by Donald Wood
Last updated: 10:15 AM ET, Mon October 12, 2020
New data suggests travelers taking to the skies during the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday period will encounter far less congestion at the airport with passengers booking significantly fewer flights.
According to global travel data provider OAG, American and United airlines reported a 75 percent dip in bookings for November, while Delta Air Lines said sales were down 12 percent during one of the busiest travel periods each year.
The study found that airlines are dealing with a "triple whammy" of negative factors; fewer bookings, the use of vouchers from previously canceled travel and diminished demand causing lower yields.
One of the biggest potential issues for travelers is that carriers could cut their schedules due to a decline in demand. Passengers would receive a notice of the changes between three and five weeks before their scheduled departure.
OAG officials expect a small spike in passengers taking to the skies, similar to those holidays during the summer and Labor Day, but bookings quickly settled back to the new normal demand levels.
In addition, research performed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found the possibility of being infected with the coronavirus while on an airplane is extraordinarily low.
The organization found that since the start of 2020, only 44 cases of COVID-19 were thought to have been transmitted as the direct result of a flight journey. That includes confirmed, probable and potential cases.
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