Pandemic Speeds the Transition to Virtual Queuing

Pandemic Speeds the Transition to Virtual Queuing

January 10, 2021

Will queues become a thing of the past?

Realistically, some queues will still exist post-pandemic, but many that go virtual now for health and safety reasons may stay virtual for efficiency’s sake later on.

Technology is becoming an invaluable tool in keeping customers safe, whether they are waiting to enter a favorite pub, spending time in airports, or seeking urgent care.  Magnetic queuing grids, timed-entry passes, and virtual lines are making waiting safer, more efficient, and more pleasant, and it appears that they are here to stay.


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This post is based on The Atlantic article, The pandemic could end waiting in line, by Elissaveta M. Brandon, October 28, 2020; the Cinema Blend article, How Waiting In Line Works At Disney World During The Pandemic, by Mack Rawden, November 11, 2020; and the YouTube videos in the Spotlight. Image source: Peeradontax/Shutterstock

Discussion Questions:

1. What applications of virtual queues are being used to better manage Continue reading

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California’s Maxed ICU Capacity and Lockdowns

California’s Maxed ICU Capacity and Lockdowns

January 8, 2021

California led the nation in early lockdown measures for COVID during the holiday season at the end of 2020.  This followed the pattern set in spring 2020, when California locked down early and swiftly, stemming a tide of rising COVID cases and flattening the curve successfully.

This time, the state pointed to dire forecasts for December to justify another rapid shutdown, with the trigger being ICU capacity.

The state is divided into five regions. If available ICU capacity drops below 15% in a given area, that region goes on lockdown for at least three weeks.

Two days after the announcement was made, two regions were already in that category, with a third voluntarily adopting the lockdown pre-emptively to stem the tide sooner rather than later.  By the middle of December, Central California had reached zero percent ICU capacity.

The California Government’s About COVID-19 restrictions site provides updates on lockdown status based on ICU capacity.


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This post is based on the AP News Continue reading

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Boeing 737 Max Cleared for Flight

Boeing 737 Max Cleared for Flight

December 30, 2020

On November 18, 2020, the FAA lifted the grounding order for Boeing’s 737 Max airplanes. After two fatal crashes, which were determined to be the result of flaws in a system software upgrade, the 737 Max has been grounded for about 20 months.

Southwest is the largest customer for the 737 Max (though not mentioned in the article, its entire fleet is comprised of 737 models).  34 completed aircraft are in “desert hibernation” in Victorville, CA, awaiting upgrades and FAA certification.  With the grounding order lifed, company mechanics are heading to Victorville to make the planes airworthy for travel to maintenance facilities for further work.

Although the planes were maintained in active storage, each one will require 280 hours of work and approved changes prior to this flight out of storage.

The bigger question is how customers will react.  Surveys indicate 25% are not comfortable flying the plane, so Southwest will allow penalty-free flight changes for those who choose to avoid this aircraft.

The Max is expected to enter revenue service in the second quarter of 2021.  In the meantime, 8,000 Southwest pilots will receive additional training including simulator time.


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