Where do we get a covid-19 test? That’s one of the first concerns in the era of travel. Then next often involves questions of cost, timing and all the intangibles which can have a huge impact on the trip.
Impressively, Delta is sticking to its ‘travel made simple’ promise, by only selling vacation packages to to international hotels which offer on site covid-19 testing, to help comply with recent US requirements. This comes in addition to a commitment to block middle seats through April, 2021.
Delta Vacations Simplifies Travel
Travel is a vastly different equation depending where you’re reading from, and whether or not you’ve been vaccinated. For those in the USA, international travel is still an option, albeit one which now requires a covid-19 test to reenter the country.
In areas of Mexico, the Caribbean and other popular destinations for US travelers, that measure alone can be enough to put people off travel, but that’s the sheer brilliance of Delta’s play in only selling hotels which take care of it all.
For travel until the end of April 30th, 2021, Delta Vacations will only sell international travel booked as a package for hotels with on-site covid-19 testing, to reduce risks and stresses involved in reentering the United States.
“Your safety and convenience is our top priority, so for travel through April 30, 2021, Delta Vacations will only sell international hotels that offer in-hotel COVID-19 testing — because vacation should feel like vacation.”Delta Airlines
Delta is also expanding rapid pre-travel testing facilities in airports, with Minneapolis and Detroit following rapid test facilities at Atlanta, Boston, New York JFK and Seattle.
In addition to simplifying travel testing both before and after departure, Delta will continue to block middle seats in economy through April, operating most flights at a maximum of 60% capacity. This means even bargain ‘Basic Economy’ seats should benefit from increased social distancing on board, and provide peace of mind, if nothing else.
Is “Simple” Travel Enough?
Questions remain as to whether the travel industry will ever fully recover to pre-pandemic levels. As governments continue to change policies, often in unpredictable ways, more burden falls on airlines, hotels and other providers to make travel still feel ‘worth it’, despite the extra concerns.
Things like on-site covid-19 testing in hotels will increasingly become the norm, and digital health passports to validate travel documents ahead of flight will also become standard. Travel may be different in the near future as the world recovers, but not entirely worse.
Work from home may continue much longer than it needs to, which means more people than ever can make “home” somewhere new, perhaps even near a beach, in a foreign country as the trend of digital nomad acceptance grows.
For now, Delta is establishing itself as a leader in making travel feel simple enough to be fun again. If others follow, it might not be a wash of a year after all.