The Last Plane Home

S1 Eps 7 - What Does 2021 Travel Look Like

February 01, 2021 Guy Guyton / London Lomax Season 1 Episode 7
The Last Plane Home
S1 Eps 7 - What Does 2021 Travel Look Like
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Happy Black History Month!

In this episode, we speak with International Traveler and Health Care Executive,  London Lomax, on what travel is like now and how far it needs to go in 2021.

While living in Denver during the lockdown, London’s traveled both domestically and internationally to Florida, Arizona, Texas, Mexico, and More. We’ll get his unique perspective on how travel has changed so far and what he thinks airlines and hotels will need to change to keep their customers. 

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • The overall tone in Denver right now
  • How domestic and international travel is right now and
  • What we want to see moving forward


Want to get in touch with London? You can reach him on Instagram @ll_texasmade or on LinkedIn

Want to stay in the loop with the latest travel tips? Join our Last Plane Home newsletter here! We love to spoil our listeners with goodies, travel tips, and inspiration.  Never miss an episode.

We’d love to hear from you, our listeners. Share your travel stories and tips with us and hey, maybe we’ll add them to our show! Feel free to give us your feedback and tell us what else you want to get from this podcast.

Do you have any questions about what you heard? DM me on Instagram @Travelwithguy or tweet me @travelwithguy_. Feel free to ask a question or just say hi!

You can follow more travel stories on our website, at www.travelwithguy.com, or on Instagram. We post daily travel tips, stories, and inspiration @travelwithguy. 

Until next time travelers, Peace!

Guy Guyton:

Hey there and welcome to the last plane home podcast. Here on the show we talk about all things travel and how to get you there. We keep you up to date on the latest travel themes and what's going on outside of your own bubble. I'm your host Guy Guyton and today on the show, we have healthcare executive and international traveler London Lomax. While living in Denver during the lockdown, London's traveled both domestically, internationally to Florida, Arizona, Texas, Mexico, and more, we'll get his unique perspective on how travel has changed so far, and what he thinks airlines and hotels will need to change to keep their customers. In this episode, we talked about the tone in Denver, how domestic and international travel is right now. And what we want to see moving forward. Okay, travelers, I'm pumped, so let's get into the episode. Hey, London. How's it going?

London Lomax:

Good, man.

Guy Guyton:

It's great to have you on the show.

London Lomax:

I appreciate it. Man. It's It's a beautiful Sunday in Denver, Colorado. And I'm happy to be here and excited to be a part of this planet.

Guy Guyton:

It's like we go we go way back. We go back to my first international trip, actually.

London Lomax:

Yeah, yeah, that's actually right. I think I may have been my first or second to I yeah, it was my It was my It was my second because I went to Thailand. Right before that, I believe.

Guy Guyton:

Definitely the biggest one for me. That's right. That's right. You had gone Thailand, but for me was, was Brazil are kind of all

London Lomax:

carnivale related Rio 2016 2016. Goodness. It was like ages ago. And you know, what's crazy ironic? What's crazy about that? Is that's when right after Zika?

Guy Guyton:

That's right. That's right. forgot all about that. That was a whole people thought was gonna be bigger than it was. And you know, if you can get pregnant, you don't want to go into high areas. And now with this, you know, our current landscape, you can't really go anywhere.

London Lomax:

Yeah, yeah. And it's a yes. For me to say, I didn't follow up at that time, but I feel like it just disappeared on us. Who knows?

Guy Guyton:

I know, I think we tend to have short, short memories, short memories. So let me set the stage. Where are you? Where are you located? Now?

London Lomax:

Denver, Colorado. Now, you know, I've traveled an extensive amount over over the years, you know, just from work for pleasure, a lot domestically. So, you know, one of my big things is, you know, immersing myself into not only, you know, our cities and states here in the US, but also in visiting other countries, man, just trying to do as much as I can to learn to experience the culture, you know, to find, you know, unique nuances and ways to travel to those places, and what I should be doing, but yeah, man, it's a travel is a is a huge part of my, my being and my joy and passion and overall happiness. So,

Guy Guyton:

yeah, I think we aligned on that entirely traveling for the culture, just trying something different. And getting those memories and experiences that we bring into our personal lives in our professional lives. And, honestly, it just makes us better people. Ultimately,

London Lomax:

it does, man, I'll say this, I love my country to death, but the world, you know, depending on who you talk to, doesn't necessarily evolve around the West. Right? That's right. That's right. There's so much more. You got to shape your perspective. And you got to shape what's what's normal, which you know, understood what's not what's believed. And, you know, and the only way to do that is to is to see it and experience it firsthand. You can read a book, you can have other people tell you, but I think it's something different when you put your feet on the soil of another country, or city and around a civilization of people that you have never engaged with or that you know, is not normal to your lifestyle. It changes you. And it offers, I think, a significant amount of appreciation, tolerance, right, excitement and even just more, you know, a longing for more understanding and curiosity.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, no doubt. I mean, we did a trip to Brazil, and you get bias both ways. And then were you telling your friend, you're from Texas, and all of a sudden, they're like, cowboy, he's a cowboy.

London Lomax:

Where's your hat? We I don't walk around with my bags or my cowboy hat. You know, my 22 Oh, my hip.

Guy Guyton:

A little different. But yeah, so now, so now you're in Denver. Tell me a little bit about how that's been the last 12 months or so.

