AAA Travel expects the majority of Americans to stay home this holiday season.
Delaware is expected to see a27 percent drop in holiday travel when compared to 2019, a bit lower than the national rate of 29 percent.
The total number of travelers heading out for the holidays is expected to be the lowest since the early 2000s.
According to AAA, only three percent of Delawareans will fly to visit friends and family, with most of the remainder driving. Air travel is expected from Delawareans is projected to be 62 percent below a year ago.
Auto travel is expected to be down 22 percent.
Public health officials here and elsewhere are worried about family gatherings over the holidays intensifying the spread of Covid-19. Since fall, cases have risen, due in large part to smaller get-togethers.
Delaware travelers exempt from Maryland restrictions
Delaware travelers are exempt from Covid-19 travel restrictions ordered by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
The governor issued an emergency order requiring Marylanders to limit all travel to essential purposes only.
Maryland residents who travel outside the state or any individuals who travel to Maryland must eitherobtain a negative COVID-19 test resultor self-quarantine for 10 days.
Such restrictions largely operate on the honor system, but may keep some people home.
The order applies to all states, with the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.The order also excludes people traveling to the state or air or rail travelers whose final destination is outside Maryland.
Frontier lightens up on seats
Frontier Airlines announced a new aircraft seat design that will feature a 30 percent weight reduction over existing seats. That translates into lower operating costs for the airline that plans to add service from New Castle Airport to Orlando in February.
The seating features a large tray table that will more easily handle a laptop computer. No word on leg room.
The new seats will be featured on 156 Airbus aircraft currently on order and scheduled for delivery beginning in March 2021. The seats are part of a major deal between Recaro Aircraft Seating, part of Germany’s world-renowned seat design and manufacturing company Recaro Group, and Indigo Partners, which owns a portfolio of airlines including Frontier.
The lighter seats translate into 31,683 gallons in fuel savings per year for the airline that offers low base fares and add fees for overhead storage, soft drinks, etc.
Frontier boasts the nation’s most fuel efficient jet fleet.
Southwest adds California cities
The airline has been doubling down on destinations for leisure travelers in California and Florida, two of its largest markets.
Fresno is a gateway to national parks, including Yosemite. Santa Barbara is a scenic oceanside destination away from the congestion of Los Angeles.
Nonstop destinations from the two California cities were not announced.
In November, Southwest added the popular winter destination of Palm Springs.
With the addition of Fresno and Santa Barbara, Southwest will serve 13 airports in the Golden State.
In 2020, the carrier added service to Hilo, Hawaii; Cozumel, Mexico; Miami, and Palm Springs. Southwest is launching service to two new ski destinations in Colorado, Steamboat Springs and Montrose.
In 2021, Southwest will begin service to both Chicago and Sarasota/Bradenton; both Savannah/Hilton Head and Colorado Springs; Houston (Bush) in April; and, Jackson, MS.
Other than Hawaii destinations. Southwest has connecting or nonstop service to many of the new destinations from Baltimore-Washington International Airport.