Here in Manitoba the sun is shining, the temperature is improving, and May flowers are popping out. Businesses in Manitoba can open again under the “new normal” rules of maintaining physical distancing, sanitization processes and so on. New cases of Covid-19 here are non-existent and there is a feeling of optimism in the air.
Having been cooped up in our many forms of self-isolation there is an understandable desire to get out, to return to the “old normal” and to travel again. We are seeing an increase in the number of inquiries as to where and how people can travel.
As much as I welcome this increased desire to travel, and I certainly look forward to the day our travel business is running full steam again, this letter is about caution. Today, I’ll focus on this from our Canadian clients’ perspective, next week from that of our American clients’ viewpoint, as regulations are quite different between the two countries.
Airlines are in the process of loading more complete schedules back into their computer systems and online travel companies, that link to those computer systems, are also showing all of these flights as well as a myriad of combinations of flights.
For example, looking at Winnipeg to Vancouver, travelling on 11 June, returning 14 June:
- Air Canada shows two scheduled non-stop flights in each direction.
- Westjet shows only connections via Calgary with six different combinations each direction, depending on the time spent changing planes in Calgary.
One online travel company we checked shows 70 combinations of flights in each direction. Yes, 70! These options do include the Air Canada and Westjet flights we listed, but also include many very long, all day connections and even some that require an overnight stay in Calgary, which may not be obvious.
This is the reason I spoke earlier of having caution when looking at travel options. Please, don’t rely on what you see online. If you call us to make your reservations we will ensure you are booked on the best flight options for your needs at the best value for money. And we’ll be there for you to assist you should your flights cancelled or need to be rescheduled.
Another issue I had spoken of in my last letter to you was the debate over refunds vs. travel credits being offered to consumers by the airlines. On 26 May, 2020 the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the earlier ruling that airlines can issue vouchers for future travel rather than refunds, putting this debate to rest.
Should you have a future travel credit from a cancelled trip we will assist you in tracking your credit so that it is used before its expiration date. Remember, when you book with a travel agent you’re not alone!
R. Ian Kalinowsky,
President & Owner