London Lomax:

Man, it's been interesting. I struggle with it. You know, like, I know, everybody does. I think Governor polis is is I think he's doing the best he can under the circumstances, right. Newly elected, you know, Governor and you know, this is me, this is unprecedent right, you know, making this these types of decisions and recommendations and so on for you know, so many people in the state, I would consider Denver, Colorado as a state and then Denver city is very liberal. Consider it not everybody is for the most part very accepting for the most part, you know, move to the drum of your own beat very different than Texas and a lot of censuses and then they California, um, you know, from other end of the spectrum, I would say diverse, pretty strong, you know, from a lower perspective, also middle of the road. I joke around this is, this is gonna determine if it gets reelected or not, right how people respond and people's lives and the the economic impact in Denver and surrounding cities in state of Colorado, you know, we're in I think threat level or COVID. Level orange right now, two levels from, you know, extremes, I think this one is high risk, excuse me, caution. Next one is, is high risk. And the next one after that purple is extreme risk of COVID. Yeah, and you know, they shut everything down when he gets to red. So we are open to back up to some degree, we have, in most places, 50%, capacity, occupancy capacity for restaurants, bars are still closed, the indoor indoor capacity. Okay. And then outdoor capacity, I believe there's a little bit more leniency around that. But I think there's still like a six foot distance for tables and things like that, I would also say that gyms are open, but also have capacity limits, typically 50%. And there's, you know, distancing requirements within the gym and masks. So the culture has, has changed, and a lot of this is very different in other places. I mean, I went to Dallas this past weekend and up in Arizona a couple times and other states, and they are way less less strict around some of this stuff. And, you know, they can they're considered in a lower threat level, whether that's accurate or true, or should be or not, which I think is very interesting, and just how we, how we all you know, live and interact and know, you came from New York. So I know you had a lot of, you know, experiences from from that from your perspective. But yeah, it's it's been unique man. And then to answer your question, because it's kind of like starts and stops, it things will open back up, open back up, and then it's all right, yeah, we're good, you know, things will start moving forward again, and then it'll shut out for you know, 21 days, or 60 days, or whatever it is to get the COVID cases under control, and then open back up, it's kind of like they're giving you giving you a couple of feet and pulling it back. Right. Yeah. And so that sucks. I think, Denver, you know, being Denver Metro area, and in some surrounding cities that are bigger and more, you know, lively, I would say that's what people come here, right? It's a young city, it's a outgoing and fun place to be. And if you can't engage with others, and you can't go out and have dinners and socialize outdoors, there's there's more breweries, I think per square mile anywhere in the country, besides Denver. Right. Yeah, Colorado. So you can't do those things where you have to do those things tailored. It's tough, man and it takes it takes a lot of the the joy and excitement out of it when people are restricting. You know, your your natural lot to be human and engage.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, but it isn't it better out there. I mean, everything when I think about Denver, only thing about traveling, I think a lot of cities in the major city and they think Denver, but Denver is unique, where it's not just Denver, it's Colorado, if you've traveled to Colorado, and there's so many things you can do there. And almost everyone who's there and keep me honest, it's an outdoor vibes and outdoor feeling it's a lot more adventurous and bikes and hikes and walking is Don't you think that's probably easier to do in this then, let's say in New York, where you're 10,000 people on top of each other, just to go to the same restaurant?

London Lomax:

I would say yes. If you're a skier, absolutely right, you know, the slopes are still open, you know, they still have their requirements of what you can and can't do. And that, you know, and some of the lodging areas, and when you want to socialize, for the most part, again, a lot more space, a lot more outdoor activities, hiking, they didn't close down all hiking trails, you know, but there are some that you know, shut down or you have to really think about when and how you can do it, but for if you're an outdoorsy person, and you're a person that loves to be in the mountains and and and the ranges and things of that nature. Oh, yeah, Denver still that place, you know, but what I would say also, too, is that for some people, it's a balance to strike a balance, right? I'm one of those guys, you know, I like being outdoors. I like working out I like being physical and be active. But that's not what I'm doing every weekend, right? Or every you know, Thursday, I like to strike the balance of you know, social restaurants, you know, wine drinks, all that you'd want a big thing for me is concerts man like might not be able to go to even outdoor right, we got red rocks here, you know, amphitheatre and we can't digital out there's no concerts, right? There's no, there's no concerts, and it's like somebody told me this. I think it's true. When the world opens back up, whoever, whatever country first, this is gonna be interesting. Either they're gonna have to collectively do it, or be prepared for the biggest party over the next four or five years that we've ever had.

Guy Guyton:

I think that's a visa. I think it's a country like a visa or Croatia or any of these countries that need those tourism dollars Thailand, those Full Moon parties.

London Lomax:

It may be Missoula, Montana, a Boise Idaho it like it could be some random it could be

Guy Guyton:

it could be an innovator

London Lomax:

governor, we can Let's do this we're gonna change things. You're right though man like is, if we don't open up all at one time, people are going to rush to these countries and these environments that actually think about think about when the first concert is announced in the first stadium and opens back up and gets approval to do that.

Guy Guyton:

I can't

London Lomax:

Sounds Sounds crazy, right? Like, let's who was supposed to be on tour this summer, I think was Justin Bieber. It was

Guy Guyton:

supposed to be on tour suppose drinks on tour every summer

London Lomax:

drink cocktails, like, whatever, wherever your vibe is. But like, I know, he was supposed to come down to the red rocks. And like when they announced those things that are coming back, like the official dates, Oh, man. It's gonna be crazy country concerts, Luke, Bryan and frickin lightly like, think of like, oh, man, it's it? Yeah, it'll be interesting.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I think the official end of this pandemic is when I'm at a bar, out of club, but that drink in the center of a dance where there's 20 people around me dancing in a circle. That's it. That's, that's the end of it.

