- August 31, 2021
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OAKLAND (KPIX) – As the Delta variant continues to spread, some businesses are on edge. The hospitality industry is starting to see consumer confidence decline with fewer bookings and more cancellations.
At the Oakland Airport, many who flew in say they were slightly apprehensive about taking to the skies. According to Southwest Airlines, they are starting to see travelers put their travel plans on pause.
“It’s hard. It’s hard. It’s no fun and it’s stressful,” traveler Sandy Kauffman says.
Kauffman flew in from Phoenix and she’s starting to re-think air travel as the Delta variant spreads.
According to a filing Southwest Airlines recently made to the Securities and Exchange Commission, it’s a trend. The company says cancellations and fewer bookings are believed to be driven by the recent rise in COVID-19 and the delta variant.
For Yvette Gomez, flying comes with higher risks.
“I was a little scared because I’ve had Covid before,” she says.
Gomez was infected a couple of months ago and has been experiencing long term symptoms ever since, including heart issues.
Others travelers, though, are comforted by the fact that almost everyone is following all the precautions.
Manuel Rodriguez says, “They do a good job at all the airports. We just got back from Arizona and they do a good job with compliance and making sure you’re wearing your mask.
Elan Kim adds, “I think I’m safe but I’m usually pretty cautious so I don’t take off my mask ever.”
“They’re enforcing all the rules and I feel comfortable. I’ve traveled throughout the whole Covid,” concludes traveler Richard Eggleston.
As air travel starts to see a decline, local destinations are seeing business remain strong. Napa Valley is at 88% of 2019 levels but that’s because with the worker shortage, businesses are intentionally not filling up to full capacity.
“We’re not over committing. So we are only taking as much business as we can service at the level that we are known for and our guests expect,” says CEO Linsey Gallagher with Visit Napa Valley.
Along with air travel, Airbnb is also reporting demand took a dip in July and it expects the virus and the variants will continue to have an affect on travel behavior.