The past few weeks have been a total roller coaster of COVID news. Right now you would have to either have a death wish or simply not love your family to risk getting on an airline or traveling at all (even in a car – just stay home for now everyone – please).
But even the CEO from Moderna said that we “could” return to “normal” life by NEXT WINTER. Let that sink in a bit. We MAYBE will be normal by next winter. This is no guarantee. Some are saying it could be as late as 2024 or 2025 for EVERYONE to get vaccinated! So even with such stunning early results, there will be issues to overcome like:
- Making almost 16 BILLION doses (it is a 2 shot treatment)
- Distributing 16 BILLION doses
- Some will refuse to take vaccine even if free
- We don’t know how long protection will last
- We don’t know the impact/effectiveness on mutated Coronavirus strains
- We don’t know if yearly shots will be required to keep COVID gone
You can probably add a number of other items to my list above, but you see my point. This is not going to be a flip-a-switch-and-problem-over situation. And even if it were, notice what Barrons.com recently said:
“If we really get it by year-end, it will probably take time in 2021 to distribute this so it won’t have a big impact on our industry,” he said in an interview on Friday. “But then 2022, it can be a big game changer.”
That, finally, gets us to my point of today’s post. I called, correctly, early on that Delta should extend elite status for everyone for this year into next year. Delta could clearly see that just about no business travel was going to happen for the rest of 2020. I have been spending a ton of time reading up on how business managers are planing for 2021. A bulk of them are talking about NO BUSINESS TRAVEL until after 1 SEPT 2021.
Think about that!
That means most of 2021 will likely also be a business travel bust. I think that is very realistic when you think of what the planet is facing to try to get COVID under control. It will take a Herculean effort to get the developed world mostly treated by the autumn of next year. Likely we are talking the END of 2021 before that happens to the point that full confidence that “normal” travel life is safe once again.
What that means for Delta Medallion status and us elite flyers is simply this: Delta will likely have to “push” our status again for 2021.
Either that will become a must or, if mass treatment is looking MUCH better than it looks right now, a mega modification of re-qualification number during 2021 for the 2022 Medallion year. That could also work if they did something simple like:
- 50% re-qualifying everything during 2021!
Since, under ideal conditions, at least half of 2021 will also be a COVID bust simply cut all the MQM, MQD, and MQS qualifying numbers in half. Not only is it a simple plan for everyone to understand, but it may even, once it is safe to fly again, motivate elites to go full speed to end the year to get ready for a return to normal in 2022.
As for me – what are my plans? I have ZERO plans to step onto an aircraft in 2020. It is just not safe or fun to travel right now. I plan to take one of the vaccines as soon as I can. I plan to consider travel, at the soonest, by late summer or early fall of 2021 making it likely over a 1 ½ year gap between flights (SMH – I can not believe this). If too many (fools) resist treatment and/or the roll-out takes longer than expected then I will likely not fly all of 2021 and instead plan for a mega binge of travel to begin 2022.
I really don’t think I am alone in the above consideration of the reality of the situation and that means, during 2021, Delta is going to have to address the Medallion situation again. Agree? – René
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