London Lomax:

It's It's over. It's like it's over. And then we then we struggle with this concept or idea and maybe working in healthcare is, you know, when is it really over? Right. And obviously, what the what the variants coming and all the other things that are that are factors into COVID-19. Getting people vaccinated is important. Having the right to choose if you want to be vaccinated is important, right? But then, you know, I've always struggled with this, I have no idea how governors are going to govern around this is like the use case for opening a city. If we're going by the threat levels right now. And all the stuff that's happening to me, there's there's two, you know, leading indicators or KPIs, whatever you wanna call it right? is, what's your case count? And how fast is it moving? in either direction? how many people are vaccinated that you can clearly document and have data around? Yep. And then how are people? How are people's bodies and in folks responding to the vaccinations over time with a variance? If you can't measure those three? To me, there's no justification or rationale to open the city back up scientifically or right logically from that in economically, absolutely. Right, socially and for the human condition of engaging and loving and being absolutely right. But on the other side of the fence, you know, from a scientific and clinical perspective, and that's what's like, I'm interested to see how that's gonna progress, you know, and then herd immunity, and people talk about all that stuff. I just, it's to be, you know, to be determined. And like you said, I feel like when we're at a bar, we're at concerts, shoulder to shoulder with no masculine. We've accepted that it's over.

Guy Guyton:

Right, right. Whether that's the case, I think, I think your point is, we need data to track especially from a vaccine from a healthcare perspective, our doing, but there might be some other components here, right? mental health is a component here, economy is another component here. People want to travel and people want to get outside in and hug people and get back to normal other folks are like, this is just going to be the new normal, right? Not not where we're at now, but a fully invested in, there's going to be a difference. You know, for me, when we talk about like the vaccine, and getting that I am at the bottom of the totem pole, my rankings perspective, healthy, my job is fully remote. At this point, I am in the exact bottom. So I don't have to think about Should I get this sooner or later, I'm gonna wait for the data. That's, we're gonna bring out the data, say a lot of these things, and then kind of figure that out. But

London Lomax:

for education purposes, the vaccine is not a cure. It does not stop you from getting COVID. Again, it does decrease the viral load of the virus when it gets into your system and in combat to build antibodies and all that stuff. But, you know, I think the misconception is all you get two shots, you're done. It's over with, but there's other right nuances to that.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, we weren't ready. We had all right. No one expects this. We're caught on our back foot.

London Lomax:

Yeah. And, you know, the travel, you know, back to the travel piece. I mean, it's just, you know, me personally, people can have the opinion that they want in their lives. I love to travel, I love to get on a plane, I love to get in a car, I love to be in a different place for what we talked about earlier, for someone to tell me I can't do that. I have a hard time with right. You can you can call that whatever you want. But I think everybody has has the outlet should have the choice to live their life in the way they want. Possibly, right you can still be responsible and just like with the flu, and you know, any other element that we have, typically you just don't leave the house guys or you just don't go around guys. I got the flu. I'm not, you know, I'm not trying to be around. Yeah. Okay, cool. Hit us up in a couple weeks. Would you do it right. But I think that's where testing is going to be kind of the new Ongoing, I think normal is like, Hey, this is something you got it state tested around, because you don't know if you have it. Sometimes it's symptoms right? Here, there, whatever. And I think that's how we can be more responsible around, you know, COVID, and traveling and our behaviors and all that. But, you know, to stop the world from spinning just can't do it, man. You see what happened in a year? Right? The weirdest things like you said, motional emotional health, you know, is huge mental health is huge. And the people I feel the most sad for is two populations. It's, you know, the 60 plus population 65 plus population, our grandparents or, you know, older parents, that can't be around people, because their immune system is already compromised, or can be even severely. And then children.

Guy Guyton:

You mentioned two groups, right, the 60 Plus, and the education education component, no doubt. I mean, you can't, I don't think you can supplement that in person interaction. But I wrote a blog last year about just some alternatives and how you can try to safely travel and so much of it is around communication, right? In the year that 60 Plus, I wrote a comment that was effectively saying, you need to have an honest conversation with the people you're trying to travel with, and see if this makes sense if or you're at risk parties, and I got some comments back there were like, Hey, I don't as someone in that group, I don't want to feel excluded. And my point was, I don't want you to feel excluded, either. I think the people you're traveling with, you need to have a conversation about what's the protocol, water safety. And this was around the time when testing was starting to be feasible. So are you going to get tested that before you start an end? And going into the holidays, I was a huge component? Right? We went home? Yeah, we got tested before we hung out with grandma and grandpa, and we wanted to see him and we go home. And we're on the other side of the country, right? We want to see all of our friends, we want to see all of our people and we chose not to where it's like it's not, it's not worth it. You know, for us, we're not trying to get we're not trying to get it. But obviously, how horrible would it be if we gave it to the ones we love?

London Lomax:

Yeah, man, that's my struggle, too. I live by myself. I don't I don't engage with my, you know, my grandparents or, you know, my elder family members as much maybe a couple times a year when I go home for the holidays, and everybody's in Texas and all over the place, right? But when I do go home, I want to see my grandma, I want to see everyone right. But is that the most responsible thing to do? I kind of feel for in a mumble sad, and for those two populations of people, elders being topic here, you know, my grandma has built up kind of a wall, like a wall of fear. You know, my mom, my mom goes to see her and maybe my uncle, she doesn't want anybody else. She doesn't wanna see anybody else. She's like, Guys, I will FaceTime y'all, we can talk. But I do not want to get sick. But, you know, that type of fear scares me. Because, you know, she's 8283. And, you know, she reality, she may not have many years left, right? And do we want her years to be isolated, based on fear or something that may happen or may not, or could actually be detrimental and accelerate that because we know for when folks that are older, get COVID, that thing that follows very closely, is pneumonia, you know, during that during that period of time, and upper respiratory issues and fluids and all that stuff. So, you know, is it worth the risk, right? And it was funny, yeah, other old folks Oh, hey, man, I've lived my life. And if it's gonna come, you know, it's gonna come, but I'm going to enjoy my years on this earth. And so it's just a fascinating dynamic of those two personalities of the folks that are older and how they handle you know, their, their, their later years. And I think that's just it's so subjective man, to how you want to live your life and until you're, you know, you depend on people to be responsible around you, you know, but then somebody like me, and I'll just be honest, I'd love close proximity to people, like it feeds you get energy. Oh, my God, like sitting next to someone that I don't know, learning about what their what they think their purpose is, and their passion and their body language. And we're on

