DENVER (KDVR) — Given the spread and uncertainty of the omicron variant, many Coloradans are wondering whether they should change their holiday plans; especially for those who are traveling to see family.
Experts tell the Problem Solvers it’s really going to come down to an individual’s choice and how comfortable they feel as new information about the variant comes out in the days and weeks ahead.
Already, major airlines and travel agencies are receiving calls from customers who are once again finding themselves dealing with COVID-19 anxiety.
In terms of any potential health risks while flying, aviation experts say it’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself.
“If it’s someone like me who has an autoimmune disease who might be a little bit more susceptible to it, then maybe they might be a little bit more hesitant because they don’t want to expose themselves to as many different people out there. Whereas people who don’t have that risk, or are in different shape or whatever, they’re probably more likely to,” said Jeff Price, an aviation expert and professor at MSU Denver.
According to Scott’s Cheap Flights, international travel searches on Kayak just before Thanksgiving were down 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels and now they’re down by about 37%.
In terms of searches for domestic flights, they’re down by about 7%, said Willis Orlando, a travel expert with Scott’s Cheap Flights.
Those who work in the travel industry say they feel like they have a blue print now when it comes to variant impacts.
“If things play out in any way like they did with the Delta variant, we can expect a couple of things: One, we can expect demand domestically to drop briefly and then rebound quickly. Whereas demand internationally will take a bigger hit and we’ve already seen that,” Orlando added.