Surviving Travels’ Revenge

Revenge Travel is a buzzword that has been used over the last year to describe the increase in people traveling to make up for the experiences they lost during the pandemic. However, surviving travels’ revenge hasn’t been easy. From chaos at the airports, like Lufthansa and Eurowings canceling more than 1,000 flights in July due to staff shortages. To passengers being drunk, on drugs, or abusive to flight staff and other passengers. 

Earlier this year, travel insurance company, Allianz Partners, predicted that Americans traveling to Europe will increase by 600% from 2021 to 2022. According to data from Hopper, Christmas holiday travel prices this season will be the highest they’ve been in five years, with a 31% increase in airfare compared to 2019. The price increases are due to a combination of jet fuel prices, fewer scheduled flights, and high demand.

Whether it’s for work or recreation, people are traveling and making adjustments along the way to make it more affordable and enjoyable. Here are some suggestions and learnings from our recent travels. 

Work Travel

Conference Coordinators and Marketing Managers are encouraged to remember that not everyone has the resources to make travel easier or more comfortable. Many people moved out of big cities during the pandemic, making getting to and from airports more difficult and expensive. Even more, people were laid off or moved into different careers and still struggle financially. 

A member of our team was invited to an international travel conference. The marketing material suggested that to get accustomed to the time difference and elevation levels, guests arrive days before the conference. This seemed a bit out of touch, considering how the pandemic financially impacted travel professionals and the industry. 

Luggage Trackers 

Earlier this summer, Delta Air Lines made headlines when a flight with zero passengers and 1,000 pieces of lost luggage were flown from Heathrow Airport to Detroit. Heathrow’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, told the New York Times that they’ve been unable to fill spots for baggage handlers, among other things.

Apple AirTags are a great way to track your baggage while traveling and were so popular that they completely sold out at one point. However, they are currently available and have some serious competition. If you’re looking for a tracking device compatible with both iOS and Android, the Tile Pro and Tile Mate are great options. While the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag is the best option for Galaxy devices.

Carry-on Only: 

As a plus-size traveler, I know that traveling with only a carry-on is nearly impossible. Our clothes are larger and take up more space. However, I’ve been able to travel domestically and internationally with a large backpack and carry-on roller bag. 

Traveling with only a carry-on greatly reduces the risk of lost luggage and will make the travel process faster and easier. Packing cubes and bringing items that can be mixed easily is essential. Remember to pack lightweight layers to wash by hand and air dry to be re-worn later during the trip. 

Travel Insurance 

You can’t afford to travel without travel insurance. When flights get canceled or delayed, or your luggage is lost, delayed, or mishandled, it can cost you a pretty penny. Travel Insurance will cover these costs. 

Many travel insurance companies also offer Covid Coverage which will reimburse you if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason. Just be sure to read the fine print as policies defer, and the highest coverage doesn’t mean the easiest claim process. 

Mobile Passport

Getting a Global Entry or TSA Precheck appointment seems nearly impossible. In July, Customs received an average of 11,500 new and renewal applications daily for Global Entry and the Sentri, Nexus, and FAST trusted-traveler programs. The Customs and Border Protection website says, “While many applications are quickly reviewed, in some cases the process can take from six to 18 months to complete”.

The next best thing is an easy and free option, the Mobile Passport Control App, which is available for iOS and Android users. It streamlines the U.S. Customs and Border Protection process for U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors. Just fill out your profile and answer a few questions – then go straight to the “Mobile Passport Control” lane at the airport. Which is usually the same line as Global Entry and TSA Precheck. The Mobile Passport Control app is currently available for use at 30 domestic airports and four seaports of entry.

Another service that can help you skip some of the long security wait times is CLEAR. After you set up your account – which you start online and then finish at the airport (where they take photos, etc.) – you merely find the CLEAR location near the security checkpoint, submit a few scans, and CLEAR personnel will walk you to the front of the line. While you still have to go through security, not having to wait in a long queue relieves some of the stress of airport travel.

Best Flight Times

Morning flights are safer to book to avoid cancellation for US air travel. According to data analyzed by the Official Aviation Guide (OAG) from April 1 through June 21, flight cancellations for U.S. departures start seeing a major uptick each day around 3 p.m. In Europe, mid-day hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m have the least cancellations. 

2022 data from aviation intelligence company FlightAware shows that the most canceled flights happen on Fridays, with an average of 826 cancellations each week across the country. While Tuesdays have an average of 321 cancellations country-wide, giving the term Travel Tuesdays a little more significance. 

Feel The Heat

Climate change is real and will impact your travels in one way or another. Whatever your previous experience at a destination, you will have a different one because of the climate crisis. 

Our founder was recently traveling through Europe via train when the air conditioning in her car failed. When she shared her experience on social media, someone told her that her experience was not possible because if the air conditioning fails on the train, people are moved to a different car.

Well, she experienced the air conditioning failing on the train both to and from her destination. The first time she was not offered an opportunity to move, nor could she because all the other cars were full. When it happened on the return trip, she independently moved as the train emptied out, but this was not an option offered by the train staff. Also, the destination she visited had an abnormally hot summer due to the climate crisis, and in Europe, many countries don’t use air conditioning because they didn’t need it previously. 

It’s Cool to be Kind

Finally, it costs nothing to be kind, especially to those staffing the terminals, trains, and planes. Most are doing their best in a customer-facing position with unpredictable customers. While waiting to pass through security at JFK airport recently, I witnessed a man become uncontrollable and verbally abusive to airport staff because he was afraid he would miss his flight. 

He began lifting the dividers to walk to the front of security, nearly knocking over a baby in a stroller. When he got to the front, he was asked to calm down, and when he refused, security was called. I’m positive he missed his flight due to his negative behavior. JFK airport now has signs explaining that any threats, verbal abuse, or physical violence of any kind during TSA screening will result in criminal penalties and fines of up to $13,910.

Remember that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. So be kind to the staff, respectful, and patient. If you are in a long line and it’s getting close to boarding time, show the staff your boarding pass and kindly ask if you can be brought to the front of the line so that you don’t miss your flight. This worked for me on a recent trip to Mexico City.