Why is it so difficult to travel right now?
If you’ve recently travelled, you’ve probably either faced long security queues at the airport or the train station, fewer services being available at your hotel or, worse, a flight cancellation. But why is this happening when we knew travellers would get back on the road after the pandemic?
To help you understand what the travel industry is currently facing worldwide, we’ve summarised the key challenges we’re seeing and what the consequences are for you—along with some tips to help us support you better.
The travel industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, which is leading to the following:
- The global travel industry is suffering from a long-running staff shortage—this impacts all areas, including air travel, hotels, trains, car hire, airports and customer services.
- The return-to-travel, including business travel, is moving much faster than anticipated.
So, how does this travel market impact you?
- A rise in cancellations, whether air or rail, either due to staff shortages at travel companies or to a volume of travellers that airports cannot safely handle. This has led to reduced schedules–for example, 1,500 flights were cancelled in the US just for the 4th July weekend and Air Canada is cancelling around 150 flights per day in July and August.
- Longer waiting times on the phone when contacting customer services and when a travel agent is trying to contact another supplier.
- Longer queues to go through the airport or train station security, immigration and check-ins.
- Some potential baggage delays.
- Sometimes fewer amenities or services being available at some hotels or on some flights.
- Rising prices due to increasing demand and decreasing inventory.
- In some countries, suppliers’ staff are going on strikes due to stretched resourcing.
What is Egencia doing about this?
The overall industry is aware and working together to urgently recruit more staff. Egencia is also fully aware and is currently hiring new travel consultants. However, recruiting and training new employees takes time.
What can you do?
1. Help us to help you:
- If you are due to depart in more than 72 hours, please email customer service.
- When contacting customer service, remain on the line and please do not hang up. We will answer your call.
- For general enquiries, checking availability and pricing, please use the online booking tool or the mobile app instead.
- To avoid duplication, please do not send follow-up emails once your initial request has been sent.
2. Use the Egencia booking tool or mobile app to:
- Book your new trip
- Modify or cancel your business trip—here’s how to cancel your trip online
- Redeem airline credits (North America only)
- Review your booker profile and ensure it's up to date (name as per your passport, contact telephone number, frequent flyer cards, etc.)
- Check Egencia Travel Advisor for updates on entry requirements, COVID test and mask requirements
3. Plan ahead
- Arrive at the airport 30-45 minutes earlier than the recommended check-in times.
- Use airlines’ online check-in facility before your departure wherever possible.
- (For US travellers) Invest in TSA Preü(Global Entry for international travellers) and Clear, if possible.
- Avoid booking the last flight of the day in the event that any irregular operations impact your ability to arrive or return according to your schedule.
- Use hand luggage as much as possible.
4. Be patient
And remember that wherever you are in the world, there are many other travellers who are facing the same challenges.