Summer bookings are up. Battle of the leisure travelers is on.  Currently summer bookings are up by 60%:

  • Searches for domestic travel are up 60% for summer travel since Feb 20 compared to year prior according to airfare app Hopper.
  • Business and International travel is still 80-90% off normal levels.  As a result airlines are adding flights back into the schedule.
  • Southwest Airlines is adding 17 new destinations including Myrtle Beach, Palm Springs and Bozeman, Montana.

Vaxed travel aka vaccinated travel is leading bookings.

My first vacation booking can be canceled without losing anything. I just booked flights to Hawaii departing in two weeks at the lowest price I have ever paid. I got coach there for $203 and first class return for $480. In the past the same flights would be from $800 to $1200.

Some destinations like Hawaii require a negative pre-travel Covid test to avoid quarantines. If for some reason we need to cancel, I can unplug the trip within 24 hours of travel without losing a dime. In May, I may have to start using a health passport app proving that I was either vaxed, test neg or both.

Vaccine Passport is the future of travel

Your next travel or large format gathering may depend on proving you have a current vaccination. These vaccine passports coming are digital certificates in your phone may be needed to take a flight, attend a concert, and gain entry into a theme park.

The U.S. which leads in so many areas of technology, is acting like a 3rd world country with no focused vaccinated health passport. What we know is that most civilized countries are leading toward the idea that vaccination passports from origin countries will be the standard.

That means that the USA needs to figure out a plan yesterday because the rest of the world is building out a standardized vaccine passport for their people. Future travel to other countries will depend on a standardized vaccine passport that can be trusted by the hosting country. Travel economies are depending on vaccine passports to speed recovery.

We have some good ones brewing in America but nothing standardized.

Most Popular Vaccine Passport Apps

  • VeriFly app is being used by several travel brands including American Airlines.
  • United Airlines made its own vaccine passport called Travel Ready.
  • Clear, the biometric security technology that lets you breeze through TSA checkpoints without showing an ID, is developing a health passport.
  • CommonPass app., the one being considered by Hawaii is universally available.

LAST CHANCE TO BOOK A CHANGEABLE NON-REFUNDABLE TICKET BY WEDNESDAY, 3/31

Big changes could come in just 3 days on 3/31 when many major carriers cancelation and change fees waiver will expire.  Book travel by March 31 and you can change a non-refundable/non-changable ticket without a fee.

Most carriers allow full value voucher of a canceled flight to applied up to a year from the date ticket is issued.

How to Plan a Trip You Can Unplug without Losing $$

I just booked my mom to Italy in business class roundtrip in Sept for around $3200 that she can change if she needs to postpone.vAfter March 31, tickets like this one come with hefty change fees of up to $500 per traveler. AirBNB shows refund policy for its hosted properties during the reservation process. Make sure you know when you can get a full refund for future trip that gets canceled. The AirBNB home in Tuscany I booked for my mom refunds 100% if canceled within 30 days of stay.

Airlines with expiring change fees

  • American
  • Delta
  • United
  • JetBlue
  • Frontier

3 Tools for Summer Travel

SeatAlerts app – free app notifies when seats empty or get crowded on your flight
TheMilesGuy.com – best service for booking first/business class tickets using points. You only pay fee if you decide to fly.
ExpertFlyer.com – subscription site shows raw inventory on flights and help find award tickets

Tips for Booking Flights

  • Book by 3/31
  • Flexible with days of the week to get price/routes
  • Track flights for crowding on seat alert app
  • Check Covid test requirements
  • Download Airline App for contactless airport experience