If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that booking with a travel agent is one of the smartest travel moves you can make. Especially when airlines cancel your flights and tell you that the next available flight isn’t for over a week.
That’s what happened to Casey and Kim, who were due to fly home from Bali on 1 September.
“Jetstar have told us the next flight they can get us on is September 8 to arrive by September 9, which is unsuitable for both of us,” she told News Corp.
“I am self-employed and my girlfriend is a BAS agent … since being stuck in Bali, between us we have lost about $5000 income.
“Our only option to get home faster is via Qantas, which is over $1500 each, which isn't something we can afford, as we still have accommodation, meals, dog sitter fees etc to pay whilst here before getting reimbursed by Jetstar,” she said.
According to Casey, another passenger had to shell out $5500 to get home as her husband had run out of his blood pressure medication.
Experienced travel agents are fabulous when helping get people out of sudden, sticky situations, and travel insurance is crucial, but travellers also need to work in these types of events into their travel plans and budget.
That means talking to your travel agent about the possibility that you may need to extend your accommodation (if you’re going to a country that requires you to isolate if you get covid, you’ll want a hotel room that won’t feel like a prison and is in a good Uber Eats zone).
It also means you may pack a little differently. When it comes to things that will be hard to get at your destination (like medication), bring MORE than you need, just in case.
You’ll also want to flag with your employers/clients that you may be away for longer than anticipated. So even if you are going away on a purely leisure vacay, make sure you have the tech to enable you to work while away if possible.
And you can’t forget about your furry and leafy friends at home. If you’ve locked in pet- or house-sitters back home, make sure that you have a back up plan in case you’re delayed.
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