No-one could have expected Covid-19 to spread as rapidly as it did throughout the travel industry. One minute we were receiving advice recommending travellers avoid Italy, and the next moment borders were shutting down, transit options were reducing before our eyes and we were staring a Worldwide travel ban square in the face. Worse than being a tiny pair of islands that rely on transit airports is the thought of having customers negatively impacted.
Needless to say, that we take our extensive role as a team of travel agents very seriously. We know that our role in booking travel doesn’t end when the sale is complete. Rather it is our role to create outstanding travel experiences, our duty to minimise disruption, be on hand to make amendments, and have the foresight to know when to act. And act we did.
We are proud to be a team of travel agents who can say that all of our travellers returned home in time. Working around the clock to amend bookings as border closures occurred, issue compensation for cancelled cruises, tours, flights and accommodation; travellers didn’t need to worry about long phone waits or periods of uncertainty due to lacking information.
Inevitably there was a lot of disappointment that came with the covid-19 situation. It’s hard not to be disappointed when there is a combination of travel and border closures, right? But among the unprecedented situation there were some pretty big wins too.
“I was mortified to learn that my honeymooner’s travel dates fell a week shy of a refund eligibility. With the lockdown in place and border closures they weren’t able to go, but worse is they were set to lose almost $5000 on their accommodation. It didn’t sit right with me so I reassured them I’d do everything possible on their behalf. A few requests in the right direction and they received a refund. They were so thankful, but it was my pleasure working on their behalf” said one of our agents.
Another agent was wrapped to have her young traveller make it back home from backpacking around the Philippines just in the nick of time.
“Knowing there were only 3 flights left to bring her home, I stayed up through the night checking for changes to her schedule while she was flying. I wanted to be able to book her on the next flight quickly, in case changes happened. She reached home having been the last flight allowed to transit through Hong Kong, with just 4 hours on her side to transit through Australia. And all for the cost of a normal airfare. I couldn’t believe it when I saw some flights has risen to $11k!”
Sure, the covid-19 travel situation was challenging and intense, but our team love what they do. And when you love what you do, it’s really no problem at all to put personalised care and attention to a traveller’s journey.
Words by: chasingdreamstravel.co.nz