Changes affecting travel industry during pandemic

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Changes are happening rapidly across the travel industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a travel expert says it’s important to stay on top of them if you’re planning a trip soon.

This week, Disney announced layoffs and two airlines announced furloughs. The CDC issued an extension to its No Sail Order for cruise ships through Oct. 31.

Clay Ingram, a spokesperson for AAA Alabama, recommends that travelers stay informed about the travel changes that are taking place. He said AAA is making sure its travel agents have the latest information.

“We’re updating our travel agents every single day with any kind of new rules or restrictions or testing, anything that’s going on,” he said. “They’re updated every day so that they can keep their clients informed and we can make those decisions.”

Meanwhile, if your travel plans involve driving, you may notice higher prices at the pump. Alabama’s gas tax increases two cents per gallon starting today. It raises the state’s gas tax to 26 cents per gallon.

Ingram says you’ll see the change at some gas stations, maybe not at others. Most drivers, he said, probably won’t notice the change.

“I don’t think it’ll have much of an impact on us,” he said. “I don’t think most people will notice one way or the other, and I think most stations will do their best to, sort of, absorb that extra two cents.”

The increase is the second phase of a 10-cent increase rolling out incrementally. The state raised the gas tax six cents in 2019. Another two-cent increase will go into effect next year.


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