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#960399 by 747G-VXLG
05 Apr 2021, 10:00
ColOrd wrote:Still showing MCO flights with 332s from both LHR and MCO, but I strongly suspect that you’re right and the 332s won’t return.


My friends’ flight to Orlando from Manchester has changed from an A332 to an A333. I don’t know how virgin will cope with the A333 on MCO flights given the fact that they are the lowest number of economy seats in the fleet. My prediction is that they will have to use the Heathrow A350s on the Orlando flights and maybe the Barbados flights this summer because they have the most economy and premium seats.
#960402 by StevieB
05 Apr 2021, 10:05
My booking for the 16th June (absolutely everything crossed!) on VS135 still showing as 11:00 departure on a 332.
I know lots of you have made comments about the 200's however, I am/was looking forward to trying out the upper class.
Anxiously waiting for the news today...
#960403 by 747G-VXLG
05 Apr 2021, 10:09
StevieB wrote:My booking for the 16th June (absolutely everything crossed!) on VS135 still showing as 11:00 departure on a 332.
I know lots of you have made comments about the 200's however, I am/was looking forward to trying out the upper class.
Anxiously waiting for the news today...


I’ve never flown on them before so I would have liked to have tried it. There is still a potential of them sticking around. They could even be kept for cargo flights.
#960410 by ColOrd
05 Apr 2021, 11:54
When you say “coping” it’s not like a train whereby there’s gonna be people at the airport chancing it on the day. VS will take bookings up to what they have capacity for and they have added capacity on some days with up to 3 daily LHRMCO.

It all is very complex airline pricing and ticketing, less seats means you can charge more, bigger premium cabins means you can upsell on the day.

I work in rail and customer research is telling us that people want to know that the train is clean and they can feel safe, and safe is having an open seat next to them with space to maintain distance. I would hazard a guess this is very similar to what air travellers are saying, and I think it will generate more demand for premium cabins, with people willing to pay up to get a bit more space from the person next to them, be that in Premium or Upper!
#960411 by 747G-VXLG
05 Apr 2021, 12:23
ColOrd wrote:When you say “coping” it’s not like a train whereby there’s gonna be people at the airport chancing it on the day. VS will take bookings up to what they have capacity for and they have added capacity on some days with up to 3 daily LHRMCO.

It all is very complex airline pricing and ticketing, less seats means you can charge more, bigger premium cabins means you can upsell on the day.

I work in rail and customer research is telling us that people want to know that the train is clean and they can feel safe, and safe is having an open seat next to them with space to maintain distance. I would hazard a guess this is very similar to what air travellers are saying, and I think it will generate more demand for premium cabins, with people willing to pay up to get a bit more space from the person next to them, be that in Premium or Upper!


What I mean is that they used to send 5 747s most days in summer 2019 from the uk and now they are going to send 5 smaller aircraft a day with basically half the capacity. I think that if travel is allowed this summer they will need more seats to fill the demand because the bookings will go right up when people are told they are allowed to go.

If they send 4 A333s and 1 789 every day that is only 1320 seats a day compared to 2275 from 5 747s. In my opinion 58% of usual capacity isn’t enough for the summer season. Even sending 5 of the LHR A350s would only be 1675 seats (73.6% of normal capacity).
#960412 by mitchja
05 Apr 2021, 12:56
I personally don't think airlines will see the same levels of demand initially as they saw in 2019. Whilst is will build back up, it won't be anything like those levels this year or even possibly next year either.

As already mentioned, there is now also a fear of flying / public transport with many people. They don't want to be sat inches away from a stranger for 6Hrs+ on a flight somewhere. They don't like the idea of queuing in airports with minimal social distancing. Whilst mask wearing is starting to become the norm now, many people still don't like the idea of having to wear a mask for that length of time either only removing it to eat or drink. Anyone who wears glasses are requires hearing aids will top of that list for sure!

Many people will be asking themselves 'Is it worth with going through all that just for a week or two abroad?'

I suspect the answer for a lot of people will now be no that that at the minute.

There is also the financial impact the last 12months+ has had on a lot of people to factor in as well.