Guy Guyton:

a plane, if you're on a planet or random next to you before you know, let's say 2019 like, are you sure I can have a conversation?

London Lomax:

Oh, yeah. If I'm not tired, if I'm so sweet, so the hard thing for me is I get the best sleep of the world on a plane. Before the plane takes off. I'm here and I'm knocked out. And I wake up when you hit the ground.

Guy Guyton:

I'm asleep. Before we take off I got over there like, Oh,

London Lomax:

yeah, but if I'm awake, and you know, I'm energetic. I coffee, you're at food. I'm doing something. Yeah. I'm striking up a conversation. I'm learning more about that person. I met some of my best interactions on the plane. I have a funny story. That wasn't even me as my sister. She met the, the CEO of the Atlanta Braves on a plane. He should have been flying probably for Well, I think it was one of our first class Delta, right? It was the first time and they were flying. And she starts talking to him, you know, sitting next to each other. And she starts talking about her, her. Her bakery, their business. And, you know, it was before she started it, and she brought the idea to him and he's like, you know what you should start it. Like, like, everything you've told me makes a lot of sense and it's great vision. Perfect. bizen approach is I'm going to be your first customer, here's $200, I want you to send me send it to this address. And you know, so that inspired her. And it kind of made pushed her over the hump to do starting this business. And she's, you know, four years in now. But you know, you never know, man, I like to not to not to not be able to do that freely or willingly whenever you want is a challenge. You know, even even as we move virtually to to, you know, to zooms into, into engaging, like, I'll do it, I did a virtual gala this year for fundraiser for nonprofits, it's just not the same, right? And, you know, it is responsible it and it is the right thing to do at this current time with with all of our restrictions, but I can't wait to the day where we can all comfortably and without fear, right, be around one another. And the folks that don't want to be around each other. They don't have to stay at home and they can continue on this trend and almost give them avenue to be social. If they don't want to write it'd be more cautious. But yeah, that gives me that gives me energy Dude, that gives me fire. People Yeah,

Guy Guyton:

I've met I usually I'm in the same boat. If I don't fall asleep. I'm trying to talk up a conversation just to say hi, if anything, or what you know, what do you what do you do and things like that. And sometimes it goes nowhere. And sometimes I get awesome restaurant recommendations. Sometimes I make friends for life. It runs the gamut. But it's kind of cool. It's kind of cool. Just being I remember flying in delta one Tron from New York to Vegas. And it was CES weekend. And the guys telling me, oh, here's all the things that are where you should go. Here's all the events, you should thanks. You know, I have my own little Travel Guide. And another guy who uses points and miles to get to the front of a plane, things like that. And you're just chatting about that and struck, struck up a conversation. He's telling me about how he, every time he lands in Vegas, he goes to the same jackpot that his wife tells him to do put the $100 in and sure enough, we get off the plane, I see him at that same little slot. Just just funny. You know, just cool. School people that way.

London Lomax:

That's frickin awesome. And like, people have had aha moments. And it's a this is so simple. And so but you know, I think you and I have done this too, is I create lists everywhere I go, right? Every city that I frequent. So my rule is, if I'm going to visit the city more than three times, I'm going to create a list around that city. Mm hmm. And places to be things to do places to eat, you know, like I said, little little tricks of the trade, you know, around how to travel and what to do in so sick. So cities like, you know, Dallas or Arizona or, you know, California that I frequent or, you know, obviously we lived in New York, Denver, you know, so So now when you're traveling, and you need to make recommendations, or you need to send somebody a quick little list of all the best spots for whatever their vibe is that whatever their energy, you know, driver is, it's so fun, man. It's like, yes, it's like it's not yours, but this it is it's like, well, I love your

Guy Guyton:

life because your emojis you kind of know, like the dancing one got the food one you can kind of figure out your own vibe, choose your own adventure. Yeah.

London Lomax:

Extremely exquisite food. You know, top five place to see from a ambience or you know, rooftop or museum is amazing, you know, but but I love those qualifiers or identifiers, because it really like makes you remember them to make sure you like, you know, want to go back and experience more do more at that location or place. But it also for other people that have no idea how to travel that aren't social, like, I guess butterflies just will go, like I said has sparked up a conversation. It kind of gives them direction it gives them like, you know, a guided tour, if you will, right? from somebody they may trust or somebody they may not know like Yeah, I love getting recommendations, but Oh, no. Let me go. Let me go see if what he's telling me is that is some some cool stuff. He just sent me to a to a hole in the wall where I'm gonna get like, dragged away like this. Some Hills Have Eyes or something.

Guy Guyton:

But I mean, your list definitely inspired me to start making some of those lists too. And I absolutely stole it were on my list too. And you can just visually see like, what am I in a mood for today? You know, I want some I want some bomb sushi. That's Tuesday. Tuesday. It's like specific but like also a bit of adventure. You don't really know it. Because there's not there's not a lot of words there.

