There have been so many changes in the last several weeks that it is hard to keep up with them. Travel insurance companies and airlines are changing policies on a weekly, if not more often, basis. Many of these changes do not benefit the traveler. The tour operators and cruise lines are, for the most part, are offering credits for all travel that has been interrupted due to the Coronavirus. I have had several clients that I have had to push my travel suppliers to do what is right for the clients. Some I have been successful with but others I haven’t. I understand the reasoning behind not refunding everyone; it is a case of staying in business or not.
In researching ways to help my clients, especially with the airlines changing their policies during a crisis, I found there is a complaint form with the Dept. of Transportation that can be submitted for an issue with the airlines. Here is the link: Air Travel Service Complaint or Comment Form. I have used this form to file complaints where the airline told me verbally the client was eligible for a refund and then was denied since, at that time, the airline changed their policy, which should not affect clients that had purchased airfare before this crisis.
As many other industries see layoffs and loss of jobs, we started to see these changes over the last two weeks. It is hard to know what business and suppliers will survive the Covid19 crisis. But the travel industry has many suppliers working with us, travel advisors and not against us, which is a great thing, and in the end, we will know who are true supporters are. My travel advisor colleagues and I know we are all in this together, so the community support is excellent. Our advocacy organizations like ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents is working with the government to support the small business affected by Covid19, not just giving all of the financial support to the big corporations like the airlines and hotels.
As we all navigate this new normal, please heed the advice to stay home so we can all get back to our families, our communities, and our work sooner than later. In the next few weeks, I am looking forward to sharing stories from clients fun travels before this turbulent time. Be safe and Be well.
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