Travel stocks slump, with airlines, cruises, hotels tumble
Air travel in the United States hit another pandemic-era record over the weekend as vacationers jammed airports, but shares of airlines, cruise lines, hotels and almost anything else related to travel are tumbling on growing concerns about highly contagious variants of coronavirus.
US air travel rises to highest levels yet since pandemic hit
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)Across the United States, air travel is recovering more quickly from the depths of the pandemic, and it is showing up in longer airport security lines and busier traffic on airline websites. "Our last three weeks have been the best three weeks since the pandemic hit, and each week has been better than the one prior,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said Monday. However, the airlines still have far to go before travel fully returns to pre-pandemic levels. Since the pandemic hit, air travel has picked up a few times — mostly around holidays — only to drop back down. The airline said people are booking leisure trips to beach and mountain destinations but business travel is still lagging.
The Latest: All Duke University undergrads must quarantine
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University issued a quarantine order for all of its undergraduates effective Saturday night due to a coronavirus outbreak caused by students who attended recruitment parties, the school said. The university said in a statement that all undergraduate students will be forced to stay-in-place until at least March 21. Suspension or dismissal from the school are potential punishments for “flagrant or repeat violators.”Over the past week, the school has reported more than 180 positive coronavirus cases among students. AdItaly has now tallied some 3.2 million cases in the pandemic. The COVAX alliance aims to share COVID-19 vaccines with more than 90 lower and middle-income nations.
TSA enforcing face masks for all public transportation passengers until May
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented a new policy regarding the use of face masks. Starting Tuesday all travelers are required to wear face masks while in airports, bus and rail stations, as well as while on passenger aircraft, public transportation, passenger railroads, and over-the-road buses operating on scheduled fixed-routes. The requirement is expected to remain in effect until May 11, according to TSA officials. “TSA will fully comply with the President’s Executive Orders, CDC guidance and the DHS National Emergency determination to ensure healthy and secure travel across all transportation sectors. AdVisit TSA.gov for more information about face mask requirements.
TSA looking into adding Capitol rioters to US no-fly list
Federal safety officials are investigating people who took part in last week's riot at the U.S. Capitol to decide whether they belong on the federal no-fly list. The assessments are one of several steps federal agencies are taking to increase security before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week. The assessments could result in rioters being added to the federal no-fly list, the person said. The FBI said earlier this week it was considering adding Capitol rioters to the federal no-fly list but stopped short of saying that individuals were being scrutinized. Airlines and Washington-area airports also have promised tighter security after last week’s riot at the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.
US airlines could lose more than $35 billion due to pandemic, financial research firm FACTSET reports
American Airlines’ share price lost 45%, its biggest percentage decline since before the carrier’s 2013 merger with US Airways. Delta Airlines’ stock lost 31%, while United Airlines fell 51% over the last 12 months, its biggest drop since 2008. The S&P 500, meanwhile, rose by more than 16% in 2020. U.S. carriers’ increased their total debt by $67 billion in 2020 to more than $172 billion to weather the crisis, according to trade group Airlines for America. On the bright side, air travel demand has recovered a lot of ground compared with the volumes hit early in the pandemic.
Photos: What TSA agents took from people at airports in 2020
SAN ANTONIO – No, you can’t bring fireworks through an airport on a trip, but you knew that didn’t you? Even in a year where the coronavirus pandemic limited most people’s travel plans, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents were still able to seize some interesting items. And no matter how creative your knife is, even a lipstick look-alike will not make the plane. Images were provided by the Transportation Security Administration Southwest region. Check out the gallery of forbidden carry-on items below:Full Screen Full Screen 1 / 28 Lipstick knife, Tulsa Airport.
VIRUS TODAY: Huge study on another COVID vaccine is underway
Administrative worker Sander Edmondson, left, hands a COVID-19 testing kit to a woman at a testing site in Los Angeles, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)Here’s what’s happening Monday with the pandemic in the U.S.:THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY— A huge study of another COVID-19 vaccine candidate is getting underway Monday as states continue to roll out scarce supplies of the nation’s first shots. Some 30,000 volunteers are needed to prove if this vaccine — a different kind than its Pfizer and Moderna competitors — really works and is safe. — Homicides in Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and other U.S. cities have topped 2019 numbers as violence surged during the coronavirus pandemic. ___Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic
The Latest: China tests millions in port over virus cluster
(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)BEIJING — Authorities in China’s northeastern port city of Dalian are testing millions of residents after seven new coronavirus cases were reported there in the last 24 hours. It has a deal to secure up to 100 million doses of the potential vaccine produced by AstraZeneca. Koca said the first shipment of three million doses of CoronaVac would be shipped to Turkey on Sunday and arrive Monday. He said Turkey could get 4.5 million doses until the end of March and would have the option buy up to 30 million doses. Indonesia has reported nearly 700,000 COVID-19 cases, the largest caseload in Southeast Asia and second in Asia only to India’s 10.1 million confirmed cases.