London Lomax:

Yeah, it's crazy. Because like some even here in Denver, I didn't never when I first moved here. I think places you live have to me and my lists have plenty more recommendations. But

Guy Guyton:

I think we both get in New York too.

London Lomax:

And I'll bump out people I'll blow up our places like, you know, I found the best dumpling place that I've ever had, you know, this is the new new new five star

Guy Guyton:

Yes.

London Lomax:

If this is not open, you can go over here, but this is the one

Guy Guyton:

Oh, I love that. I love that. I'm just beginning of his list and he said you've traveled to a few spots like what's what's traveling been like the last, you know, six months or so do you do you have to do different preparations or getting canceled? lounges open, like how's it how's it been?

London Lomax:

Yes. So I think it's been pretty straightforward. international travel, I think is obviously that's the one that's been impacted the most right? Just based on what the federal government allows to for travel and borders and all that stuff. No, no, I'm from a state to state perspective. I haven't seen much change with the exception of some nuances that I feel like only you and I would pick up on because, obviously, travel, obviously, you got to wear your mask, I think airports are doing the right things, and creating more safe environments for inaction because there has to be interaction when you're the airport, right? Yeah. Whether it be you know, enclosed glass for the folks that are taking their IDs, right, whether it be handing out masks proactively, whether it be handed out hand sanitizer proactively. I think those I think that's very important. I know that the air airlines are sanitizing like crazy. The thing I hate the most

Guy Guyton:

Tell me

London Lomax:

and, and, and I never I never thought it was an issue. I'd never thought it was an issue until like, I was like, dang, I really want to apple juice right now or ginger ale and I can't get one.

Guy Guyton:

Oh, man.

London Lomax:

Right. It sounds weird. So like, so now I have to I have to consciously and this is like, I guess first of all problems right? After consciously buy a soda or some snacks before I get on the plane? Yeah, because all they're serving is you know, water and crackers. It's just interesting, man. Like, I know why they did it. You know, it's obviously a cost opportunity and, you know, issue for them. And even just, you know, with the whole sanitization of like, I don't even know how you would think about it. Coke cans, whatever. Right? Yeah, you know that that's one of those little things that bothers me. Other than that, man, it hasn't, it hasn't shifted too much. A lot of the airlines, the best thing for us, I think people that travel a lot and have miles and awards accounts, and all that stuff is they're gonna keep us as customers, right? They want to keep us happy. So maybe I know that some of them have extended Southwest have extended their, you know, a list and companion passes for until all next year, and so on. And, you know, I'm sure delta and American Airlines and other carriers are creating other ways to recognize the issue in the pandemic, while also still loving on their members. Right. And their loyal customers. So, you know, I think it'll be interesting over the next the next six to 12 months how things progress? Yeah, not much change domestically. When you I mean, when you It really just depends on the state. Right. For me, it's the travel itself has been very straightforward. You know, and just cautious within within reason of regulations. I think it's just the differences when you actually get off the plane, and you'd see what what is available when you land.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I think that's right. Besides, besides the mask, which is obvious, if you didn't travel, you wouldn't notice the difference. And in a lot of ways it can be it can be even better. There's some there's some flights that get canceled, because there's not enough folks in it, which was always a thing. But overall, I think it's been pretty consistent. If TSA lines are about as long as they've ever been meaning it still takes a long time to go through it. But there's less people a little bit more space, there's just, there's a bit slower. You don't have all of the business travel that's basically eliminated. So so with that you have a lot of local or normal, normal people traveling, so that's going to lead to longer lines there for me like I had, you know, it's funny, when I when I flew back, we flew home for the holidays, Tim came back, and I was checking my clear. Like, it's just not gonna work. I don't even

London Lomax:

stop with the fingers. They all do in his eyes now.

Guy Guyton:

Oh, yeah. I mean, I always use the eyes. The finger thing never really worked for me. I don't know. Maybe I'm an alien. But. So that was fine. You just for me, too, because I'm so picky and eating. I always brought my own food. So now it's, but now the game is, what do you bring to the airport versus what do you think's gonna be open for airport stores? Like if I had

London Lomax:

a good point,

Guy Guyton:

like, I was pretty bad. And I had a nutritionist on the podcast couple weeks ago, and I was telling him about how like, yeah, we get Jamba Juice and things like this and just things are horrible for your health. But, I mean, regardless, I did it. And now it's like, I got a I got a the one difference for me is I got to plan what I'm gonna bring to the plane for longer flex.

London Lomax:

Yeah, and so for me that that that's like, you're spot on. Ambassador, that's the only big change and then the business travel right, like so I'm fascinated to see how airlines that are losing all that business travel because right consultants, executives, smart you know, market professional sales professionals, whatever, right travel the world, all over the country are losing that, that's a significant revenue hit for them. And, you know, they're having they have to make it up somewhere. But then they also have to figure out how to keep their folks traveling, the folks that are not dependent on business travel, but keep their you know, commercial folks or loyal customers traveling and I think that's gonna be like giving out free flights, man. They got to start doing something. Well, somebody's gonna read revolutionize, you know, flying commercially and I'm wondering who it's going to be. I'm wondering what I'm wondering, I'm wondering what what is what is going to be the I already tried to bag bear to try the bag and stuff right there, everybody's trying to give one or two free bags now and you know how to get people to travel and all that. But like, I wonder what it's gonna be,

Guy Guyton:

I know it's changing, it's changing my credit card strategy a little bit too, I pop in and out of credit cards, get the bonus get out of it. Some of them like my united card, I keep open, just because of the airline of the, it gives me status higher than I would, but they don't have to maintain otherwise. And again, the free bag. So if I want to take a flight or two a year, and I bring a companion or something, you know, the bag fee itself pays for the card, so it offsets it, and then I get some priority, I get enough perks. But now, so most perks are lounge access, which doesn't really mean much to me anymore. The airport, airports are empty, you know, you can sit anywhere. I mean, the difference between inside the lounge and outside the lounge in 2021 is the Minimus. Right? It's not like there's a ton of food options, things like that use one of Wi Fi, there's Wi Fi, free Wi Fi and almost every airport now you had come to your chairs. And honestly, a lot of those lounges were like always packed anyways, and so's airport. Now that's not an issue. And it's not like I'm getting to the airport two hours early, not that I'm flying a time anyways. But I'm just kind of in and out at this point, our transaction. Yep.

