When the COVID-19 pandemic came to the United States, the majority of leisure travel was brought to a halt. For many travel agents, the phones were ringing off the hook from panicked travelers who wanted to know whether to keep their reservations, rearrange their trip, or cancel altogether. Travel agents were working fast trying to accommodate their clients before hearing radio silence in the weeks following the first shelter-in-place orders.
Now that many states and countries are reopening for business, travel agents are taking on a new challenge: helping their clients plan a safer trip while mitigating their risk of COVID-19.
As a leader in private jet travel, Access Jet Group has created this resource guide for travel agents to navigate COVID-19 challenges with confidence:
Focus on Customer Service
There’s a lot of uncertainty in the travel industry right now, and travel agents are just as lost as the average person as to when things will resume to normal conditions. Your clients may be calling you every day asking when they can book their trip, when it’s safe to travel, or a myriad of other questions that you may not be able to answer.
The best thing that you can do as a travel agent is to continue giving your customers a high level of service and attention, the same as you would if travel were business as usual. Proactively reach out to your clients via email or phone to stay top of mind and let them know you’re ready to serve them as soon as possible.
Look at Long-Term Travel Plans
Though no one can predict the future or guarantee when we’ll be able to travel freely again, you can start focusing on long-term travel plans. Booking for future travels now may help you take advantage of discounts offered by hospitality businesses since times are slow. This is an excellent way to keep money flowing through your business and into the tourism industry at large, plus it gives your clients something to look forward to once they’re able to travel again.
Create an Exit Plan for Clients
One of the biggest holdbacks in booking travel right now is the uncertainty of whether their travel plans will stick. Given the mass cancellations that the pandemic brought in March, April, and May, clients will be more concerned about cancellation policies and even travel insurance than they have been in the past.
As the travel expert, you can add more value to your service by having exit plans in place that will boost your clients’ confidence. Work with your partners and vendors to understand their penalty waivers and other specifics.
Offer Private Jet Travel as an Alternative Flight Option
Many travelers are rightfully concerned about their health and are proac
tively limiting their exposure to others. Because of this, many passengers may feel reluctant to travel because they fear coming into contact with others and aren’t sure how they can social distance themselves.
As a travel agent, one of your primary responsibilities is to provide your clients with options that will allow them to meet their travel goals. Booking a private jet charter instead of a commercial flight can help them avoid crowded airports without sacrificing their travel plans. They have more airport options, including smaller, private airports where commercial jets aren’t allowed, which can further reduce their contact with others.
In addition, private jets are reserved only for their travel party, offering a more private experience and significantly reducing their exposure to others. Access Jet Group and its partners are taking additional precautions when it comes to the health and safety of our guests and employees, including additional cleanings of each aircraft before and after each flight.
The Access Jet Group team works with travel agents to offer an alternative way to fly. During the pandemic, private jet travel is proving to be a better option in many cases, including the personalized experience, flexibility in planning, and the ability to limit contact with others. And because it’s personalized to each travel group, there’s less of a risk of the flight getting canceled and derailing their plans. Contact our team today for pricing and availability information and discover how we can help you offer your clients a confident way to travel.