Things are finally looking up for travelers

Consumer sentiment hit a low in October and is rebounding

And now, the comeback.

Consumer sentiment for domestic and international air travel, rail and cruises hit a low point in October but has rebounded since then, according to new numbers from Deloitte, a professional services network. 

I’m calling the bottom

Someone needs to say this, so I will: I'm calling the bottom. 

The recovery began last month, as far as travelers are concerned.

We still have a long way to go. Only 33 percent of Americans feel safe flying right now. Another 45 percent are OK with staying in a hotel, according to Deloitte. 

And no wonder. With 100,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, it's amazing anyone wants to travel right now. (People ask me every day if it's safe to travel. It isn't.)

These new consumer sentiment numbers don't take into account the announcement of a vaccine that claims to be 90 percent effective. But in conversations with travelers, it's clear that they'll factor that news into their upcoming travel plans. More on that in a minute.

How about the rest of the travel industry?

It looks like consumer sentiment may be trending up across the board. Each point on the chart represents one month’s worth of data:

I expect sentiment to rise even more for December, which is the next time Deloitte will be taking the pulse of consumers.

During yesterday's Washington Post Talk About Travel live chat, we ran a small, informal poll to see how consumer sentiment might have shifted since the vaccine news.

Fairly significantly, perhaps.

What's next for travelers?

But are things really looking up for travelers? When I worked on Wall Street, the traders used to explain a slight upward movement after a freefall as a "dead cat bounce." 

Is this recovery the real thing — or is it a dead cat bounce?

Watch the prices, my friends. If they continue to slide, this may be a false alarm. But if they rise, the recovery is here. And remember, if you run into any travel problems out there, my nonprofit consumer advocacy organization is ready to help.


So what's your opinion? Have we turned a corner or is this just a bounce? (Meow!) The comments are open. You can always send me your confidential memos, data and news tips. I’m at elliottc@gmail.com.