London Lomax:

Yeah, it points out where I want to stay. It's where I want to just literally go through. And I think that's gonna change airport strategies, too. Right? And what's what's valuable to them? Like, like, and this is this is I mean, it's cool that we're talking about it like that, because I wonder what how they're gonna revolutionize or evolve, the in flight experience. Mm hmm. The purchase experience and why people purchase and why they fly what they fly, but also the taxiing experience or the through experience when they're going through the airport, right? Like, because if you're not traveling, I'm sure we can find the stat flights decrease 40% this year, whatever that number is, right? The number of flights? How are they going to increase that volume? And or how are they going to get people to, you know, to spend and consume while you know in that in that ecosystem?

Guy Guyton:

I think I was crossing my fingers that airports get it right. You think about LaGuardia, and JFK LaGuardia has been under construction for like five years, and the traffic was insane and horrible. And it's just a horrible, horrible airport. For most people who don't find out the terminal C and D were fine. If you don't, if you don't fly delta and you're recording, sorry, terminal D was just, it was just trash. And they're fixing it in theory, man, and they spent all this money to fix it. And then and now.

London Lomax:

Nobody's flying, nobody's coming through there. It's crazy.

Guy Guyton:

So I want to thing for airports, or airlines, it would be really interesting to see airlines partner with restaurants with tourism boards, things that they might have thought of as competition or something. You got to combine somehow you got to create an awesome value prop to get people charged and energy and make it efficient and streamline from booking end to end is one. And then if airports can figure out make the airport situation a better, less friction environment. I think they're I think there's some place there's some room to innovate.

London Lomax:

Yeah, it's almost like, I don't think it'll ever happen. But no one's gonna make that airport a destination. Hmm. And I don't know how you're gonna do that with with, right that the security measures and the, the risks of that opens up if you're not flying. But if you figured that out, I think that could be pretty cool. It's making specific airports or parts of airports, a destination, you know, like, like, a good example would be it can't be a far out airport. It can't be one that's like 100 miles from whatever Denver, but like Dallas love airport is four miles from downtown. Yeah. Right. Or, you know, I know Atlanta. The Atlanta airport is a little bit out of out of there, but it's just so big that it's so right. It's just so much space, that they can do some really unique stuff there and LaGuardia, right, and how they're how they're remodeling it and it's all touchscreen, and like, digital and sexy. Everything is.

Guy Guyton:

So how do you know Yankee Stadium?

London Lomax:

Yeah. How do you make it hot? Yeah. How do you make it a destination if people are flying, or entice them to come there early? airport, so I get the airport early? I don't I don't I don't know the answer to that. But like that. That's all I could think about as a strategy. Otherwise, they're just hoping that people start flying again. Yeah, I

Guy Guyton:

love that. I think that's super interesting. And I think some European countries were doing that where I want to say Amsterdam, and it'd be Zurich in Switzerland. So think Zurich airport is maybe 1012 miles away from downtown. And some of the other Nordic countries might be known as to where you go to the airport. Someone will pick you up and give you a tour of the city. It's like a buddy, you find a buddy and they give you a half day tour. So if you have People were planning strategical long layovers in the cities, exploring the cities. And then they want to come back. It increases tourism. And it's like an awesome welcoming event, you could definitely do that. You think about because I was listening to another podcast the other day, where if your point hacking one of the most expensive spots, because you typically have to pay taxes and fuel surcharges, and one of the most expensive spots there is London. So sometimes people will fly purposely fly to an adjacent country like France, and land there and then fly from France to one and to have like a cheaper surcharge, because that's a hop, skip and a jump. And imagine if like Francis knew this, or some of these cities knew that it's okay, yeah, why don't you end up we know you guys are doing this. Why did you come to our airport for a little while? Why don't you plan a long layover, we're gonna make it an enjoyable experience. We got a video game arcade for the kids, we got X, Y, and Zed, we got a museum and airport. Imagine a rotating museum and an airport.

London Lomax:

That's crazy. And I think the part that I think you're getting that too is, I think it's also terminal like so. I think this is what I understand it to be true. Airlines rent out terminals at airports so that it can fly their planes of air. Yeah. So my assumption is that those airlines have terminal authority to build it and design it and design the experience however they want. That's why there's a consistent Delta on a consistent Southwest one, right?

Guy Guyton:

Mm hmm.

London Lomax:

I think there's gonna be some some evolution around that, too. Why would I want to fly into this city or this airport? Or get there earlier, like you said, or whatever that experience is, and I think a big part of doesn't have to be a terminal. thing. Like, I'm just I'm trying to be I'm trying to use my like, hey, Southwest, if you see this, just know, right?

Guy Guyton:

You want innovators?

