favorite place for families to enjoy the beach, birding, and boating. Spots you shouldn’t miss are certainly the wooden piers of Winnipeg Lake, Narcisse Snake Dens, Gimli and Hecla, etc.

Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

If you want to see the world’s highest tides and rare whales, head to the Bay of Fundy. Start with visiting Moncton, then continue to the Hopewell Rocks. These massive formations are surely a sight to see and even walk among. Next, make sure you visit Saint John – a charming old town that is a must-see stop when visiting Canada. This can be your last stop before you reach the final destination – St. Andrews fishing village, located right next to the border of Maine.

Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia

If you have a couple of days to spend on a road trip, Nova Scotia can be a perfect destination. Even though this trail can be driven in only one day, it’s best to give yourself time to enjoy all the great things on this route. This coastal drive can begin at Margaree Harbour and finish all the way in Baddeck. This route will lead you through Cheticamp, Pleasant Bay, Cape North, and Ingonish Beach. This road trip is on many travelers’ wish lists, and you should find out why!

Vehicles on the road in Canada
Choose a vehicle and begin the road trip of your life.

Wild Yukon Trail

This wild, mountainous, and sparsely populated region is a place to go on a road trip if you’re a true nature lover. Dempster Highway is one of the most unique roads here that can take you on a one-of-a-kind adventure. It’s isolated, it’s wild – it’s beautiful. The highway is about 700 kilometers long, so it will take a bit to prepare. Your vehicle needs to be suitable for this dirt road, and you need to organize the long drives. Warmer months bring more safety to the road, whereas autumn’s foliage makes the scenery even more spectacular.

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia

If you’re in the Vancouver area and want a shorter route, then the Sea to Sky highway should be your next choice. This is a much shorter road trip than the previous item on this list, but it’s surely one of Canada’s best and most unique road trips. On this 129km drive, you can start with Vancouver and then make stops at Shannon Falls, Capilano Suspension bridge, Whistler, Brandywine Falls, Train Wreck Trail, etc. This can even be a multi-day trip; just be sure to organize your stops and find accommodation in advance.

An aerial view of a road in Canada
British Columbia is the home to spectacular views like this.

Start one of the most unique road trips in Canada

Now, it’s time to choose among these unique road trips in Canada. What will be your next destination? A road trip can be an extraordinary experience – just choose a companion and hit the road.

My Favourite Hotels Around the World

This Post Was Originally Published on the TuGo Travel Blog on November 25, 2019 by Mark Crone

The list of my favourite hotels around the world could go on and on—it’s almost unlimited. But I’ve put together a shortlist based on the hotel and the destination experience. There’s a mix of larger hotels and smaller properties. While it’s great to enjoy the hotel and its facilities, it’s also great to enjoy the area and destination. I’ve stayed at all 5 properties several times—they’re all comfortable and highly recommended. Here’s my shortlist of favourite hotels, in no particular order:

Flemings Mayfair, London

The Flemings Mayfair Hotel on Half Moon Street in London

In London, hotel choices are limitless and highly dependent on location. The Flemings is situated right in the heart of central London, in the prestigious Mayfair area. The first time I stayed there, I went for a walk through Green Park (down the street and minutes away) and literally came upon Buckingham Palace on the other side. The small hotel (129 rooms) is located on a quiet residential street which gives a homely feel to the hotel. Flemings Mayfair is an independent, family-owned property and the second oldest established hotel in London, dating back to 1731.
Room prices are available from £250 per night, which includes breakfast. It’s great value for central London and a well-equipped, recently renovated property!

Kristall Hotel, Austria

Winter view looking at the Hotel Kristall in Austria

The family-run Hotel Kristall in Perisau at Lake Achensee is a must-visit. In the winter, the area is a winter wonderland with skiing, skating, snowshoeing and more. In the summer you can go biking, hiking, golfing and trek mountains nearby. The small (50 room) hotel has a luxury feel and a comfortable ambience. There’s a renowned spa, gourmet dinners in the new vaulted cellar and weekly wine tastings in the wine repository. The hotel is a short walk from Lake Achensee, mountain attractions and nearby cable cars and mountain ranges. Staying at the Kristall is an escape holiday, where you simply lose track of days and time (the best kind of holidays)! The combination of the gorgeous landscape and the surrounding alpine world creates a lasting memory of Tyrol!
Suite prices start at 150 Euro per person with special inclusive packages available.

Royal York, Toronto

Inside a guest room at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Canada

The Fairmont Royal York, formerly and commonly known as the Royal York, is considered one of Canada’s grand railway hotels. It’s a large historic luxury hotel located along Front Street West, directly across from Union Station in the southern end of the Financial District, in central Downtown Toronto.
The hotel opened in June 1929 and has 1,363 guest rooms and suites, including Signature or Luxury, along with eight types of suites. In addition to first-rate facilities, the Royal York is connected to the PATH system, a series of pedestrian tunnels that connect numerous buildings in Downtown Toronto. There’s also a tunnel directly connecting the hotel to Union Station and to Scotiabank Arena (home of the NHL Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA Toronto Raptors and major concerts).
You can’t beat the Royal York’s location in Toronto. Room rates start at $195.

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Caesar Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

Caesars Palace opened in 1966 and is one of Las Vegas’s largest and best-known landmarks. The hotel is located right on the Las Vegas Strip between the Bellagio and The Mirage. Caesars is meant to give a Roman Empire feel with statues, columns and a 20-foot statue of Augustus Caesar near the entrance.
It’s a large deluxe resort property with 3,976 rooms and suites in six towers, a convention facility, a large range of restaurants and outdoor pools, among many other features. The hotel operates a large casino and “The Colosseum”, a venue for live music and sports entertainment, featuring major entertainers for one-night shows and residence stays. There’s also a sizable shopping mall attached to the resort called “The Forum Shops at Caesars”.
Despite its size, the hotel is very comfortable and has absolutely everything on site, making it a great choice for a Las Vegas stay. Rooms can be as low as $99 per night!

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Aerial view of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven emirates forming the United Arab Emirates, and it’s a very unique destination . It’s one of the most sought-after destinations for travellers from around the world, with its endless choices for fine dining, shopping, and luxury accommodations. The 7-star Burj Al Arab is perhaps the top choice in Dubai (and possibly anywhere).
The Burj al Arab is the iconic “sail” hotel located directly on the Persian Gulf in Dubai. It features all-suite accommodation, which includes butler service and a private beach. You don’t need to leave the property (and might not want to with room rates). The Burj has 201 suites, 9 restaurants, 5 pools, a spa, fitness centre and much more. If you’d like to make a grand entrance, you can arrive by helicopter on their roof or by chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce. It’s the lap of luxury and pure fantasy rolled into one: a once in a lifetime hotel experience.
It’s still one of my favourite hotels of all time! Rates start at $4,300 USD including breakfast for two.

These are my 5 favourite hotels, but my hotel list continues to grow! What’s your favourite?
Safe travels,
Mark