I would say 50-60% demand will probably be about right certainly for at least the rest of this year. Do remember that VS will be monitoring incoming bookings all the time and basing capacity on that as well as other market factors and of course following government guidelines for travel.
#960413 by ColOrd
05 Apr 2021, 13:36
That’s a really fair analysis Mitchja for all the pent up demand and those willing to brave the new worlds there will equally be those who just won’t put up with the conditions (testing, facemasks etc)
#960418 by flyingfox
05 Apr 2021, 17:47
So the Government have published a roadmaps review update, a lot if not all has been drip feed to the media over the weekend including the traffic light system with a further more detailed announcement scheduled for later in the week. I see on page 5 paragraph 23 gives a nod to the possible use of the NHS APP as a “ solution will facilitate international travel where certification is required”.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... _FINAL.pdf
#960419 by mitchja
05 Apr 2021, 20:47
Airlines will also need to decide which digital health passport system they are going to use as there seems to be several different platforms on trial so far.

VS alone have got 2 different trials on the go at the minute (TrustAssure and the IATA Travel Pass). Delta are also trialing the TrustAssure platform. BA are trialing a different platform - VeriFLY.

Not sure about other airlines?

Is there going to be one system for all airlines or will each airline require different platforms?

What if you don't have a Smartphone? Will airlines accept paper copies? Having not had my COVID jab yet, do you even get anything to say you have had it? I don't think my parents did?

All this will need sorting out and clearing up before confidence starts to return with International travel.
#960420 by Hev60
05 Apr 2021, 22:34
mitchja wrote: Having not had my COVID jab yet, do you even get anything to say you have had it? I don't think my parents did?

All this will need sorting out and clearing up before confidence starts to return with International travel.


I’m due to have my 2nd Covid jab on Wednesday so I’ll let you know if I get anything official confirming my vaccination. After the first jab it was a little card, not even with my name on it !

Agree I think the guidance regarding travel will have to be very precise and clear. I personally think reluctance to travel will be more than just about masks & testing.

For instance those folk who are planning trips to Orlando when the US opens up, need to seriously research how the theme parks are operating first. Just this weekend I had some American friends visit Disney/Universal and they said the ‘magical experience’ was totally missing.

Firstly their resort hotel was still shut. To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same date are now required. Temperatures taken at the entrances. Masks are required at all times for anyone over 3 years old. Parks also have limited capacity and dining availability. This is something the Brits need to bear in mind. Having purchased a Disney 14 day ticket is one thing but you have then obtain a dated park reservation. Some of the transportation system are still shut. My friends were turned away from Disney Springs area because capacity there had been reached. The good thing is they are monitoring and applying the CDC safety measures.

Many ‘old normal’ activities just don’t happen at present. Apparently the character meet-and-greet experiences are a non event. There are no parades, shows or fireworks. The shops and dining areas have very limited capacity due to social distancing rules. Basically my friends felt their visit was a waste of money and very disappointing.

I have plans for a large family trip next year 2022 but I will seriously review this before throwing a lot of money on theme parks activities which certainly sound the very opposite to magical or exciting adventures.
#960421 by nicsbx
06 Apr 2021, 03:34
Hev60 wrote:I’m due to have my 2nd Covid jab on Wednesday so I’ll let you know if I get anything official confirming my vaccination. After the first jab it was a little card, not even with my name on it !


Having just had my 2nd and working in healthcare, they just add the info for the 2nd dose to that little card and state it should be proof if needed. My name is on the top of mine. The info is also recorded digitally when you have the vaccine given so could be linked into the NHS app if and when they use that as a passport.

From what info is going around, any ‘covid passport’ system would show proof of either full vaccination, immunity from having recovered from covid, or a negative covid test result. The idea they’re hoping for is not to discriminate just because a person hasn’t had one or both vaccinations yet.
#960423 by VS075
06 Apr 2021, 12:05
mitchja wrote:I personally don't think airlines will see the same levels of demand initially as they saw in 2019. Whilst is will build back up, it won't be anything like those levels this year or even possibly next year either.

As already mentioned, there is now also a fear of flying / public transport with many people. They don't want to be sat inches away from a stranger for 6Hrs+ on a flight somewhere. They don't like the idea of queuing in airports with minimal social distancing. Whilst mask wearing is starting to become the norm now, many people still don't like the idea of having to wear a mask for that length of time either only removing it to eat or drink. Anyone who wears glasses are requires hearing aids will top of that list for sure!

Many people will be asking themselves 'Is it worth with going through all that just for a week or two abroad?'

