Never has a summer holiday been more needed, or more complicated. As the peak vacation period approaches, potential travellers around the world are trying to perform complex assessments on the prospects of their holiday plans going ahead.
On one hand is the travel industry, offering encouraging words and discounted deals. On the other is the uncertainty of government-imposed lockdown restrictions and immigration rules that can change at any moment. Above all, there remains the possibility of a second wave of Covid-19 infections. As my colleague Izabella Kaminska wrote earlier this week, “holidaymakers need to think like futures traders”.
Questions about your travel options? Join our live discussion with FT travel editor Tom Robbins and Frequent Flyer columnist Michael Skapinker at 12 noon UK time on Saturday June 6. Head to the comments section at the bottom of this piece to read the discussion and get involved
The outlook for business travel is similarly uncertain, with airline schedules varying wildly. Many grounded business travellers have been spending their time in lockdown attempting to extract refunds from recalcitrant airlines and agents.
June will be a privotal month. Many European countries are preparing to reopen borders and restart flights from June 15, while the UK begins its quarantine system on Monday, to the dismay of the aviation and travel industry. There have been hints that the UK’s policy will be “a three-week wonder”, and that “air-bridges” will soften its impact but there are, as yet, no guarantees. Many in the travel industry privately fear that June is the last realistic booking window for a summer holiday. An ongoing lack of clarity and therefore new bookings could lead to many more failures in the industry.
This is part of a weekly series enabling you to interact with FT writers and editors on what to read, watch, eat and drink under lockdown — and as we emerge to a post-Covid world
Even if you are, technically, allowed and able to go on holiday, would you want to risk a flight, and what will the experience at airport and on-board be like? And how will hotels navigate the need to provide social distancing and a santised environment, without killing the sense of freedom and relaxation that is the point of a holiday? Given all that, is it safer to stick with a staycation — or does even that run the risk of cancellation?
On Saturday June 6 at 12pm, we will attempt to answer as many questions as possible about the prospects of getting away this year.
Opinions given in this Q&A are for general information purposes only. They should not be relied on as a substitute for professional advice. The Financial Times Ltd and its Q&A speakers are not responsible for any result of following views or recommendations given, and exclude all liability to the full extent permitted by law.