SAN ANTONIO – At least one in 10 travelers would fly right now, with no COVID-19 vaccine or special conditions on safety precautions, if given the chance, according to a survey.
On the other hand, nearly 35% of survey participants said they do not feel comfortable flying until there is a cure for the virus, which has devastated the travel industry and economies as a whole.
Those results are from a survey by The Vacation, which asked 583 adults in the U.S. for their opinion about traveling amid the pandemic.
The “Traveling and Entertainment in 2020 Amid COVID-19 Survey” found that about 14% of people would fly right now with no special conditions, nearly 17% would fly if masks are mandatory for employees and travelers and 34% would fly with mandatory masks plus empty middle seats.
About 53% of people said they would not pay extra for an empty middle seat, and 26% said they would pay up to 25% of their ticket cost to keep that seat vacant. Nearly 4% said they would pay for that extra seat themselves just to keep it empty, the survey says.
People trust four major airlines — American, Delta, Southwest and United — to keep them safe from COVID-19, and only 12% trust low-cost carriers.
Travelers trust Dallas-based Southwest the most, with 23% of votes from participants.
The survey also found that the majority of participants — Nearly 63% — feel the safest in chain hotels rather than Airbnbs, independent hotels or hostels.
U.S. officials are pushing to reopen more states as the summer travel season approaches.
The announcement of the reopening of Las Vegas casinos is the latest major push for tourism. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said Tuesday that casinos in the gambling mecca can reopen June 4 after a 10-week shutdown.
Worldwide, the virus has infected nearly 5.6 million people and killed over 350,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University of government reports, which experts say does not show the entire scope of the pandemic.
About 1.6 million cases have been reported in the U.S., causing early 100,000 deaths.