Young People Capitalize On Cheap Flights Due to Coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, U.S. December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

As people around the world canceled their trips because of fears of the new coronavirus, Ashley Henkel booked three.

Henkel, 20, is taking advantage of cheap flights to see North America. She lives in California’s Central Valley, but this summer she’ll be in Vancouver, New York City and Portland, Oregon.

A college student itching to travel, she’s one of many people staring the deadly virus in the face and saying, “Whatever.”

As flight schedules are scaled down and airline stocks plunge, carriers are offering deals that have put air travel within reach for people who usually can’t fly.

It’s a high-risk, high-reward trip, people say.

“I feel like if the coronavirus would get even more serious and like wipe out a large amount of people, I might as well be somewhere having fun,” Henkel told NBC News in a message.

She had thought about going on trips this summer, but it was too expensive. Now, as people self-quarantine, she’ll be taking pictures in Times Square. There is “no fun in staying at home and being all worried,” she said.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling people over 60 or those with chronic illnesses to stay home, young people feel now is their time to fly. Notwithstanding the dangers of spreading the virus to more vulnerable populations, Henkel’s trips might be what the airline industry needs as it takes a hard hit from the outbreak.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Ben Kesslen

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