The New Normal for Air Travel: Facemasks, Middle Seats, Sanitized Jets

Face masks are part of the new normal for air travel.

FAIRFAX, VA — The coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on travel industry, and not just economically, but a local travel management company says they are starting to see promising signs from consumers and face masks may be here to stay long after the virus.

“It has been a wild ride, but I think we are making progress,” Gloria Bohan, President and CEO of Omega World Travel and told 104.7 WONK FM’s Jen Richer.

The industry has been working to restore consumer confidence when it comes to traveling.

“I see that many of the suppliers of travel: the airlines, the car rental companies, the cruises, hotels; they’re all working very hard to do whatever they can to ensure safe travel,” Bohan said. “We are getting all kinds of information in on a regular basis, sometimes two or three times a day, we are getting updates from the suppliers on new initiatives on their part to change how they’ve been doing business, all in the interest of making sure they are answering to the need for safe travel.”

That can be tough to accomplish with a skeleton staff. The hospitality industry has arguably seen some of the greatest losses to their workforce. Bohan is taking the time during the pandemic to not only upskill her current staff, but also recruit and train those who have lost their jobs on travel sales.

“The education process is very important,” Bohan says. “As I see so many people are now out of work, having been laid off, we think that it’s also a good time for us to offer new skill set training so that people can do something new.”

Through webinar training, she has been offering courses in specialized vacation travel, from how to sell camping adventures to offering incentive travel as a way to supplement incomes while job seekers are waiting to return to their careers.


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