Let’s look ahead to see what air travel has in store for us at the start of the year. TRAVEL CONTINUES TO BE LOW Airlines were hoping for a Christmas miracle, but it did not happen. While the number of people who flew for the holidays hit 2020 highs (which were unusually low, of course), the numbers weren’t quite what the carriers were hoping for. Once again, there are more seats than there are flyers. for a while they had lined up seats with demand, ”said Seth Kaplan, airline analyst and co-author of“ Glory Lost and Found, ”a book about reinvigorating Delta in the first decade of the 20th century,“ but it turned out they didn’t cut enough. Demand for travel is driven by the pandemic. And we saw how it happened. Business travel is less than rugged and the continued surge in COVID-19 is keeping many people closer to home. This means the fares will likely continue to be low. I checked LAX in Honolulu Jan 20-27, and airline aggregator Kayak taunted me with the trio of tickets: cheapest flights , the best and fastest were all $ 312 round trip. United, Hawaiian and American – and that’s the main cabin, not the basic economy. (These rates may no longer be available.) The bad news: Hawaii has a 10-day quarantine (if you can’t provide a negative COVID-19 test), but if you’re willing to spend a week and a half in your room hotel and then enjoy the pleasures of the island, it may be worth it, especially if you see some of the hotel rates for these dates January 20-27. Priceline has a tab of $ 82 a night for the Aqua Palms, my perfect favorite on Ala Moana Boulevard. It’s less than a mile from the Royal Hawaiian, a sentimental favorite at $ 277 a night, also on Priceline. For now, however, I’m dreaming about it and hoping the prices will hold up until that time. that we can travel as in 2019. The good news is that most airlines continue to waive change fees on domestic flights. Even better news: Some airlines waive change fees for international flights as well, but policies vary by carrier. Remember, if the new ticket you book costs more than the old one, you will likely pay the difference. Reading about the policies and change fees isn’t evening entertainment, but it can save you some heartache in the long run. Even if you are a gamer, international travel is a dice game. American travelers are currently not welcome in some countries, including Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom. While most of the UK is on lockdown, not everything is. Check the website for the country you wish to visit or navigate to the Department of State’s country information pages at travel.state.gov. Like almost everything in 2020, all plans are subject to change, and not always yours. ABOUT THESE VACCINATIONS … The UK appears to be moving forward with its COVID-19 jabs, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, in part thanks to the AstraZeneca / Oxford photo, now available there, helping to speed up the inoculation program. (It’s not yet available in the United States due to questions about its testing.) The big unknown is whether you need to have the vaccine to travel. The chairman of Australian airline Qantas said in November that you would. Other airlines and countries have objected, but many destinations require you to take a negative COVID-19 test to enter. The International Air Transport Association is testing digital medical passports. Singapore Airlines announced last month that it was testing the IATA Travel Pass app on flights to Singapore from Jakarta, Indonesia, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the airline hopes to integrate Travel Pass into its app. mobile by mid-2021; other applications are in development.ANIMALS IN THE AIR Alaska and U.S. Airlines have announced that they are banning emotional support animals.These creatures are not to be confused with service animals, which the Department of Transportation said last month were all dogs. The emotional support animal and a service dog focus on training. Emotional support animals are often found to be the family’s pet, disguised with a vest and documents that can be forged. They may be special to the owner, but when it comes to special skills, they are usually not up to par.Service animals, on the other hand, undergo extensive training that helps the animal provide assistance and perform tasks that benefit its owner. These dogs and dogs in training travel free on an airplane and must fit in a designated space. In its Dec. 2 announcement, the DOT said it “no longer considers an emotional support animal to be a service animal.” help pets travel in the cabin if reservations were made before January 11 for flights before February 28. American prohibits emotional support animals from February 1. Delta stopped accepting reservations for emotional support animals on January 11. means that your pet cannot travel in the cabin. Airlines allow caged animals to fly in the cabin, but you must pay for their passage. Alaska, for example, will allow five animals in crates in the main cabin and one in premium class. Expenses? It’s $ 100 each way in Alaska. Not all airlines are on the same wavelength when it comes to emotional support animals versus service dogs, so check with your carrier before making a reservation. The DOT overhaul took years. As the number of emotional support animals increased with the number of incidents involving bad animal behavior, so did the urgency for change. Rory Diamond, CEO of K9s for Warriors, knows the value of a well-trained animal, thanks to his work. teaming up dogs with veterans. “Dogs react to each other,” he says, but “two service dogs don’t. We can put 10 service dogs in a van and have no problem. Untrained animals are not equipped to meet the challenges of air travel, said Carol Borden, founder and CEO of Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, a non-profit organization that breeds, trains and donates service dogs. to people with a variety of ailments, and she hopes people will see such situations from an untrained dog’s perspective. “You traumatized a dog who’s never been on a plane,” she said, and who doesn’t know the sound, the pictures and the smell – the way dogs process information. And, she asked, “Who trains the person? So often (that person) doesn’t know what proper dog etiquette is.” Here’s to all – animals, their humans, airlines and travelers – behave well in 2021.