I suspect the answer for a lot of people will now be no that that at the minute.

There is also the financial impact the last 12months+ has had on a lot of people to factor in as well.

I would say 50-60% demand will probably be about right certainly for at least the rest of this year. Do remember that VS will be monitoring incoming bookings all the time and basing capacity on that as well as other market factors and of course following government guidelines for travel.


This. 100%.

I had reason to wear a mask for 3-4hrs recently except for eating/drinking. The back of my ears were sore after that long wearing a mask, though it could be the cord on the back of the mask that's not great. I expect the only people who won't complain are healthcare workers who usually have to wear masks all day, but certainly from my perspective after my recent experience I don't like the idea of wearing a mask for longer than that unless absolutely necessary. Besides the mask issue, I have no qualms about public transport unless they're seriously overcrowded or if ventilation is non-existent.

Like you, I can't see a rapid recovery during the second half of this year. It will probably be the middle of this decade before capacity and demand are back to 2019 levels.

In the case of places such as Florida, even if Biden lifts the ban on travellers from the UK before the summer holidays, my personal opinion is that I can't see there being the usual amount of passengers travelling straight away. I also see that Florida COVID-19 cases have slowly been rising again in the last couple of weeks - not much of a surprise given they are one of the states attempting to fully open up and about 1/7th of its population have received full doses of a COVID-19 vaccine thus far: -

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/corona ... 08916.html
https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/p ... tered.html

I also see the governor has outlawed COVID-19 vaccine passports of sorts: -

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/03/us/f ... index.html

Hev60 wrote:For instance those folk who are planning trips to Orlando when the US opens up, need to seriously research how the theme parks are operating first. Just this weekend I had some American friends visit Disney/Universal and they said the ‘magical experience’ was totally missing.


That's not surprising. Even before Virgin Holidays cancelled our trip last year, I had made my mind up after reading into the measures the parks were implementing that I did not fancy it at all. The reservations idea I did not like in particular as I have been to more than one park a few times in the past and sometimes changed decision over which parks to go to the night before, particularly if the weather isn't looking favourable which makes certain parks less attractive. As soon as international visitors are allowed to enter the US again, I can see parks being booked out for weeks, or even months, on end. It's bad enough hearing about people who book into Disney restaurants as part of their dining plans weeks and months in advance.

Until such a time the parks lift all restrictions and they return to how it was before the pandemic, I'm minded to avoid them.
#960429 by 747G-VXLG
06 Apr 2021, 18:36
Just a heads up to anyone flying out of Manchester in the summer, it seems that there have been more aircraft changes:
VS73/74 - A330-300
VS75/76 - A330-300
VS77/78 - A330-300
VS109/110 - A330-300
VS127/128 - A330-300
VS181/182 - A330-300
VS362/363 - B787-9

Additionally, times of some flights have also been changed.
#960466 by ColOrd
09 Apr 2021, 07:09
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56682226

So as expected the details behind the traffic light system announced with any international travel requiring a full PCR test on arrival back to the U.K!

My thoughts on this: if you’ve booked a long haul trip and you’ve invested in it financially and emotionally it won’t put you off.

Short haul weekends away, there is a big question mark is this worth it?!

Not really a great reopening for the travel sector!

As an individual who travels in upper, I’m okay with this and I will happily pay for it and deal with the hassle, but if you are a family, really how much would you put up with where it just feels easier to go to Cornwall or Centre Parks?!
#960469 by Cat_H
09 Apr 2021, 08:56
Yes, the testing requirement doesn't put me off. I all but budgeted for it after having to move our trip last year.

We're going to Sandals in Jamaica so hopefully it'll be on the green list as well as a good chunk of the Caribbean. Helpfully, Sandals are providing on site complimentary testing for your return so that at least cuts out one side of it.

Having done a cursory investigation, it looks like I will be paying £99-£149 per test which includes same day or next day results as Jamaica needs it to be no more than 72 hours before your arrival.
#960470 by VS075
09 Apr 2021, 09:24
The testing requirements before is likely to put some people off, though I guess you won't have a choice if you want to go somewhere where a negative test within 72hrs is an entry requirement.

I question the need to get a PCR test on return if you've had all COVID-19 vaccine doses and you're returning from a green country. After all, we have been repeatedly told the vaccines are our ticket to normality*. That said, if a country is known to have variants which a vaccine isn't good at handling without a booster, maybe that country shouldn't be on the green list to begin with?

