We are about to enter the “Twilight Zone” of schedule changes

We are about to enter the “Twilight Zone” of schedule changes

The late Rod Serling produced the surreal TV show in the 1960’s call the “Twilight Zone”. We are about to enter the twilight zone this summer as the airlines start playing a dangerous game with their customers. In efforts to meet the recent surge of reservations, now that people are getting vaccinated, the airlines are adding “ghost flights” into their schedule. These are basically flights added to their schedules so people can make bookings, however, the airlines don’t currently have airplanes for those scheduled flights. Basically, the airlines are hoping that demand improves fast enough that they can fill those flights and find an airplane to fly the flight or they will cancel the flight, declare a schedule change and move passengers to other flights and planes.  This will be a nightmare for travelers as they will have to, in some cases, move their travel plans by as much as a day or two to get to their destination.  CLICK HERE to watch the historic and iconic 30-second introduction for the TV series, The Twilight Zone.

Hotels will welcome you with open arms but many expect lousy service – The good news is that people are starting to travel again in the U.S. Hotels will welcome you with open arms but unfortunately, the service you receive will most likely be lousy as hotels are having a difficult time finding enough staff to meet the spiking demand.  To deal with the shortages you may see housekeeping not cleaning your room daily, and restaurants and lounges closed. Breakfast service in some hotels will be limited to coffee and grab bags to-go. Executive lounges may be closed or have limited hours. Also, reception lines may be backed up during high check-in times. This might be a good time to try out the digital check-in process the next time you head to your hotel. CLICK HERE for a good article on the labor shortage now facing the travel industry. 

Now is the time to download the OpenTable app – I was amazed this weekend when I found out that two restaurants I called for reservations were full and had a 20-60 minute wait time, and this was for dining at 4 pm in the afternoon. WOW! It reminded me that now is the time to use one of my favorite apps, OpenTable. This app provides an easy way to find out what restaurants have availability and you can also see ratings for service and food quality plus the total dining experience. Unfortunately, this app does not offer all restaurants as it charges a pretty hefty fee to restaurants to be listed and many restaurants refuse to pay the fee, thus leaving them off the list.

Here is a great list of the cruises Americans can sail on this summer – The cruise lines have decided to take matters into their own hands and not wait for the CDC to approve the opening of cruising from American ports. The cruise lines are moving their ships throughout the Caribbean and are avoiding American ports. We have found a great summary of all the cruises you can sail on this summer by CLICKING HERE. It appears all will require you to be vaccinated. Also before you book your cruise be sure you can get a flight to the island of departure as it does not appear there currently are enough airline seats to service all the cruise passengers.  

Many countries will soon require all international visitors to show proof of medical coverage before entering the country – This is a new wrinkle we learned more about on a conference call last week with other industry experts. Basically, countries are worried that even with travelers being vaccinated they run the risk of catching COVID or one of its variants and having to be hospitalized, and not having health insurance coverage. Many health insurance coverages in the U.S. do not cover you when traveling internationally. The bottom line is I recommend you purchase travel insurance that includes medical coverage before you leave the U.S.

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