Insider Report 8/5/2021

This week we bring you news about Spirit Airlines' massive flight disruptions, why you should use a travel agent, our top airline updates, and more!

NTS News Updates

Flight Disruptions Leave Customers "Camping Out" at U.S. Airports 

     Over the past week, customers of Spirit Airlines experienced massive flight disruptions.  In fact, on Thursday morning, about 80% of all U.S. flight cancellations came from Spirit.   On Monday the airline cancelled around 71% of its schedule leaving customers waiting for hours in lines and even resorting to “camping out” in the airport.  American Airlines also faced significant disruptions on Monday due to severe weather in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, however not nearly as extreme as Spirit Airlines.  The low-cost carrier cited severe weather, staffing issues and system outages for the major disruptions.

With that in mind, this brings us to an important question…

Do You Really Need a Travel Agent?

    The profession of Travel Management may be one of the most misunderstood.  You may ask yourself why you would need a travel agent when so many resources are available online and you could book your travel just fine on your own.  

     The world is beginning to reopen for travel, but COVID-19 testing protocols and border restrictions are changing frequently.  Additionally, many are seeing an increase in shifting airline schedules, car rental scarcity and limited hotel inventory.  

     If you’re ready to travel again, it is more useful than ever to use a travel agent.  Take the stress and uncertainty out of the travel planning process and leave that to us.  After a difficult year for us all, you deserve to relax on your vacation or travel stress-free for your business trip and know that your plans are in capable hands.  

     National Travel’s experts are here to manage your travel from start to finish.  From booking your trip, to confirming your travel requirements, to being there for you when things go wrong.  We verify the entry requirements of your destination and are here to help you navigate the paperwork and COVID-19 testing documentation you may need for your trip.  We also manage your flight schedules, alert you of any changes, and are here for you 24/7 if you run into any issues while traveling.  In fact, National Travel rewards our Travel Agents for assisting customers experiencing irregular operations issues, offering incentives for resolving as many issues as possible for our valued clients.  

     While online travel agencies and booking engines seem convenient, they often offer non-refundable rates and include hidden fees.  They also aren’t there for you when your flight is delayed 5 hours causing you to miss your connection and forcing you to wait in that long line at the airport with everyone else who booked their ticket online.  By the time you get to the front of the line and find out you’re stuck there for the night, your friend who booked their trip with National Travel was already contacted by one of our Travel Experts, confirmed in the last seat on the next flight, and is on their way to their new gate.  

Still not convinced?

Bloomberg put together a quiz to help your determine if you need a travel agent for your next trip.  Give yourself one point for every “yes” answer.

  1. Are you traveling outside of the country?

  2. Will you have connecting flights?

  3. Are perks like late checkout, restaurant reservations, free upgrades, etc. important to you?

  4. Does anyone in your travel party have any allergies or special needs?

  5. Is anyone in your travel party unvaccinated?

  6. Are you traveling to somewhere where you do not speak the dominant language used?

  7. Are you traveling to somewhere where internet and/or cell service may be spotty?

  8. Are you traveling with a large group?

  9. Do you prefer cultural experiences over a resort-focused vacation?

  10. Are you looking for last-minute travel plans?

How did you do?

0-2 Points =    YOU GOT THIS

You may be able to book your trip on your own, but beware of nonrefundable fees, restrictive cancellation policies and if something goes awry (and this can happen on even the best planned trips), know that you may have trouble getting a live person to help you out.
 

Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, at National Travel, a live agent is always here to help you when a wrench is thrown in your plans or you need to make last minute travel arrangements. 
Check out this review from a recent client!

"Jamie is wonderful! An unexpected family emergency came up and Jamie quickly assisted in booking my flight and car rental for next day travel. She checked me in, offered to upgrade my seat and emailed the boarding pass. One less thing I had to worry about. Thank you Jamie!!!"

3-6 Points =     FIND A PRO


You need a travel agent! Book through National Travel to gain access to upgrades at hotels and to keep you informed about the changing covid-19 restrictions.  Missed a connection on your way?  You also have access to 24/7 service to help you get to your destination without missing too much of your vacation.

