When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, executive assistants were left scrambling to make last-minute travel changes in the face of canceled flights and closed borders. There’s no doubt that the travel industry at large will look and function differently in the months following the pandemic, and perhaps even longer. With these changes will also come changes to the way you book flights and transportation on behalf of your boss and his or her team.
Here are some practical ways you can simplify your travel planning responsibilities post-COVID-19:
Understand Your Executive’s Needs for Travel
Your boss looks to you to be their travel superhero, especially when changes or opportunities occur in the eleventh hour. They trust you to plan every detail of their trip, and this process is much easier when you know their priorities and preferences.
Most executive business travel comes down to a few key basic needs:
• A clear understanding of their itinerary and other trip details
• Ongoing support when questions or surprises arise
• Efficient travel options to maximize their time
• Personalization that ensures an optimal travel experience
• A little downtime for moments of clarity and recovery while out of their normal routine
Knowing this, executive assistants can better plan their boss’s travel experiences in a way that not only addresses all of the above, but also protects them as much as possible from potential exposure to COVID-19 and ensure a smooth, seamless trip.
Book Travel Early
Right now, flights are nowhere close to capacity and hotels are seeing far fewer guests than they used to. In fact, TSA recently announced that the number of travelers passing through security checkpoints is down 93% compared to this same time last year.
Still, the last thing you want to do is wait until the last minute to book, if possible. Booking early is still the best way to get favorable pricing, plus you also get first choice when it comes to hotel suites and airplane seating instead of taking whatever is left over.
It’s also wise to have a backup plan in case of any last-minute cancellation that could derail the trip.
Skip the Crowded Airports
Even though many travelers are avoiding large, busy airports at all costs, the few who do book commercial flights still pose a health risk. Many airlines are stepping up to encourage social distancing, such as not booking the middle seat and giving the aircraft additional cleanings, but it’s not enough to eliminate the risk of exposure.
The best practice to help your boss and their team maintain good health is to avoid crowds as much as possible, including busy airport terminals. A better alternative is to charter a private jet that is reserved only for the company’s executives. Private jet charters are more private and can be given more attention when it comes to sanitation and cleanliness.
Also, all of the benefits of a private jet still apply: it’s a more personalized experience that’s tailored to the individual, operates around your schedule, and is more conducive to working so that passengers can make the best use of their time while in the air.
Enlist the Help of a Personal Concierge Service
Because of border closings and businesses operating in limited capacities, your job as a travel coordinator for the C-suite has gotten more complicated. You not only have to worry about scheduling and finding the best price, but also whether traveling to a particular area is even possible, let alone in the best interest of the team depending on the pandemic conditions in that area.
In addition, everything from hotel availability to ground transportation may have changed, too.
One thing that can make your job easier is to work with a personal concierge service that can remove much of this guesswork for you. Access Jet Group assigns each client a personal concierge that can compare private jet operators based on your requirements to secure the best price. We can also help with arranging hotel accommodations and ground transportation for a holistic travel experience and advise on local conditions so you can make savvy travel decisions.
What’s more, your Access Jet Group concierge can help you with last-minute changes or arrangements to keep your plans on schedule.
For pricing and availability, contact Access Jet Group today.