London Lomax:

to think a little bit a little bit differently, right, especially with, you know, the next generation of population that people that are traveling 65 Plus, folks, guess what, I beg to differ, you guys pull gel stats. And you see how many 65 plus folks traveled this year? Right back to our original point. Yep. That number is drastically down for fear of what? So how are you engaging young people, so 60 plus 60, by buses is down. business travelers is down. So pregnant mothers and women with children and kids, maybe maybe who's traveling, right who's traveling now and if the younger generation are going to be the ones that are that are that are confident enough and like bold enough to say I'ma hop on a plane like you and I, because I want to do that. You got to figure out a way to write get us get us the, you know, the stuff that we need Oprah stuff that we want to be.

Guy Guyton:

Let's break that down a little bit more to write like you think about, you know, we're both in our 30s but not too long ago, like that trip to Brazil, we were an economy, right? Like we were on I can't remember what airline it was some airline we would never fly again. Some no name airline, it was like a $400 ticket round trip to Brazil from New York. Right? And we didn't care like is 12 hours in the air because layover, didn't care. Do you think you can think about this demographic? Yes. First class and business class is all great and like, we want that stuff. Now. We didn't then people were traveling, who are at the bottom of the totem pole. Don't care. It's like Spirit Airlines, Ryanair, none of that matters. How do you make the terminal experience like, hey, I want to fly this airline to the terminal. I mean, I have my Amex card. And we have this interior lounge access. And one of the things that always irks me is like when I'm in Miami, I'm flying Delta, I can't even get into the to the centurion lounge. All I want to do is go to that frigging lounge. And it's a different terminal. Because it's the same in American Airlines has, like I think it's in the American one of the American terminal hubs, things like that. You can like take a bus or route it. It's complicated. So I have someone who travels all the time. I'm like, man, I kind of want to do that. And there's there's not a lot of things where I'm like, I kind of wonder then I can't. That's one. The terminal experience could be a differentiator here. Oh, yeah. That's what the airline business could do right now. This is a chance where you can you know, spirit, even spirit if you're listening. You have a chance right now.

London Lomax:

Yeah, spirit, and I'm gonna talk specifically the spirit. I will never fly you guys ever again. Unless, unless y'all y'all y'all do something drastically different. And I say that with all respect as a consumer, but like, I had a horrible experience. But if they But to your point, if they use this time to say alright guys, we're gonna stop messing around and tricking people and whatever the heck they did, right? And you know, this is all hard seats that you know, take it some seats from 679 10 years ago, put them in whatever I would ever do. And we're gonna actually shape up they could they could truly rebrand their experience and rebrand their airline, but hey, you got gotta we gotta, you gotta invest. You got it. You got to take the chance on the in the in the fight.

Guy Guyton:

And so much competition here. I mean, the travel boom is gonna be there, but the energy is gonna be there. It will it will see it's not a question of if it's when the when is is scary. But now it's time to invest. I mean, and say the same thing about points right now like, the time to buy flights for cash is now buy it refundable. Do all that fun stuff. Because the cool thing about like using points and things like that is you're paying a lot cheaper than what the cost is in dollars. Right now the dollar cost is so low. So it's like a good time to invest. But Same thing with these these airlines, they should be investing, they should be taking this downtime, or they don't have a lot of you know, you can you have small audiences that would be captive, and you can continue to adapt and adapt and adapt.

London Lomax:

So you know what they want. So here's, here's the one that I would call out to it. And this is where on airlines, I think it's important was a big, big component of travel. One thing that is important to me, and I learned this through business, travel, Southwest, right, everybody has their own experience. I'm a fan of Southwest a couple of reasons, right? A lot of reasons. But the big two reasons are that really struck me was the no change fee. And the refund.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, my phone is big.

London Lomax:

As a customer, I make make good money, whatever. I still like if something doesn't work out, I want a refund. Like, right, that's just whatever it is. I think what lots of other airlines, there's obviously a change fee, whenever you change a flight or you have to cancel a fight or something. And then you then you'll also have to pay the difference. And some cases you won't get a refund, depending on the situation right? Southwest, the six years I've been flying them and been a loyal customer. Anytime I have canceled a flight they've either refund to me the dollar amount or given me a credit. Anytime I have changed the flight the day before two days before, the only thing I have to play is the difference in fare. Those two things are extremely important to me as a customer, because that tells me that you respect me.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, totally.

London Lomax:

Right. And you respect the money that I'm making the money that I spend to fly your airline and my intention with other airlines that either don't operate in that similar principle, I know why, right? I'm a corporate executive too. We know you got to make money somewhere else. You got you got you know, overdraft fees, right, whatever it is, right? You gotta make money, somehow. shareholder value, but I think you get it, you're gonna have to revolutionize some things to keep some customers and to keep loyalty. If you're not, like I said, providing, you know, the lounges, the the experience the food, like, if you're not doing it, you gotta you got to figure out how to how to create a perception of value and Okay, I can I can cosign for that. It's gonna be outside of bags, because most people are trying to figure it out. And I go for a long distance sprint carrier. Yeah. Right. So like, it's, it will be fascinating.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I agree, though. The wave fee. I mean, the only time I carry my bags is when I'm snowboarding. And it's literally snowboards. And most of the airlines understand that and grouped together into one bag. It's not that big of a deal. Also, don't don't check bags.

London Lomax:

give away money,

Guy Guyton:

just giving away money. Better.

London Lomax:

That's tip that's a tip for right here. Tip route all EU travelers pack better, smarter.

