Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels, which could prove stressful

Many summer travelers may wish they stayed home.

Why it matters: Travel is returning to pre-pandemic levels at a time when the country remains divided on masks and vaccinations — and worker shortages mean reduced service levels, yet higher prices.


By the numbers: More than 37 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more this Memorial Day weekend (6 million fewer than in 2019), according to AAA.

  • Of those, 34 million are planning road trips.
  • Airfares are going up steadily around 12%, according to TripActions.
  • Hotel occupancy is at 60% with weekly room demand at 80% or more of 2019 levels. Daily rates are down 15% compared to 2019 but growing.
  • Gas prices have exceeded $4 west of Colorado, with the national average now $3.04 a gallon, according to AAA.

What they're saying: Because parts of Europe are still closed off to travelers, summer travel this year will be domestic — meaning travelers should also expect culture clashes, The Points Guy founder Brian Kelly tells Axios.

  • For the better part of a year, people have remained in communities that shared the same beliefs when it comes to COVID precautions and vaccines. Now, with massive domestic travel, "you have anti-maskers on planes with those who are petrified," Kelly says.
  • "I thought people would savor travel and be kind to one another, but unfortunately due to the fact that we’re living in two Americas ... it's only going to get worse," he added.

What to watch: Expect jammed roadways, full planes, long TSA lines, slower room service, and some unruly passengers.

Biden administration buys 200 million additional doses of Moderna’s COVID vaccine

The Biden administration has purchased an additional 200 million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, the biotech company announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Moderna says the additional doses could be used to vaccinate children or — if necessary — as a booster shot.

Keep reading... Show less

Live updates: Biden and Putin land in Geneva ahead of summit

President Biden is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva for five hours of talks on Wednesday, a highly anticipated summit that comes as both sides say U.S.-Russia relations have sunk to a new post-Cold War low.

The latest: Putin arrived in Geneva shortly before 7 a.m. ET and traveled via motorcade to Villa La Grange, a mansion set in a 75-acre park overlooking Lake Geneva. Biden arrived at around 7:20 a.m. ET. The two leaders are expected to take a photo with Swiss President Guy Parmelin before the meeting begins.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden-Putin summit: What to expect when you're not expecting much

After a bitter blast from Putin and tough talk from Biden, both sides agree: Don't count on much from Wednesday's summit between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

What they're saying: "We’re not expecting a big set of deliverables out of this meeting," a senior Biden administration official told reporters on Air Force One from Brussels to Geneva. "No breaking of bread."

Keep reading... Show less

Florida's early reopening could make it a business travel mecca

As post-pandemic business travel comes back, experts say Florida's reopening policies should allow it to lock in a significant share of returning corporate events and meetings.

Why it matters: There's a lot of money to be made — with a lot of people itching to travel — after the sector lost $97 billion in spending last year, according to a new Tourism Economics analysis by the U.S. Travel Association.

Keep reading... Show less

There isn’t a worker shortage in the U.S. — there’s been a worker awakening

Many politicians, pundits and business owners have said pandemic-era enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping would-be workers at home. But that's a much too simplistic explanation of today's employment situation.

The big picture: Many hard-hit sectors are rebounding faster than anecdotal evidence would suggest. And when jobs are hard to fill, a broader worker awakening over the past year is part of the reason.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden's surprise pick for FTC chair, a leading tech critic, is already rocking boats

By naming tech critic Lina Khan to chair the Federal Trade Commission Tuesday, the White House made clear it is dead serious about antitrust enforcement and other measures to rein in Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

The intrigue: By naming Khan FTC chair just hours after the Senate confirmed her appointment as one of five commissioners at the agency, the White House took both the industry and many D.C. insiders by surprise.

Keep reading... Show less

MedPAC says higher prices drove up Medicare drug spending

The amount Medicare spent on drugs that are dispensed at pharmacies increased 26% from 2013 through 2018, members of the Medicare Advisory Payment Commission wrote in their new annual report.

Why it matters: MedPAC members put the spotlight on pharmaceutical companies, attributing "nearly all of the growth ... to higher prices rather than an increase in the number of prescriptions filled by beneficiaries."

Keep reading... Show less

China's government issues warning after sending record 28 planes over Taiwan

China's government issued a warning to "foreign forces" after Taiwan reported a record 28 Chinese military planes flew over the self-governed island's airspace Tuesday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The statement and deployment of aircraft including fighter jets and bombers comes after G7 leaders issued a statement Sunday urging the Chinese government to respect human rights and calling on peace and "stability across the Taiwan Strait."

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories