There is no doubt that the 2020 Thanksgiving will be different from any other in the past. As restrictions are being lifted in some states and, paired with the need of people seeing their families across country in such challenging times, passengers are looking for options to travel for the holiday weekend.
Last year, according to Skyscanner, more than 60 percent of Thanksgiving travelers booked their trips within the six weeks leading up to the holiday. Due to constantly changing state restrictions and flight availability, that tendency seems likely to hold this year as well, bolstered by with the prevailing trend to make last-minute bookings.
Fort Lauderdale-based private jet provider Monarch Air Group is seeing bookings for Thanksgiving from the Northeast to popular destinations in Florida. Clients want to spend some time in South Florida and then connect to the islands in the Caribbean, Central and South America, specifically, Mexico – Tulum, Anguilla, Bermuda, Saint Lucia, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Saint Barthelemy.
Most traffic is composed of family, a lot of couples and also those who didn’t get to vacation during the summer or even honeymoon, taking advantage of the break and relaxed standards of restrictions and safety to travel for the holiday weekend.
If the pandemic is still a concern, well, private aviation is safer as it has far less touchpoints in the process, thus curbing the spread of Covid-19. It allows to choose who joins you in the cabin, the pre-flight process only lasts 15 minutes, you can land at the closest private airport to destination, and, most importantly, availability is high. Passengers manage their travel experience to a large extent.
Rise of first-time travelers
Yes, private aviation has also been affected by the pandemic, as there have been less motives to travel overall (no board meetings, sporting events, weddings), nevertheless, those in real need to travel in a safe and reliable manner, have opted to charter a private aircraft.
And now, with a real motivation to reunite with the family, and with commercial aviation still surrounded by questions, private jet providers are in a prime position to demonstrate the real value of this segment. David Gitman, President of Fort Lauderdale-based Monarch Air Group, shared that the amount of bookings for the 2020 Thanksgiving have maintained the numbers of previous years, which is astonishing considering the turmoil surrounding air transportation these days.
“Reuniting with the family will give everyone some much needed rest, relaxation and quality time with loved ones. Private aviation can play an important role in granting people an opportunity for normality, allowing a safe and flexible flight to any city in the United States or abroad to experience the Thanksgiving that everyone deserves”, concluded Gitman.
Pairing each client with the best available aircraft considering the route, number of passengers and budget is one of the services provided by private jet companies. For instance, for a shorter trip, the cost-efficient option would be chartering a turboprop instead of a jet. Passengers will still experience private aviation’s wide array of amenities in a comfortable aircraft and almost at half the price. Especially for first-time fliers, choosing an experienced private jet provider will make or break the overall experience.
For longer coast to coast trips, the obvious option would be a jet, although it is advisable that passengers, especially first-time fliers, search for serious and experienced charter solution companies to find the perfect option for their travel needs.
Whether it’s a flight from Miami to New York or any other destination in the country, private aviation will be available for families to reunite and enjoy a somewhat normal Thanksgiving, thus pumping the breaks, at least for a while, from a crazy 2020.