The month of March 2020 has been a whirlwind of information and change, more change and change again on top of that.
Here at GroupSource, we have been assisting with individuals and groups who have had their plans either reschedule or cancel altogether. There have been competitions, tournaments and class trips cancelled, humanitarian trips delayed until another time and family trips postponed. With all of the great unknowns out there, many organizations just took the road that they felt would make the most sense given the advice they were given. We all understand that, but it doesn’t make it easier for those counting on travelling.
There is a good deal of information and misinformation about travel right now, and trust us, it is changing daily. Airlines are constantly making accommodations for the consumer and at the same time maintaining their businesses. For us it maybe one trip that gets changed in a day, but for them it could in the hundreds if not more.
Here are a few things to consider:
- “I just heard on TV that the airlines are giving me my money back!” Just because the news says that airlines are giving refunds or waiving fees, it DOES NOT mean they are all doing the same thing. Carriers are individual ownerships and they do not all do the same thing. While one carrier may refund you another may give you future travel credit. Most are waiving change penalties but others are still charging a small fee. It depends, so when you call your travel agent, allow them to call the airlines and find out what concessions they are making.
- “Flights are cheaper now, aren’t they?” Well now that is a loaded question. Here is why: The airlines are absolutely changing fares to fill up planes. Is this to every destination? Some countries are still on flight restriction so just because you want to fly to say Athens for $199 it doesn’t mean you can anytime you would like. Some destinations also have limited inventory and the lower the inventory, the higher the fare. Have we seen some pretty sweet deals? Yes! Are the airlines opting to slash fares? Somewhat. BUT by all means book travel! Just have an understanding that with the shifting sands of our current situation you may have to change again.
- “I am afraid to take my trip in September, what are my options?” There is a lot of fear surrounding the Coronavirus, a lot of misinformation out there. The carriers in the beginning were only applying concessions to a certain period of travel. as time has gone on and the stay at home orders have been in place, the time period has progressed with it. Most carriers have extended their dates, others have not and are simply making decisions day by day to keep up with the changes.
- “Will we ever be able to travel again?” We along with the travel industry and our government believe that travel will be on an upswing. Obviously, guidelines will have to be followed as to when countries are opening up and easing their restrictions. Travel MIGHT be different with various measures in place to insure the health of the traveler and the security of the destination.
The best advice we can give?
- Be patient and understanding in this process.
- Be vigilant about your travel plans, ask questions and don’t make assumptions.
- AND BY ALL MEANS PLAN TO TRAVEL!