Covid-19: Restarting Business Travel & The Travel Industry

If our economy is to fully recover, businesses are to survive, and jobs are to be preserved, we need to restart business travel and the travel industry. 

Daily airline passenger numbers published by the Transportation Security Administration show that the recovery in airline travel plateaued in the first week of July.  Why?  Likely confidence.  No doubt, potential travelers are asking whether it is safe to travel. 

To restore confidence, everyone needs to play ball in dealing with the current health crisis.  The person who isn’t playing ball is undermining confidence, which in turn is undermining restoration of our economy, businesses, and jobs.

The Issue No One Questions

We’ve all seen the sign at some restaurant or other business:  No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service.

No one of reasonable sense questions it.  Indeed, in federal government buildings, it is not uncommon to see a plaque stating something like, “Attire Appropriate To The Intended Use Of This Facility Is Required.”

Fundamentally, whether a person is buying a product or a service, the person is entering into a contract.  And, each side of the contract is free to negotiate the terms and conditions of that contract.  And, each side of the contract is free to require a particular term and / or condition or there’s no deal.  And, the other side of the contract needs to look somewhere else.

If a person doesn’t wear shoes and a shirt, our business will not enter into a contract with you.  It really is that simple.

Contract Conditions Required By Airlines

If a person would like to use our service — flying the person from point A to point B — the person must wear an appropriate face covering in the manner we specify at the times we specify.  If the person does not want to wear a mask as a condition of the contract, we choose not to enter into a contract with you.  It really is that simple.

Federal Law Requirements Of Airline Passengers

It is a violation of federal law to not comply with the instructions of a flight crew.  Instructions of a flight crew are presumed to be lawful.  As such, if a person believes an instruction of a flight crew is unlawful, the person may not simply disobey — the person’s action will be presumed in violation of federal law.  Instead, the person must comply and then bring the matter before a court to determine that the instruction was unlawful.  (Ask you in-house counsel about this one.) It really is that simple.

What The Airlines Need To Do

First, your airlines need to stop jacking around with passengers who refuse to wear an appropriate face covering. As they are in violation of a contract condition, deny them boarding. As they are in violation of federal law, have them arrested. Yes, arrested. It really is that simple.

Bottom Line

Too much is at stake. The choices you make are made for not just America but the world. If your airlines don’t enforce a hard line, then confidence will suffer.  And, if confidence suffers, the economy, businesses, and jobs will suffer. But, if your airlines do enforce a hard line, the opposite will happen. So, what’s it going to be?

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