Is This the End of Business Travel As We Know It?
As America hurtles toward a post-pandemic future, some pre-2020 customs won't survive the transition. Chief among those up for re-evaluation: business travel. On the latest Pivot podcast, Scott Galloway and Kara Swisher discuss whether the corporate-funded journeys of the past make sense anymore.
Kara Swisher: Air travel is surging this week. Over the weekend, TSA officers screened the highest number of passengers on a single day since March 15th of last year. The reduction in travel hit airlines hard —US airlines lost more than $35 billion combined. On the other hand, a smattering of colleges like Yale University are canceling spring break this year in an effort to keep students from traveling to hotspots like Miami Beach. What's going on, Scott? What do you think is going to happen now?
Scott Galloway: It's both super exciting, and also we don't want to acknowledge this, it's also frightening. Duke just canceled classes — they have an outbreak there.
Swisher: This is what Dr. Fauci said would happen — little outbreaks.
Galloway: We don't want to acknowledge this, but this is why it's so important that we get vaccinated. I see it as a race between vaccinations and variants. Viruses are incredibly impressive pathogens, organisms — I don't know what the correct term is. And you can bet that this virus is working overtime to try and figure out a way to get around these vaccines.
Galloway: And when we have people traveling and we create more opportunities for asymptomatic carriers, you're kind of… I don't want to say you're arming the variants. But I think this is a very nervous time, because if you want to see a crash that would affect everybody, if all of a sudden there's an outbreak of a variant that appears to …