Skift Breaking News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

Lonely Planet on Summer Travel: Cope, Don’t Cancel

3 months ago

You’ve seen and heard the horror stories of travel plans gone awry in May and June, and now Lonely Planet is stepping up with advice for travelers that skittish travel businesses would welcome: “DO NOT let the threat of a cancellation keep you home. It’s been a long pandemic. It’s time to get out there again.”

Madrid Airport
File photo of Madrid Airport. Unsplash.

In an email, Lonely Planet said that is the counsel from its editor-at-large, Sebastian Modak.

Among Modak’s tips:

  • Research a specific flight’s past performance to see if it is prone toward delays and cancellations.
  • Be on the lookout for news about endless security lanes and baggage gone missing.
  • Think about doing domestic trips instead of traveling abroad.
  • Try not to avoid holiday or even weekend travel.
  • Consider alternative airports that may not be as popular.
  • In the U.S., consider Amtrak, which has increased its schedules, instead of flying.

Meanwhile, with all of the angst out there because of disrupted travel plans, online travel company Hopper reported that purchases of its flight protection products, which provide certain safeguards to thwart delays, cancelled flights or missed connections, jumped 28 percent over the last month.

On the other hand, in China, where Covid lockdowns have been intense, staycations in local hotels have become a trend. That might not be a bad idea for the less-adventurous among us.

Hotels

Hotel Bedbank DidaTravel Sees Traveler Confidence in More Advance Bookings

4 months ago

A Shenzhen, China-based hotel bedbank that does a big chunk of its business outside the country is seeing travel agency and tour operator clients increasingly opt for both non-refundable rates and longer booking windows compared with 2021.

DidaTravel, which does about half its business outside Asia-Pacific, reported that 32 percent of its bookings were nonrefundable in the January to May, 2022 period compared with 26 percent for the same period in 2021.

The W Hotel is a landmark of the Barceloneta beach in Barcelona, Spain. http://www.flickr.com/photos/oh-barcelona/6978870631/

Meanwhile, 14 percent of bookings from January to April, 2022 were made 8-30 days in advance compared with 10 percent a year earlier. Bookings made more than 30 days in advance also edged up from just 2 percent January to April 2021 to 7 percent during the same period this year.

Bookings 8 to 30 days in advance reached 20 percent in May 2022, the bedbank stated.

All of these marks were well below pre-pandemic levels. While the increases aren’t huge they may be indicative of a trend, and show that travelers are showing more confidence these days that the pandemic or other global events won’t deter their travels.

“All of this is a strong reflection of the desire to travel from consumers and their confidence that they can fulfill a journey, based on conversations with our B2B buying clients such as travel agents and tour operators,” said Rikin Wu, DidaTravel’s founder and CEO. “But to a smaller extent credit must go to hoteliers for putting together compelling deals and pricing to entice the traveller back again — they are keen to see non-refundable rates return to pre-COVID levels and are we are seeing them pushing hard for this in our conversations with them.”

Nium, a payments processor, said cancellation rates it is seeing from travelers booking through online travel agencies, airlines, and hotels, are falling — just 1.74 percent so far in 2022 compared to some months in 2021 when cancellation rates were more than 40 percent.

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