I think for some people this will be enough to push them towards taking their holidays in the UK this year. I also agree with Col that weekend trips away are a non-starter. I'm also not sure if businesses will allow their employees to take business trips abroad if they have to go through the testing process, as I imagine they will be expected to foot the testing bill for their employees. It will certainly stop the last-minute business trips from happening.

*Normality at home at least.
#960471 by Hev60
09 Apr 2021, 10:09
Jet2 have suspended all their holidays and flights until late June due to the uncertainly of travel plans.

Let’s face it with the current spike in Covid numbers in popular European holiday destinations I personally think that is a very sensible decision by a major company. After all we have been through over the past year + surely it would also be sensible for the government to take the same action however unpopular it might be.
#960472 by flyingfox
09 Apr 2021, 10:55
The GTT are going to have 3 “Check Point’s” to review the measures on;

• Checkpoint 1: no later than 28 June 2021
• Checkpoint 2: no later than 31 July 2021
• Checkpoint 3: no later than 1 October 2021

I hope as we move into Summer that some of the testing requirements for travel in the green list countries will be eased and perhaps switch to the quicker and cheaper lateral flow tests and maybe VS put some kind of pre-departure testing package together which takes care of all the testing.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... ce-web.pdf
#960473 by Q_Division
09 Apr 2021, 11:37
My September flight to LAX has both change time (approx. 1hr earlier both ways) and aircraft A350-1000 -> B787-9 which is a bit disappointing as I was looking forward to trying out the 1000. That said given the way CA is going at the moment, it's not clear if it's worth going or not.
#960474 by VS075
09 Apr 2021, 12:36
Just a thought about the new traffic light system and testing requirements. Another thing that might put people off is their travel insurance policies not covering them if there's a positive test prior to travel meaning they have to abandon their travel plans.
#960478 by muppster
09 Apr 2021, 14:55
Q_Division wrote:My September flight to LAX has both change time (approx. 1hr earlier both ways) and aircraft A350-1000 -> B787-9 which is a bit disappointing as I was looking forward to trying out the 1000. That said given the way CA is going at the moment, it's not clear if it's worth going or not.


Californias case numbers pretty much mirror the UK...at the turn of the year there were around 30-40000 new cases per day, now thats down to a steady 2500-3000, deaths were up to 750 a day but down to 100-150 now.
#960479 by Elmo73
09 Apr 2021, 18:20
VS075 wrote:Just a thought about the new traffic light system and testing requirements. Another thing that might put people off is their travel insurance policies not covering them if there's a positive test prior to travel meaning they have to abandon their travel plans.

Our travel insurance annual policy auto-renewed in January, and covid cover is included, whether a positive before, or during trip. Cover even includes quarantine/extended costs ( reasonable, probably comfort inn!) The only stipulation, is that travel isn't against government advice. Whilst I can't speak for others, it's not a moot point for us.
#960484 by Vegascrazy
10 Apr 2021, 11:04
I noticed that my jab is showing on the NHS app, If you click “GP health record” it then lists things including immunisations. My first jab is listed there. I asked a few friends and theirs also shows - so perhaps the app will be means of evidencing? Apparently by default our “summary health records” show on the app, not full clinical but things like allergies and immunisations. Seems that some people have their covid jab listed under “consultations and events” - think it depends on the IT system in use at GP surgery.

nicsbx wrote:
Hev60 wrote:I’m due to have my 2nd Covid jab on Wednesday so I’ll let you know if I get anything official confirming my vaccination. After the first jab it was a little card, not even with my name on it !


Having just had my 2nd and working in healthcare, they just add the info for the 2nd dose to that little card and state it should be proof if needed. My name is on the top of mine. The info is also recorded digitally when you have the vaccine given so could be linked into the NHS app if and when they use that as a passport.

From what info is going around, any ‘covid passport’ system would show proof of either full vaccination, immunity from having recovered from covid, or a negative covid test result. The idea they’re hoping for is not to discriminate just because a person hasn’t had one or both vaccinations yet.
#960485 by ColOrd
10 Apr 2021, 11:39
Did you get your jab through your GP or through one of the separate Vaccination centres? I did mine through one of the centres and ignored the link my GP sent me to get it locally and nothing is showing on my NHS app!
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