Brief GBTA St. Louis Member Survey Reveals Mixed Travel Plans for 2021

February 10, 2021

After a crazy year of canceled plans, stay-at-home orders and increased isolation, the concept of revenge travel may not be as shady as it sounds. Rather than an actual act of revenge, it embodies a constructive reaction to last year’s frustrations and seclusion.

Curious how this notion may be affecting fellow St. Louisans, GBTA-St. Louis contacted a few members to find out if 2021 would bring any fresh sites or experiences. We found that reactions vary almost as much as the COVID-19 symptoms themselves.

Ryan Benhoff – Enterprise Holdings: “We were originally planning to take the family to Mexico or Jamaica for spring break but we have decided to press pause on that as we are still a bit concerned about possibly getting stuck and quarantining on the off chance one of us would test positive upon trying to return home.  With that being said, we are staying in the states and are looking to do two trips to the beach this year.  Likely one by plane to leverage loyalty benefits and the other by way of a good old-fashioned road trip. Lastly, I am hoping to sneak in a “guys weekend” golf trip somewhere this summer as well!  As you can tell we have a little bit of pent-up desire to get back out there and travel.  Hopefully, we can all stay healthy and get out to experience some new places soon.”

Lori Keely – Arch Resources, Inc: “To be honest, I’m still a little reluctant to travel in the first half of 2021. The fear of getting COVID-19, and how randomly it seems to pick its victims, I’ve been doing everything I can to stay away from getting it. I’m hoping to plan some type of personal/family getaway towards mid or end of summer. I’m not positive if that will include a flight or not, but it will include a hotel or resort. I’ll probably need to bring an extra suitcase for hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, masks, etc. I’m easing back into this at a snail’s pace, but it’s what I’m comfortable with.”

Shelly Eichner – Instinct Pet Food: “Our company is planning to travel towards mid-2021.  We will travel smarter with a bigger emphasis on needed travel vs non-necessary travel.  We have learned that in-person meetings have changed. On a personal note, I travel smarter and with eyes wider open.  I watch for germs in places I didn’t think of before.  I travel more prepared.

Luke Halbert – Southwest Airlines: “On March 1st, 2020, I was getting ready for a fun-filled spring and summer with two trips planned to Los Angeles and New Orleans and by March 21st, both trips were canceled due to Covid-19. This was a common occurrence for many travelers as airlines saw cancellations outweigh bookings for the first time ever. I know I was not alone in wondering, ‘Is flying really safe?’ After months of research and data composed by Harvard & Stanford, the coherent conclusion was that flying is safe. It was also stated that it is in fact safer than going to the grocery store or going out to dinner. Pairing this knowledge with the rollout of the vaccine throughout the country, I have rescheduled both trips to occur in the coming months. Although flying today looks very different with facemasks and social distancing, Southwest Airlines’ hospitality has remained true and consistent. We look forward to seeing you in the skies very soon!”

MM&E

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