Chris Elliott asked if it is ethical to hop on a deal to Orlando, and from the way he’s approaching it (and people’s reactions) you would think he was asking if it were ethical to hop on a deal intended for the victim’s families, a la Jet Blue. But he wasn’t. He was asking if it is ethical to buy a ticket that became cheap in reaction to people no longer wanting to travel to Orlando.
The Gate writes about how there are unethical places to travel, and Orlando isn’t one of them. And he writes about his personal experience going to Egypt after a tragedy. His article is worth a read–check it out.
But I’ll take the argument one step further. I don’t think it is just not-unethical to travel to Orlando amid fear related discounts, I think it IS ethical to travel there in support.
Why do prices drop?
Prices usually drop because demand drops. When people are no longer purchasing something at the rate they usually do, fares/rates are cut to incentivize them to still partake in the item.
So when prices are dropping to Orlando, it means people no longer want to travel to Orlando. Which is not-so-good for Orlando.
Orlando has a lot of tourist driven business. So if no one is flying there and if no one is staying in a hotel, no one is going to the attractions there and no one is eating in the restaurants there.
I would argue that the best time to go to a place is after a tragedy happens, because that is when their economy starts to tank. You may feel guilty over a sub-average flight, but that means you’ll put hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars into their economy at the time where the area is going through a slump.
I remember how much tourism dropped to my hometown of New York City after September 11th. Then the “tragedy tourists” came, which I felt angst for at the time, mostly because I was still mourning.
But they did really help the town. They helped the restaurants and attractions and hotels that would have gone out of business without the support of tourists.
You aren’t, as Chris Elliott put it, “taking advantage” of a tragedy. You are giving a tourism-based town much needed income during a time of tragedy.