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The Aquilian

    Summer air travel: is it worth the risk?

    Air+has+gradually+been+getting+back+to+pre-pandemic+levels+as+people+become+more+comfortable+after+vaccinations.+%28Photo+by+Sean+MacEntee%29
    Air has gradually been getting back to pre-pandemic levels as people become more comfortable after vaccinations. (Photo by Sean MacEntee)

    After being cooped up in our homes for over a year, Americans are eager to travel, both in the United States and abroad. As more people get vaccinated and less people test positive for COVID-19, those opportunities to travel might become more available. Recently, the European Union  put out a statement regarding American tourists visiting E.U. countries. Fully vaccinated Americans can visit E.U. countries this summer.

    Traveling this summer is going to be very different from travel pre-pandemic. During the pandemic, airlines restricted the number of people on planes by blocking several seats to ensure social distancing. As the United States rounds the corner of the pandemic, planes will be fuller and more flights will become available. Another significant change from pandemic flying will be that flexible ticket terms and vouchers for pre-pandemic flights will expire. When flights were cancelled during the pandemic, airlines gave passengers vouchers so they could fly again when the pandemic was over, but as some of the world gets back to a semblance of normality, people are still not taking planes out of fear of the virus. 

    For some Gonzaga students, air travel is something that they are already doing, but for others, flying seems like a distant dream. 

    “I do not plan on flying this summer. I just want to be safe and make sure that I do not get COVID-19,” said James Miller, junior. “There is definitely still a great risk to flying overseas, but if you are vaccinated, there is definitely a lower risk.”

    Senior Riley Grohowski had a different point of view.

    “Yes, I plan on flying places over the summer, and personally I don’t think there is a great risk with the precautions. My entire family being vaccinated makes me feel more comfortable for traveling,” Grohowski said.

    Sophomore John Corso agrees with Riley Grohowski and trust the science behind the precautions. 

    “Air travel, as with anything, regardless of timeframe, is always a calculated risk. I have based my decision to travel off of the fact I know and trust the precautions I am taking, and the fact that I am fully vaccinated. Weighing the risks and the precautions I am taking, as well as the benefits of traveling, I feel confident in my decision,” Corso said. 

    Gonzaga students are clearly conflicted on whether or not they are going to fly this summer, but all students look forward to the day where they can finally fly anywhere on the planet without worrying about wearing a mask or COVID-19. 

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    • C

      Carol CorganMay 14, 2021 at 7:17 am

      Great piece, Tom. The Corgans are travelling. At the moment, we plan to be masked and use face shields, as per the recommendations of some epidemiologists. We were able to recoup the airfare for a trip last year. In fact, American refunded us some extra money (in the form of vouchers).

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