The global health crisis seems to be having a ripple effect in pretty much every industry around the world.
Of course, this ripple is going to inevitably have an effect on the way our next Disney vacation looks — and it might affect it in some surprising ways. Beyond how different things may be IN the parks, getting to Disney World or Disneyland could look a little different as well.
We’re taking a look at the recent Federal Aid plan that includes a $25 billion Airline Rescue Package. How could that affect your trip to Disney? Let’s find out.
What is the Airline Rescue Package?
Let’s start with the basics. Towards the end of March, the U.S. Senate approved a major rescue for the struggling aviation sector. According to Reuters, the package is a mix of grants and loans meant to save airlines from bankruptcy and support over 750,000 employee paychecks during the time that flights are grounded. Essentially, it is a lifeline for airlines.
The goal is that airlines will be able to resume normal operations as soon as they can without being financially stunted or going out of business. The rescue was passed as a piece of the recent economic stabilization package. According to The New York Times, the strength of the airline industry is a major pillar of the United States economy; stabilizing the airlines means that tourism, business, and trade are more stabilized too.
The package obliges participating airlines to keep staffing levels, wages, salaries, and benefits at a minimum of 90% of what they were last April through September, according to The Daily Beast. This protects workers from furloughs and lay-offs so that a return to the status quo could be as seamless as possible.
When will I be flying again?
Ok, so what does that mean for the airplane PASSENGERS (AKA, just us regular joes)? The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is speculating that a gradual lifting of travel bans is coming as there are some signs of turning points for the travel market in China already.
With some improvements on the horizon, IATA projects a recovery of 75% of flights in the third quarter of 2020 with 90% returning by the end of the year.
The government prioritizing the airline rescue package shows that they believe air travel is an essential part of the nation’s economy. It will be a priority for major companies to get back in the air and travel again.
So, if you WANT to fly to Disney World, you should be able to do so.
Did you know there may be a high-speed train from MCO to Disney World in progress? Click here to learn more!
What about international passengers?
Things are a little different for international passengers. This lifeline for airlines doesn’t mean that international travel will rocket back to normal.
Airlines and airports in other countries may have trouble recovering if their governments do not offer a similar package. In that case, we might see international flights limited.
On top of that, it’s unclear at this time if airlines will necessarily be able to fill seats. If people are unwilling or unable to travel internationally, it could make the number of international flights available financially nonviable.
According to the New York Times, 68 countries around the world currently have some form of a travel ban in place that would also need to be lifted for travel to resume; many of them have limited or suspended international flights.
Needless to say, international travelers may have trouble making it to Orlando for some time. Interestingly enough, this could have an effect on crowds in a reopened Disney World (when the parks allow international visitors again). According to the Orlando Sentinel, around 20% of Walt Disney World guests are international.
What does this mean for your Disney World trip?
So the big question: What does this mean for YOUR Disney trip?
The lifeline means that it is a little safer (from a flight availability perspective) to book your flight for your Disney World trip later this year. Of course, you’ll need to be extra wary of cancellation and change fees. Many airlines have opted to waive fees but CHECK THAT FINE PRINT. We definitely recommend travel insurance at this uncertain time if you don’t want to risk it.
Another thing to remember is that airlines may be offering discounted rates as they attempt to return to normal flight patterns. As long as you’re protected from the fine print change and cancellation fees, this could mean it could be an even BETTER time to plan your Disney vacation.
And true, a reduction in international travelers means that crowds could be somewhat lighter. However, there are a LOT of variables going into what crowds will look like in the parks this year and the next. Try not to set your expectations too rigidly. The truth is, crowd levels in a reopened Disney World are very much a mystery at this time, as is the reopening itself.
For more guidance on factors affecting your upcoming Disney trip, remember to keep an eye on the DFB site! We’ll be sure to examine a BUNCH of different angles when it comes to things that could matter to your trip. Until next time, stay safe!
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What’s your opinion on the new Airline Rescue Package? Let us know in the comments!