Wow, when you think about where we’ve come from in a little over a year—it’s amazing, the perseverance of the American spirit. This time last year, we were in the dark on so many fronts. However, now with COVID vaccinations at such a rapid distribution pace, there’s bright lights ahead in this tunnel we’ve been in. More than half of Americans have been given their first dose of the COVID vaccine and the impact is evident one key indicator is the travel industry.
Travel Industry (And Houston Limo Service) Are Back!
People have received a huge confidence boost with the lowering case numbers. Even among states like ours and Florida which have completely lifted all restrictions for some time. No state mask mandates, no more public capacity restrictions, businesses are back and booming, as is the travel industry.
You don’t have to look at economic stats to figure that out all you need to do is look at the signs of life. Not just proof of life, but proof that the travel industry is roaring back and people are ready for a vacation!
Don’t believe it yet? It’s not just the demand for Houston limo service from Excelsior that indicates a bump. Just check out these other signs that tell you travel is back…without telling you it’s back.
Airports Are Bustling Again
It wasn’t too long ago that Airports looked like a ghost town, like something out of an apocalyptic drama. Flights were canceled left and right, regular service to major cities such as NYC was nearly cut in half. Flights that did take off were at less than half full and we’re talking resort destinations like Cozumel—near empty!
Well, in a catch 22 the crowds are back, TSA is creeping back up to an hour or more in most major airports. That empty middle seat on your flight—no longer your extended space. Oh, and those ridiculously cheap hotel room rates for places like the Hilton Manhattan—GONE!
While it may sound like bad news to those who took advantage of cheap airfare and tons of space—it’s not. Travel coming back is a key performance indicator of our economy. Travel, even business travel, is a non-essential expense in most cases. So, the fact that airports have seen all-time highs in traffic shows that we’re coming out of the dark valley.
This trend will only continue to grow when business travel to and from hubs like LA, NYC, and Chicago kick into full gear in the fall. TSA reports they will only require masks to be worn on flights and in airports until September of this year. That could even be moved up if COVID cases continue to trend downward.
Of course, with the shortage of workers that also has led to supply shortages, airports are lacking efficiency. So, grabbing a bite to eat at the airport or buying a gift or something might take a lot longer—so plan for delays.
Airlines Are Adding Flights
Airlines have already been scrambling to add flights to their schedules as early as before spring break earlier this year. Even ahead of the Super Bowl, which finally allowed fans, airlines had to accommodate that demand for Tampa Bay flights. Southwest is one company that added direct flights from KC to Tampa—not normally a hot route. On May 2, 2021, alone, the TSA has reported stats for screening travelers at almost 1.7 million. Compare that to the less than 175 thousand the same day a year ago.
And these stats aren’t even reflecting a majority of business travel—it’s mostly the leisure travel market. Businesses are still being a bit apprehensive, especially in CA, NY, and other more restrictive states. People that usually don’t travel are getting out for the first time in decades, for some it’s their first flight ever.
Yeah, travel is making a HUGE comeback, especially to major tourist attractions in Florida, Mexico, and The Caribbean.
Hotels Are Booking More Rooms
Major hotel chains such as Hilton, Marriot, and Hyatt are seeing record occupancies in their properties and they need it. COVID left hotels like the Hilton Garden Inn Manhattan unloading rooms in NYC for only $57.00 a night. We’re talking a 4-star property whose rooms normally go for about $300.00 a night!
With all these sudden demand changes in a market that normally sees smooth highs and lows, it’s causing problems. Kind of a bittersweet success so to speak. Travel essentials such as rental cars, flight availability, hotel room prices are through the roof.
That is making many travelers realize the convenience and stability of private transportation.
Houston Limo Service: The Smart Bet For Summer Vacationers
If you haven’t noticed, travel went from being wide open for availability and dirt cheap, to packed and expensive seemingly overnight. Think about rental car costs, gas at nearly 3.00 a gallon and climbing, and long airport lines. You might want to rethink how you travel and get around once you get to your destination.
One option you may have overlooked is private transportation when in your vacation destination. As one of the top Houston Limo services, we have seen a huge spike in demand for our services as well. The difference is, we were prepared for this because we always think five steps ahead. We knew this would happen and here’s why:
Rental Car Availability Is Rare And Insanely Expensive
During the peak of the COVID pandemic, the travel industry took a big hit, especially transportation, hospitality, and car rental companies. To keep from failing, rental agencies had to liquidate much of their fleet, sometimes at below-market prices.
Now that the travel industry is coming back they are desperately missing those vehicles. In turn, because of a shortage of new vehicles as well—rental rates have skyrocketed. A compact car in Houston used to rent for an average of $23.00/day before COVID. Now, something as small as a Ford Fiesta rents for $88.00/day plus fees and taxes.
Also, there is quite a shortage of new vehicles for purchase due to component shortages. Where rental cars were mainly for business and vacations—now they’re a necessity in some cases. With higher demand but less supply—it’s really hard to get a rental.
Hardly Any Rideshare Drivers Available
Combine the pandemic and a federal unemployment plan that essentially pays workers more to stay home—and you’ve got a labor shortage. During the height of COVID, the rideshare and even many transportation providers were stunned. Rideshare drivers had no airport pickups, no weekend bar scene customers, nothing, not even food delivery service. That forced a lot out of the industry and the rideshare drivers that are left, can’t handle the load. Without that constant hustle, these drivers have time to realize that being a rideshare driver isn’t all that profitable. So, many just gave up on being a driver for them. As a result of this “awakening,” our Houston limo service has seen a huge spike in business.
Many of our trips have been with clients that never used a car service before. They are shocked at how much better the service is. How much cleaner the cars are, and how professional the drivers carry themselves. We’ve had a huge bump in repeat business from clients that had never used a car service before this spring.
Why Choose Houston Limo Service Over A Rideshare?
We’re not shy about our belief that our car service is a much safer and better value than rideshare. Rideshare companies are experiencing a terrible shortage of drivers. So, it only makes sense that they may be forced to hire those they normally wouldn’t, to satisfy the demand. Here’s the benefits you get when you go with Excelsior Houston Limo Service:
- Extensive COVID safety measures
- Professionally Trained Drivers
- Employees receive thorough background checks
- Vehicles are maintained and cleaned daily, in-house
- We disinfect every vehicle before and after each client
Are You Ready To Start Traveling Again?
We’re sure you may be pondering your first post-lockdown trip. Whether it’s transportation to the airport you need or a party bus for a night out. We want you to be able to experience normalcy again and getting out on a trip is therapeutic. We may be based in Houston, but we operate worldwide, so if you need our services just contact us to book conveniently online from anywhere.