Holiday air travel surges despite dire health warnings
The Transportation Security Administration screened at least 1 million people on four of the last 10 days through Sunday. That's still half the crowd recorded last year at airports, when more than 2 million people were counted per day. With new reported cases of coronavirus spiking across the country, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had issued a warning against Thanksgiving travel just a week before the holiday. It's unclear whether the pleas of experts like Fauci had any effect on travel and large gatherings at Thanksgiving. On Monday, JetBlue Airways said “booking trends remain volatile,” and a recovery in travel demand will be uneven into next year.
Many Americans flying for holiday despite CDC pleas
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Millions of Americans bought tickets to fly somewhere for Thanksgiving before the nation's top public health agency pleaded with them not to travel for the holiday. That's despite relatively lenient cancellation policies that major airlines have implemented since the coronavirus pandemic emerged earlier this year. Images that emerged this weekend of crowded airport terminals showed that plenty of people are flying anyway. A day earlier, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Americans should skip Thanksgiving travel and not spend the holiday with people from outside their household. But most are also offering opportunities for people to skip their holiday flights and travel later, though travelers might have to pay more for the replacement flight if it's more expensive.
Air traffic is down, gun seizures up at US airports
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)With air traffic nearing a five-month high, airport security is finding guns in passenger carry-on bags at three times the rate recorded before the pandemic. There has been a significant increase in loaded guns at checkpoints, said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. Last year, 4,432 guns were found in carry-on bags, or about 12.1 per day, and 87% were loaded. TSA's public appeal to follow gun rules came the same day that it reported screening 831,789 people on Sunday. It was the first time checkpoint traffic in U.S. airports has topped 800,000 since March 17.
Reports: TSA insider faults agency's response to coronavirus
The top TSA official in Kansas, Jay Brainard, says the TSAs actions amount to gross mismanagement." The special counsel has ordered TSA's parent agency, the Homeland Security Department, to conduct an investigation. Brainard filed his whistleblower complaint on June 3, and the special counsel on Thursday ordered the Homeland Security Department to investigate the allegations. By law, the special counsel only takes that step when it believes there is a substantial likelihood of wrongdoing. The special counsel will review Homeland Securitys findings and issue a report to the White House and Congress.
TSA shows how many people are flying right now, and what you should expect while traveling
According to Transportation Security Administration data, in March, the number of fliers was already significantly lower than the year before. According to TSA, this week, airports recorded the highest number of travelers since the coronavirus pandemic began. On Tuesday, the administration showed there were 441,255 travelers at airports in the U.S., compared to June 7, 2019, at 2,225,952 travelers. Passengers are encouraged to wear facial protection, and all TSA agents at security will be wearing facial coverings. Tell us how you feel about air travel amid the coronavirus pandemic in the comment section below.
Businesses ramp up operations as nations prep for tourists
Five restaurants continue to operate with enhanced off-premise service only, while nine restaurants remain temporarily closed. Transactions at fast food restaurants were down 17% the week of May 24, while transactions at sit-down chains were down 49%. CENTRAL GOVERNMENTS & BANKS: Spains national statistics office said that it received zero international tourists in April. That compares with 7 million tourists that spent 7 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in Spain in the prior-year period. Istanbuls 15th century Grand Bazaar, museums, gyms, child care centers and nurseries, were among other venues allowed to resume operations.
TSA’s naughty list: What you should not take on a plane this holiday season
And please, please, please remove any loaded guns from your duffel bag before entering your airport security line. "Any time we have prohibited items coming through a TSA checkpoint, it slows down our screening," says TSA spokesman Mark Howell. People found with guns at TSA passenger checkpoints often claim they didn't remember their guns were in their bags -- even though most of those guns were loaded. "If It can be pumped, poured, spread or sprayed and it's more than 3.4 ounces," it needs to be packed, says TSA's Howell. Even those loaded guns aren't seized by the TSA.