While keeping you informed of your destination requirements, we also strive to provide personalized service that ensures your trip runs smoothly.  We take the time to listen and understand exactly what you want and need for your trip. 
Take a look at what this traveler had to say about their experience with National Travel.

"Best Customer Service I have ever received from Ms. Samantha Stanley. Her willingness to listen and understand my travel arrangements was Excellent! Appreciate her Professionalism!"

7 + Points =    GET A SPECIALIST


Your vacation plans may require deeper research for a more personalized experience.  Work with a Travel Agent to customize the perfect vacation or business trip from top to bottom. 
 

National Travel has agents specializing in a number of destinations and vacations.  Tera Hunt is one of our Leisure Travel Specialists and also an American Express Scotland Insider.  Here’s what Tera has to say about her passion for booking the perfect trip:

"After researching my ancestry, I became fascinated with Scotland and Ireland. This in turn sparked an interest in travel and a very strong desire to become a travel agent and send others to their ancestral lands as well as warm, tropical destinations. It's an incredible feeling when a client tells me how special I made their vacation and that they couldn’t have done it without me. That’s my job and I take great pride in doing it well. "

Trending Travel News

CDC Adds 16 Destinations to "Very High" List

Image Source: Emanuela Picone via Unsplash

      On Monday, the CDC added 16 destinations to its list “very high” COVID-19 risk level.  A risk designation from the CDC means that the agency advises against travel to these locations, especially if travelers are not vaccinated.  The “very high” designation means that the countries have had more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days.

Click here to read more from CNN

Airline Updates

Check out our weekly airline updates below!

Image Source: Shutterstock

Delta to allow changes for basic economy

The airline has eliminated change fees on basic economy tickets for the remainder of 2021.

Click here to read more from Frequent Business Traveler

American to add 1,350 new pilots

As the demand for travel grows, American Airlines will hire more pilots to cover their service.

 

Click here to read more from Frequent Business Traveler

Image Source: Shutterstock
Image Source: Shutterstock

Air France praised for COVID-19 safety

 

Air France is the first major European airline to receive a 5-star COVID-19 airline safety rating from Skytrax, which is the highest rating an airline can receive.

Click here to read more from Japan Today

Alaska expands food and drink offerings

 

As of July 31, Alaska Airlines is beginning to restore food and beverage services on many of their flights.  

 

Click here to read more from The Points Guy

Image Source: Shutterstock
Image Source: Shutterstock

Flight Attendants face physical altercations

 

One in five flight attendants has been involved in a physical altercation, while 85 percent of cabin crew members have dealt with disruptive passengers.

Click here to read more from Skift

.

 As of December 4, twice-weekly service will be offered between Miami and San Andrés, Columbia.

 Now offering six daily flights between the U.S. and London, including a second daily flight from Washington, D.C., and an increase to daily service from Houston. 

Now Open in Travel

 Fully-vaccinated visitors and citizens are now permitted to venture outside without masks or social distancing.  Gatherings are also no longer prohibited.  

Tourists who have mixed vaccine regimes are now considered fully vaccinated and are no longer required to quarantine upon arrival. 

Travel Rewards

 

The world is opening back up! Are you ready to travel again?  Why not earn a vacation while you’re on vacation!

National Travel clients earn Travel Rewards Points for vacation packages, cruises and tours booked through our agency.  Members of Travel Rewards may redeem points for a variety of vacation upgrades on air, car and hotel, as well as other amenities, merchandise and more! 

Our Travel Rewards Advisors have a wealth of knowledge in many different areas and are eager to help you plan your next great vacation!

Craving a Cultural Experience?

Dan Flapper specializes in green and sustainable travel and works to ensure personally, environmentally, and culturally enriching experiences for his clients’ trips.  Dan speaks English, French, Romanian and Spanish and he is experienced in a number of destinations throughout the world. 

We Want to See Your Travel Photos!

 
     They say “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  In this case, a picture could be worth up to 55,000 Travel Rewards Points! 

We are offering you the chance to win up to 55,000 Travel Rewards Points that can be applied toward the purchase of cruises, tour packages, vacation upgrades, and more! 

Click here for the official contest rules and here to join the contest entry Facebook group!

Need to get a COVID test before your next trip?

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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