Since the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic in early March, travel plans have been, to say the least, a logistical nightmare. Trips of a lifetime are on hold (for now), overseas adventures have been abruptly cut short, and travel companies’ rebooking policies seems like they’re changing as fast as the chyrons on CNN. Dealing with out-of-your-control trip changes is always a hassle, but it’s ten times worse when everyone else is trying to navigate the last-minute confusion too. (We’ve seen reports about travelers sitting on hold for hours while trying to change vacation plans.)

Through it all, Virtuoso travel advisors have been on call, helping their travelers get home, stay home, and sort through the fine print. Moments like these that really showcase the value of having a travel advisor. They’re ready to tackle the unexpected, and when you’re not sure what to do or who to call, they’ve got you covered. 

Let’s lay this out with an all-too-common scenario we’ve been seeing over the past couple of weeks. Picture having booked a $10,000 cruise package. But coronavirus hits and you make the tough decision to cancel. You first call the cruise line to inquire about your options. After a long hold, they tell you to call the big-market wholesaler because that’s who you booked it through. Three hours of terrible music later there’s a click and then nothing. You finally get through after repeated attempts and the agent on the phone — someone who you have never spoken to before — informs you that there is no insurance on the package so it’s non-refundable. You opted out of the insurance because there wasn’t someone personally explaining its importance. 

At the same situation, if you contact us, you can get an answer from a friendly voice you know within three rings. After some small talk and pleasantries, we will provide professional advice with options and cancellation details.

As travel agents, we are trained in the art of crisis management.

Generally, on a much, much smaller scale, but we still handle these sorts of things every day. We are known to go above and beyond for our clients because they are our lifeblood and livelihood. With the case of the coronavirus, we are doing everything we can to make our clients feel safe whether or not they cancel. It’s times like these that we get added praise for our services, even when it’s to our detriment.

Reference | Travel Pulse


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