Insider Report 12/10/2021

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”

This week, National Travel would like to recognize one of our exceptional agents for a job well done on a recent client experience that played out in a way that reminds us of the classic film, Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.  In the film, an American must choose between his love for a woman, or helping her and her husband escape from Morocco during World War II.  

For her problem-solving skills and dedication to customer satisfaction, National Travel would like to recognize Cindy Barker with our new annual “Casablanca Award.” 

     When news of the new coronavirus variant, omicron, hit the travel industry and flights began to cancel, two of our clients found themselves stranded in Casablanca with little time to find a flight out of the country before the borders closed.  

     Today’s travel climate can change quickly, but As Time Goes By, National Travel is here 24/7 to help our clients with whatever their travel needs may be.  These clients were so appreciative of the hard work of one of our agents, that they wrote this letter to our CEO, Ted Lawson, to express their gratitude. 


Dear Mr. Lawson,

I am writing this letter to communicate my appreciation of all the hard work and help given to us by Cindy Barker, a Senior Travel Consultant who graciously helped us obtain airline reservations through American Express Travel out of Morocco. We were stranded in Morocco when the country was closing its borders down amid a new outbreak of the Omicron variant.  We had been searching for assistance to leave the country by visiting the American Consulate in Casablanca. The staff there did not help us as their first priority was giving aid to their own people exiting the country.

Only American Express and Cindy Barker were able to give us ample help in exiting a closing county, and for all her effort and hard work, we are grateful. Mrs. Barker not only helped us in making airline reservations by following the state department’s new guidelines, but she personally ensured we would be able to leave by giving us other options and helping us have backup plans in case of changes. She first helped us book a reservation on Qatar Airways via Doha as our primary plan of departure. She additionally helped us reserve seats on several Air France flights with a few different exit dates. Thankfully, she was able to obtain boarding passes through one of the Air France flights and we were able to leave Morocco to go to Paris on December 3rd, 2021.

Cindy helped us at a time when we needed it most, and her help will not be forgotten. She was kind, gracious and very professional throughout our correspondence. I am grateful for her help when there are thousands of passengers still stranded in Morocco who were not so fortunate and may not be able to leave for some time. I would again, like to express my gratitude for Cindy’s hard work and determination for getting us reservations on flights created to evacuate passengers out of the country. Without her help, and the help of American Express we may still have been stranded in Morocco.


Cindy Barker is a Senior Travel Consultant with 23 years of experience.  Cindy prides herself in her problem solving skills and enjoys finding creative resolutions for customers when any travel troubles may arise. Her favorite part of the job is the critical thinking it demands to help customers on the go.  Cindy is a valuable member of National Travel’s after hours team, and has a true talent for customer service.

Here’s lookin, at you, Cindy!

U.S. reevaluates Africa travel ban (Fox News)

     The United States and several other countries implemented travel bans against travelers from seven countries in Africa after the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the existence of the new coronavirus variant, omicron.  Dr. Anthony Fauci now says that officials are reevaluating this decision in light of new information as several other countries, including the U.S., now have confirmed cases of the variant within their borders.  Fauci is encouraged that the variant does not seem to be more severe and hopes that the ban can be lifted soon.

Click here to keep reading

Courtyard gets a face lift (BTN)

     Marriott announced on Wednesday that they will be giving its Courtyard brand in North America a facelift complete with exterior renovations as well as new interior designs.  The project includes more than 375 of the brand’s properties throughout the U.S. and Canada.  The brand also plans to expand fitness centers with dedicated weight lifting and stretching areas.


Click here to keep reading

Breeze unveils its first expansion, adds new cities in Florida and New York (The Points Guy)
Click here to keep reading

Mexican airline Interjet plans to restart in 2022 with 10 airplanes (Reuters)
Click here to keep reading

United Airlines resumes flights to South Africa (Travel Agent Central)
Click here to keep reading

American Airlines bets on non-stop travel demand as it relaunches India flights (Reuters)
Click here to keep reading

Travel Alerts

The U.S. Department of State moves 10 countries to Level 4 Travel Advisory
Click here to read more

The CDC moves 7 countries to Level 4 COVID-19 Health Advisory
Click here to read more

Don’t forget to call us at least three days before your trip to request your iFLYSmart Travel Kit!



Editor: Kelsey Morgan, Lead International Gold Star Agent and Public Relations Liaison


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