Air travel begins to tick up, cheap Corvettes, and more Uber layoffs

Hertz 100th Anniversary Edition Corvette Z06.
Hertz 100th Anniversary Edition Corvette Z06.

Hertz

Happy Friday and welcome to another weekly edition of Shifting Gears, Business Insider’s roundup of all things transportation.

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, coronavirus edition, air travel is beginning to tick up. On Thursday, 318,449 travelers passed through TSA checkpoints, an increase of 90,000 from the previous day, but still just 12% of normal. Bookings are increasing too, airlines say, and that’s not necessarily cause for celebration.

Although some customers appear to be taking advantage of low fares and additional flexibility, and are planning summer trips as an escape after long months of social distancing, the pandemic situation remains fluid, meaning its possible that the newly booked trips will never happen. Additionally, there could be a surge in cancellations from people with preplanned summer trips who chose to wait and see what happens before cancelling.

David Slotnick has the full story on the airlines’ complicated recovery here.

Now for the rest of the news (and don’t forget you can sign up to have this delivered straight to your inbox every week).

  • Hertz, the car-rental giant that’s reportedly headed for a potential bankruptcy filing, is offloading some bright yellow Corvettes on the cheap. Kristen Lee reports the sports cars — made exclusively for Hertz’s 100th anniversary in 2018 — are for sale at a discount. The company also named a new CEO this week.

  • The TSA has announced five major changes to security screening protocols in order to protect the health of travelers. Temperature checks, however, still aren’t happening despite airlines pushing for them. Here are all the changes you can expect if you’re flying soon.

  • The CEO of helicopter startup Blade reveals how the company is totally switching up its strategy as COVID-19 upends travel. Blade offered helicopter and air-taxi transfers between New York City, airports, and leisure destinations, but has had to pivot due to the coronavirus

  • Volkswagen execs say they were ‘horrified’ by the brand’s racist Instagram car ad which was an ‘insult to every decent person.’ The ad, which depicts a light-skinned hand plucking and flicking a dark-skinned man away from a car, was yanked on Wednesday amid a company apology.

  • Leaked audio reveals Carnival-owned Holland America may eliminate self-serve buffets when its cruise ships begin sailing again. The possible move away from self-serve dining comes after COVID-19 spread rapidly among passengers on some cruise ships earlier this year.

  • Ford officials were reportedly ‘surprised’ when Trump took his mask off during a tour of their Michigan factory. CBS News’ Weijia Jiang tweeted that sources told her Ford officials “just went with it” after President Donald Trump took his mask off.

  • GMC teased its all-electric Hummer ‘super truck’ yet again showing a Jeep-like removable roof. For those who enjoy taking their cars apart, the upcoming Hummer EV will have removable roof panels.

  • Uber paid its laid-off hourly workers far fewer weeks of severance than others, but the company now plans to retroactively pay them more. Uber had two big layoffs: hourly workers in one, and white-collar in the other. It initially paid fewer weeks of severance to the hourly workers.

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