David J. Danto
Business travel thoughts in my own, personal opinion
NOT Traveling Blog, 3rd Week Of July
In 2014 I was voted by USA Today readers as one of the top ten business travel bloggers in the USA. Now mind you, I turned out to be number ten on the list of ten, but I did make it on (with my thanks to all those who voted.) Now that we’re all stuck at home and not traveling, I had to think about what to do with my blogs. I could stop writing them entirely – waiting till we all get through the current COVID19 pandemic / crisis. I could wax nostalgic and/or complain about past trips. Or, I could focus all of my efforts on my day job – growing the use of collaboration technologies – especially in light of how many people are now forced to use those tools for the first time. In reflecting upon those choices, what I decided to do is compile an ongoing list of observations during the crisis. Some of these may amuse, some may inform, some may sadden and others may help. My goal will be for you to have seen something in a different light than you did before you stopped to read the blog. I was going to apologize for how disjointed these thoughts may seem when put together, but then it dawned on me that feeling disjointed is our new normal – at least for a little while.
The COVID19 pandemic is one of the biggest “bad news” stories of our lifetime. Because of that, many of my Not Traveling blogs focus on negative stories. (I’m just the messenger here folks.) I’m saving all these articles on my computer with the title you see above – detailing the week and month but not the year. That’s at least one positive sign, as I’m hopeful that I won’t be writing them for more than twelve months (but that’s probably a good estimate IMHO.) I will highlight some “good” stories as well as the bad ones here, and will continue to do that as much as I can in the future.
One sector I haven’t mentioned yet in these blogs – and probably should have – is private charter flights. I have some good friends that fly Hawkers, Learjets and Cessnas and such – and they’re as busy as ever. Why not? When you and / or your family and colleagues really need to be somewhere else why take the chance that the greedy big airlines have kept the center seat empty, cleaned the plane, or kept any of their other dubious promises? A private aircraft is often better cleaned (or you can show-up a bit early and wipe-down all the surfaces yourself) and you can restrict the passengers to only those you know. You can even ask the pilots and crew to take a COVID test before flying. It’s certainly something to consider as this crisis drags on. One of my best friends runs this group, but there are many, many options for chartering a safer flight than the “friendly skies.”
I recently had to upgrade to a new mobile phone – a traumatic experience for a tech-head / nerd like me. (It was a painfully long but successful process.) As part of it I transferred many of my photos and videos to the new device. It was a welcome reminder of many of my past travels and events. I’ll try to share some of them with everyone over the coming weeks – a sort of “what I did last summer and wish I could be doing this summer” set of reminders. For today’s blog, here is my visit last year to Maui and watching the sunrise over Haleakalā. It is just one of the awesome things to see and do on Maui in Hawaii. (Click the photo to watch the video.)
Of course, just as I was feeling good, United Airlines jumps into my newsfeed. Apparently, United is warning employees that people are not flying as much as they were even a week ago (no kidding) and they may have to make more cuts around October 1st. (Anyone surprised by that let me know as I have a bridge to sell you.) When you have a company that routinely lies to you, and the consequences of that lying today is passengers risking death, you shouldn’t be surprised that people are causing ‘travel demand [to slide] again as coronavirus cases surged across much of the country.’ The most honest thing about what United said to employees and the media is that the airline does not expect demand to recover fully until a “widely accepted” treatment or vaccine for the virus is available. That is the truth for everything – travel, dining, entertainment, conferences, education – heck, as I said, everything. Any other positive news about things “returning to normal” before that is merely wishful thinking. It’d be a good idea to keep that in mind as politicians and business moguls blow more smoke up at you over the ensuing weeks.
Finally this week, if you’re on Twitter, you need to follow New Jersey there. Yes, my current home state has a twitter account that makes all New York / New Jersey people proud – with attitude and everything. It’s easy to read the tweets and imagine them in Tony Soprano’s voice. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
However, the best one recently is here:
Damn good advice. Mask-up people.
As always, please feel free to write to me with comments or items I should add to a future Not Traveling blog (or if you just need someone to write to.) Stay safe, be well, hug those you’re sheltering with (but no one else) and do your best to stay positive. We’re going to be in this for a long while.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.