Leisure travel, Corporate travel
Benefits of Using a Travel Concierge in 2021 (Part Two) – Helping You Deal With Travel Restrictions
The restrictions put in place to battle the pandemic have created some of the most challenging conditions to date for people looking to travel.
While the vaccine release has put going abroad back on the horizon for many people, the continually evolving restrictions represent a genuine risk of holidays being cancelled last minute or border closures leaving travellers stranded.
Working with a travel concierge service means you’ll have full support if the worst-case scenario does happen, from help changing your plans to adapt to new restrictions to assistance when claiming compensation for cancelled flights or lost baggage.
So, if you’re thinking about booking a holiday abroad, but are put off by how complicated travel is at the moment, read on to find out how a travel concierge service can help.
Safety Has Become a Priority for Travellers
According to research done by Travelzoo, 53 per cent of Canadian travellers are evaluating their travel and accommodation preferences using different criteria that they did pre-pandemic.
Specifically, 73 per cent of respondents indicated that safety guidelines were as important as price and amenities when it came to selecting accommodation.
Given that health and safety have surmounted price as the main driver behind holiday choices, more and more travellers are looking to travel concierges to provide peace of mind.
Working with a travel concierge lets travellers feel safe at every part of the booking process. The concierge uses their knowledge of the travel industry certifications to offer their customers the cleanest and safest flights and accommodations.
Having a professional concierge assisting you in the booking process gives you access to up to date information on local health protocols, infection rates, the state of local healthcare, and how local vaccination programs are progressing.
While most of this information is available online, the health and safety situation in most countries is subject to constant change. Travel concierges are able to monitor these changing situations and update their clients accordingly.
Travel Restrictions Are Constantly Changing
An unfortunate side effect of the lack of a unilateral worldwide response to the coronavirus outbreak is that governments across the globe are implementing different and rapidly changing travel restrictions in response to local data.
What this means for travel is that restrictions can change daily as countries move in and out of lockdowns, borders opens and close, and officials discourage travel.
Despite the rollout of vaccinations, the number of flights in European airspace has this month plunged to the lowest level since the first strict lockdowns were imposed last spring.
China’s airline industry, which an economic recovery had buoyed, faltered as the central government discouraged air travel during the lunar new year.
Even New Zealand, a country whose prompt action during the first stages of the pandemic have made it a flagship of post-covid recovery, saw airlines carry just 6,000 long-haul passengers in December.
While many countries are experiencing falling infection rates and there 64% of Travelzoo members indicated that they are interested in taking an extended vacation in 2021, local and international travel restrictions remain one of the biggest roadblocks to holiday travel.
Booking a 2021 holiday through a travel concierge service gives customers the peace of mind of knowing that these constantly changing travel restrictions are being monitored.
Suppose changing travel restrictions do impact flights or destination accommodations. In that case, travel concierges are able to proactively make changes to travel plans to ensure their customers don’t have to cancel their planned getaway.
Airline Policies Are Also in Flux
In addition to changing travel restrictions, airline policies are subject to constant change. Many airlines have implemented emergency policies to prevent further losses in response to an estimated 60 per cent reduction in air travel and losses of more than $370 billion.
Canadian airlines initially implemented a travel voucher system to avoid providing refunds on flighted called because of Covid.
As the situation improved in 2021, airlines started to offer flights with Covid specific cancellation policies that allowed the date of travel to be changed or rebooked up to 2024.
Other airlines have massively restricted the number of flights available to the public. Budget airlines EasyJet and Ryanair are expected to cut their number of flights to just 10 per cent of pre-covid numbers.
United Airlines has recently implemented a policy that actively cancels any flight with less than 30 per cent of its total seats filled, massively increasing its number of cancellations.
As with the rapidly changing travel restrictions, booking a holiday through a travel concierge means customers can have the peace of mind of knowing that multiple airline policies are being monitored.
If a policy changes or a new policy comes into place that affects a customer’s travel plans, a concierge is able to adapt those plans and keep the customer fully up to date.
Staying Safe While Travelling in 2021
Health and safety have become a priority for travellers looking to travel in 2021. Planning a holiday through a travel concierge allows customers to book holidays based on their concierge’s in-depth knowledge of their destination’s health situation.
With airline policies and travel restrictions in constant flux, sometimes changing day to day, booking through a travel concierge offers customers the best chance of avoiding cancellations and actually getting the holiday they want, despite the challenging situation.