I am happy to report that travel is returning quickly and looking at the data and in speaking with both customers and travel vendors there are some “watch outs” I want you to be aware of.
Travel is Returning Quickly – here’s how to prepare
As the restrictions start to lift, I am seeing a dramatic increase in travel – some in the industry are saying volumes will hit and even exceed pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. While that is undoubtedly great news for the world’s largest industry, it also means many travel-related businesses are unable to keep up with the sharply increasing demand. The pandemic-caused shortages in rental cars, decreased flight schedules, and the closure of many hotels are all impacting the customer experience. All this to say that the pent-up demand to go literally anywhere after being confined to our homes for a year and a half will be met with overcrowding, staffing shortages, delays…frankly every traveler’s nightmare. A colleague of mine reported a 5 hour wait at Heathrow’s passport control. Hold times are at historic highs (see this USA Today article) and airlines/hotels are massively understaffed for what would be necessary to keep up with the influx.
We are also ramping up our customer service teams and bringing back our furloughed travel advisors and customer care staff to get ahead of the demand that I predict will hit pandemic record volumes by September of this year.
On a final note, I wish you safe travels and know that we are always here to help make your business travel experience the best that it can be. My team is available 24/7 and at your service for anything you may need.