NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Given the pandemic in the country, the aviation industry is not immune to sudden change.
Travelers who are comfortable flying can experience a lot of changes in the short term. People are slowly but surely feeling more comfortable flying.
In last week’s press conference, Nashville Mayor John Cooper said the number of passengers is growing steadily from month to month. However, with everything in the air this year, flying can be unpredictable at times.
Sometimes it can be difficult to choose the right flight. Everything from time to and from the airport to the split times can affect your decision.
“I hear more people are getting out. I think they are cautious about visiting relatives in the United States,” said travel expert Darlene Dupnack.
Dupnack has been in the travel business for almost 40 years.
“I’ve seen the business grow and change tremendously over the years,” said Dupnack.
And there is no year like 2020 – an unpredictable one. If your itinerary changes and you are concerned, your choices will depend on the airline you choose and the way you booked your flight.
Dupnack said before you hit buy, get travel insurance.
“I have always recommended taking out cancellation insurance for the past 30 years. No matter what you do because you don’t know what circumstances you are going to encounter,” said Dupnack.
And do you remember the coupons airlines issued earlier this year because of COVID-19? Check them out before you fly.
“Because the chances are that it will only be good until next year. So you want to rebook your trip in good time before the voucher expires,” said Dupnack.
Another tip: if you booked your flight through a travel agent, Dupnack recommends contacting the same person if your flight changes.
“Call them. Let them rebook it for you and add it to the books,” said Dupnack.
Let’s not forget that we are still in a pandemic. Dupnack suggests flying with an airline that has a social distancing policy when it comes to seat selection.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of customers who have flown on packed planes and it’s okay if you sit down,” said Dupnack. “But when they’re ready to get off the plane, everyone stands next to each other and social distancing is impossible.”
So fly if you want, but stay safe.
Dupnack also said if you are flying overseas or even outside of the mainland US, check the restrictions in the country or location you are flying to. You can change from booking your flight to departure.
If you book your flight through the airline and the change is significant, say several hours, most have the option to change their plans without a fee or possibly a refund. If the change is minor, you can ask to change your itinerary, but the airlines may not accept you.
Ultimately, every airline has its own guidelines, but guidelines have become more consumer-friendly during the pandemic. When you contact customer service, you can help more now than in the past.