As airlines add more flights, now is also the time to use your frequent flyer miles –

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If you have a bunch of airline frequent flyer miles, flying after Labor Day is a good time to try to redeem them. United Airlines is adding a bunch of international and domestic flights in September. American, United, and Southwest are all adding domestic flights as well. Before you redeem your frequent flyer miles for your next flight be sure to check out the airfare. If the airfare price is so low ($99 one way on United Airlines) you might be better to purchase the ticket and save your miles for later when airfares rise. The minute I saw that United was adding a bunch of international flights I thought of using my frequent flyer miles for an international business class seat. There should be a lot of frequent flyer inventory this fall for both domestic and international seats.

It appears many people are doubling down on vacations in 2021 – Travel for this summer has stalled because of the second wave in COVID-19 activity that started back in July. This second wave appears to be causing many people to double down and move their 2020 travel plans into 2021. Some of our customers are now adding a second vacation in 2021 in addition to the one they moved from 2020. My guess is that many people feel that a vaccine will soon be available and that will unlock pent up travel demand. By booking now they hope to be ahead of what many predict will be a strong wave of travel for vacations in 2021. I hope they are right! CLICK HERE to read more.

Will COVID-19 force hotels in the U.S. to offer all-inclusive packages? – Anyone who has traveled to the Caribbean or Mexico knows that one of the most popular vacation options is staying at an all-inclusive resort. These resorts include all your meals and drinks and many other tour amenities. For years I have been screaming about the giant opportunities available in the United States for hotels to offer all-inclusive options. Now that COVID -19 has shocked the hotel industry they may be forced to come up with new ways to encourage vacation and business travelers to travel. I think by offering all-inclusive options at U.S. hotels would be a great pivot that would be very well received by customers.

How come hotel prices are not being discounted more with COVID-19? I have been surprised that the price for hotel rooms has stayed so high considering the massive decline in travelers for the last 4 months. People tell me they expected to see rock bottom prices with discounts of 50% to 75% for hotel reservations because of the decline in travelers. So far it appears many hotels have only dropped prices by as little as 10% to 20% since COVID-19 hit. When you dig deeper you can find out why. Normally a hotel’s occupancy historically runs about 65% to 75% full. COVID-19 has pushed occupancy levels to about 20%. It turns out that hotels think if they are only going to fill 20% of their rooms they better keep the rate they charge high enough to cover their variable costs of maintaining the hotel and cleaning the room. They also feel that demand is so limited it is better to get a higher room rate on a few hotel room rentals than a massively discounted rate on only a handful of additional rooms that the lower rate would generate. The end result is that hotel room rates have not fallen as far as many people predicted.

Airlines are serious about customers wearing face masks – A few days ago a Delta flight returned to the gate and removed two passengers for not wearing a mask. If you plan to fly please understand that all the airlines are saying there is no wiggle room any more about wearing a mask during the flight.  CLICK HERE to read a short article.

Now that school is starting – Let the travel deals begin! – Every year the travel industry launches some fantastic travel vacation deals once school starts in the fall. Historically the 90 day period after Labor Day is called the shoulder season and is a slower season for travel. This year COVID has made a soft season even softer. Southwest Airlines started the sale season with $49 one way fares to limited cities. United followed up with $99 one way fares to many cities. The airlines, hotels, and cruise lines historically offer great deals to try to fill up empty seats and rooms for the next 3 months. Add COVID-19 to the equation and you should be able to find outstanding value for the rest of the year. Call one of our friendly travel advisors (402-435-8888) and let them find you the perfect vacation getaway.

Do you ever dream that a live person would answer the phone when you call a company? – Remember the good old days when you would call a company and a friendly voice would answer the phone and direct you to the appropriate person to help? Now every phone system is press 1, press  2, press 0…this drives me crazy. Well, Executive Travel has a mission to have every caller be able to call our office and talk to a real person without having to press 1,2 or 0. Business travelers who call our office will be helped by one of our corporate travel advisor teams and if they are not available as they are on another call they are automatically directed to our friendly receptionist, Nancy, whose mission is to try to answer every call on the first ring. We want every call to Executive Travel to be answered by a friendly person on the other end of the line. We also have a new feature called “hold my place inline”. When all our agents are on the line helping customers you can now simply just confirm your phone number and when our agents get off the phone they will call you back ASAP. I love this service! P.S. Our average on-hold time is less than 12 seconds. WOW!

Great tours and itineraries with Women of Nebraska in 2021! – Make sure to check out our awesome custom-tailored itineraries for 2021 with Women of Nebraska. This is our unique small-group tour concept with a max. of 20 travelers per group. We offer a great “Pair & Share” service for solo travelers and each journey is escorted by our Women of Nebraska handpicked tour Ambassador along with the professional tour guide in the destination. Safe, comfortable, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Come, join us, solo or two-by-two!

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