Insider Report 3/11/2021

This week's newsletter brings you news about the rise in OTA complaints, information about CDC guidelines, our top airline stories and more! We have our office open 24/7 so if there are any questions or thoughts we can help with feel free to give us a call

Trending Travel News

Complaints Grow for Online Travel Agencies

Travel consumers who used Online Travel Agencies, such as Expedia or Priceline, to book their travel within the last year, are finding it difficult to obtain refunds for their cancelled trips.  

     Between January and December of 2020, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) racked up 14,604 complaints.  94% of these complaints were about refunds, fare adjustments or bankruptcy.  

     Receiving the most complaints of the year was Expedia, who also faced a class-action lawsuit for refusing refunds for flights with covid-related cancellations.  

     The Department of Transportation took in 102,550 complaints against airlines, travel agencies and tour operators in 2020, which is a 500% increase from the previous year.  

     This perhaps demonstrates just how important it is to use a travel advisor, especially now.  Over the past year, travel advisors, especially your experts at National Travel, spent hours in research and on the phone to secure refunds for their clients.  

     Online Travel Agencies are often convenient and quick to use, but they do not advocate on your behalf.  When you book with an agency like National Travel, you have us in your corner.  Whether it’s a cancelled trip, a flight delay, or maybe just a question, National Travel’s experts are available 24/7 to exceed your expectations.  

National Travel has a history of over 40 years in providing exceptional service to travel clients around the world, and has been ranked among the “Top 25 Travel Management Companies in the United States” by Business Travel News.  When you book with a National Travel Travel Advisor, you have an expert and an advocate. 

Click here to read more from Travel Market Report

Airline Industry Responds to CDC Guidelines

     The CDC says fully vaccinated individuals can now gather without masks, but they are not yet endorsing travel for vaccinated travelers.  The CDC defends the decision, stating that travel has led to an increase in cases and they do not yet know if vaccinated individuals can still transmit the virus.  

     The travel industry has pushed back on this, insisting that air travel is safe.  Airlines for America is confident that a layered approach of mask-wearing, and heavily-filtered air onboard a plane, helps to present a low risk for the spread of the virus. In fact, a study from earlier this year found that plane travel may be safer than many daily activities such as grocery shopping or dining out. 
 

Airline Updates

Check out our weekly ‘Top 5 Airline Updates’ below!
Image Source: Nick Herasimenka via Unsplash

Lufthansa Retires Superjumbos

 

As a part of their COVID-19 fleet restructuring, the airline will retire its Superjumbos for smaller, more efficient aircrafts.  

 

Three New Routes for Southwest

 

New destinations include Myrtle Beach, SC; Eugene, OR; and Bellingham, WA.
 

Image Source: Samantha Gades via Unsplash
Image Source: Breeze Airways via CNN

New Utah-based Airline Approved

 

From the founder of JetBlue, Breeze Airways aims to begin selling tickets within a month.

 

When does my airline credit expire?

Depending on when you booked your trip, your airline travel credit may expire soon.  The major airlines in the U.S. extended their ticket validity last year for customers impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, but many are approaching the end of that extension.

Image Source: Hanson Lu via Unsplash
Image Source: Hanson Lu via Unsplash

Which seat is best?


Do you prefer the view from the window or the freedom of the aisle?


A flight attendant recently shared her analysis and breakdown of economy-class seating, revealing the most optimal seats for flying on a budget.
 

 

Fun Fact:

Over 50% of National Travel Agents prefer a window seat!

Now Open in Travel

Safest Destinations in the U.S.


If you’re not ready to venture out on an international trip, you might check out these top safest destinations in the US!

Give us a call today to book your next trip to one of these destinations!

Image Source: Maria Oswalt vis Unsplash
Did you know?
Image Source: shortestpats.com

Hot Springs, Arkansas is home to the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade!  The celebrations takes place on the World’s Shortest Street in Everyday Use.   Events include a Blarney Stone-kissing contest and a King and Queen chosen by a secret committee!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from National Travel!
 
Need to find a testing center before your next trip?

National Travel is closely monitoring the ever-changing testing requirements and restrictions for destinations all over the world.  We are pleased to assist our clients in finding their closest testing site and staying up to date on the latest travel requirements for their next trip.  Currently, testing is only required for international travel, but for our travelers’ safety and convenience, we are able to provide information on the closest testing facilities for a number of different tests, including Rapid Molecular, PCR, and Antigen testing.

Your safety and peace of mind while traveling is so important to us.  National Travel will continue to empower our clients with information and resources to help you feel as safe as possible when you travel with us.
Click here to find testing near you!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more travel news and information as well as updates on life here at the National Travel Office!  

We also have an Instagram page where you can see some amazing travel photography from all around the world! 

Reminder!!

Don’t forget to give us a call at least three days prior to your trip and request your complimentary Smart Travel Kit!

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