An experienced travel agent from Central Texas shares tips on how to deal with canceled flights, lost luggage, high prices and other travel-related issues.
Waco, Texas. It’s the busiest time of the year to travel, but those on the move have faced chaos with flight cancellations, lost luggage and high prices.
Bambi Askew, CEO of Allen Samuels House of Travel in Waco, has been with the travel agency for 38 years. She says it’s not the first time she’s seen so much trouble, but for different reasons. This time, she believes that the limited number of employees in all departments and travel areas is one of the main reasons for the chaos.
“Probably the most important thing that we are now discovering is that people are not prepared for the fact that they will have long lines,” she explained.
Askew says that as airports get busier, travelers are under a lot of stress, especially when problems arise.
“There are fewer people there to help you sign up, fewer people who might even know what to do if there is a problem, so this has become a big problem for a lot of our customers,” she said.
She believes that this is when travel agents can be of great help not only in planning a trip, but also in solving any problems.
The most common problem across the country is thousands of canceled flights. More than 3,000 flights were canceled over the holiday weekend. Memorial Day weekend saw the same scenario, and it is likely that the same could happen this coming Fourth of July weekend.
“It seems like when they have a big load on these cities and the flights aren’t all full or they don’t have crew to serve them, that’s where we see most of them,” Askew said.
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An experienced travel agent usually says that airlines go out of their way to cancel weeks and months in advance, not a day.
“When you have your last day of cancellation, it usually happens mechanically, or if someone didn’t show up for work, or there’s some kind of last-minute issue that you can’t control,” she said.
She says the COVID-19 pandemic has taught many people to pay extra money for travel insurance.
“Whether it’s a trip to Vegas, a trip to Mexico to the Caribbean, a big vacation in Europe, insurance is there to support and help,” Askew explained. “I mean, is it a fact that you are sick…