Vaccines could be light at the end of the tunnel for travel industry

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 6:51 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nearly 22% of adults in America have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine according to the CDC. Many are now feeling a new sense of hope, leading to an increase in business in the travel industry.

Just a year ago, business at the Executive Travel in Lincoln was down around 85%. They said it was like all the phones had just shut off. But that all started to change at the beginning of the year, shortly after vaccines first became available.

“It was amazing,” said Glenn. “About three weeks ago, we started to see the phones ring.” Glenn says business is now just 35% below normal.

The vaccines provided new hope to COVID-weary Nebraskans and COVID-warn businesses like Executive Travel.

“We are turning the corner,” said Glenn. “We’re a long way from where we were in 2019, but I sense that people want to get out of dodge.”

Vaccines started in Lincoln in mid-December. On Dec. 15, 2020 the TSA screened more than 550,000 people. On March 15, 2021 that number nearly tripled to more than 1.5 million. This is getting closer to the 2 million daily travelers the TSA screened before the pandemic.

But with increasing travel demand and less seats available, ticket prices will likely start climbing.

“The light is green to book your travel for 2021, said Glenn. “But we’re worried that green light will turn to a red light after Memorial Day.”

Travel site Hopper estimates ticket prices to increase by 6% every month until this summer.

“If you are planning on travel this year, book it now,” said Glenn.

Copyright 2021 KOLN. All rights reserved.