Guy Guyton:

packing cubes tight, tight, especially if it's a weekend. But I think it is right. Because Southwest great use case. But for so long. I would say they were going after that because consumer versus the business. Because in business, those expenses are, you know, de minimis overall, right. It's a rounding error until you, you know, you can do some of these ticky tacky fees, and it's fine. And then all those fees go away as you get more like higher status, right. So when

London Lomax:

you get more, you get more business customers. So I think to that point, when you remove business travel for at least this is not this is like at least another two years like so my company, I think, I think there's gonna be a travel ban until minimum q3 and if it even if they said, you can start traveling again, there's gonna be a very short list of people that can travel. Right? That's right. It's not gonna be 50,000 people a month 300,000 person company, you're

Guy Guyton:

gonna have to opt in to travel and has to be a business case for it

London Lomax:

a business case and approvals and signings and so on. So these airlines are not going to be able to, I think not going to be able to bank on that. So how do you address how do you reengage and reassess who your customer is and should be? How do you put your money where your mouth is? Because I'm all about it. Like if you got skin in the game Southwest doesn't have skin in the game to me, they got skin in the game. So so so I put skin in the game. I got you I got your credit card. I recommend you I recommend people right. And I fly there and I know that you've got my back if something doesn't work out, which which ad example but that's fundamental to me. That's customer experience, right? That's that's putting the customer at the center of actually what you do which is that is awesome. The way that that you guys have a commercial business people are flying.

Guy Guyton:

Now. That's right. I mean, you know me, I'm Diamond Diamond in delta and I literally flew to China a miles run to keep my status. Just before all this happened to me and I was literally days away from coming back from China for all this stuff got announced. And I feel pretty confident, I'm still gonna get like, I'm not I'm fine all this year, basically only a couple times. And I'm still hoping to get all those benefits when when the world comes back, I want

London Lomax:

to play. They better they better. So I already got mine. Right. So like, so two things. So we talked about airlines, we talk about hotels after this, but like, airlines, Southwest, they announced it in March, they said, Hey, we as we said, we know that you know you're not traveling, things are changing the world changing. We want you to know that we've extended your elite status and your companion pass status for July of 2021. It's only this last summer in July.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah. And I think Delta in a lot of hotels, hotels do the same thing, which I totally Yeah, yeah, through, you know, through January or February 2022. But I'm not worried about 2021. Because I don't, I don't like business travel isn't gonna happen. There's only a couple of trips and things are gonna happen this year, he's talking about the vaccine. The vaccine is it's like you still get it, you're still wearing masks. And so we're still a while away from all that. I want to know about my 2023

London Lomax:

that's so real, bro. That's so real. Like, straight up. Same with same with bomb boy, for Marissa for bond boy, same concept, right? I would expect that my status is going to maintain Alex, I would expect that as I'm maneuvering new platinum status, right, that you guys are going to take the crazy world into account that the reality is having been in hotels for you know, frequently we've been, you know, under lock and key and most of the most places that we've been, but like Like you said, you got to reimagine the customer experience. Right? You got it. You got to reimagine, reimagine prioritizing them in that way. And those are going to be the companies that that I think, thrive when all this turns back on.

Guy Guyton:

Yeah, I totally agree. I mean, I'm team, I'm team bond boy, I would say Bombay and Hilton, and you know, before legacy SPG came from SPG, those are probably the big three. But I think Hyatt is doing a really good job of trying to change that as well. Low, low point to usage, or these luxury spots that are trying to think through and get this COVID situation done the right way, where you come in, and you have so many, like luxury resorts where you're basically in isolation, but you kind of want to be there. And a lot of the hotels are doing this work from hotels situation, which isn't doesn't hit the mark for me, really. But um, but it's an attempt and innovation. So maybe that's the first at bat. I'm interested to see what happens by time we get summer this year.

London Lomax:

Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. I completely agree, man.

Guy Guyton:

Well, London. Thank you, man. This has been a great chat, man. I appreciate your show.

London Lomax:

Yeah, man, I appreciate the time, man. And, you know, I think making sure that people understand or know or can can hear people's perspectives around travel, doing it safely. Tips like we talked about, you know, with with cart with cars, points and interest experiences, I think goes a long way, man. And if anything, it's going to prepare people for when the world opens back up, right? Hey, just so you guys are thinking about these things to position your travel experience for success, right?

Guy Guyton:

I entirely agree. Now's the time to prepare to think through what you want. Because that travel exposure is going to happen and there's an opportunity to be if you're ready in your position, you can get a lot of fun things done for extreme value. These are memories you're gonna have or ever

London Lomax:

dude, failure, failure.

Guy Guyton:

Alright, so if the listeners are trying to get ahold of you, how can they reach out

London Lomax:

to Best Buy they can read they can reach out to me at LL_Texasmade is my Instagram handle. I also am on LinkedIn. London Lomax. All right, feel free professional inquiries or just friendly travel advice and counsel, whatever it is,

Guy Guyton:

we'll drop those in the show. Hello, London. Thanks, man. All

London Lomax:

right, man. Have a good one. Happy Sunday.

Guy Guyton:

Cheers, man. Hey travelers. That's our show for this week. We really appreciate London coming on the show and providing his perspective on how travel has changed so far, as well as his thoughts on what needs to change next, feel free to reach out to him and give him some love from the show. We'll link all of his contact information in the show notes below. And hey, we'd love to hear from you to our listeners. Share your travel stories and tips with us. And hey, maybe we'll even add them to our show. Feel free to give us feedback and tell us what you want to hear from this podcast. Do you have any questions about what you heard? DM me on Instagram @travelwithguy or tweet me @travelwithguy_ Feel free to ask any questions or just say hi. Thanks so much to everyone who's already subscribed to the show. That really helps us grow and it only takes a second if you haven't already. And if you'd like to read a transcript of this episode, you can find that and more on our website at travel with guide calm. Okay, I'm getting out of here. Until next time travelers nice

Intro
Tone in Denver
The current travel dilemma
Making travel lists
Travel over the last 6 months
How travel needs to change in 2021
Quick Recap