Seeing some enticingly low airfare right now?
We are, too.
The real question is: is it smart to buy?
Our expert travel agents weigh in.
If I see a good deal should I jump on it or wait?
If you find a particularly good deal, the next thing you want to look at is their refund and flight change policy. There is nothing wrong with booking a deal now as long as you can change it later on, especially if it will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Most airlines have changed their policies to be more flexible for rebookings.
Is now the time to book a destination vacation?
We are all playing a waiting game right now: when we will be able to leave our house, when we will be able to go to our favorite restaurant, when we will be able to go to a concert, etc. Hotels and airlines are doing the same thing. Since there are typically more variables at play with destination vacations (hotels, resorts, rental cars, etc.), especially internationally, a travel agent that takes care of the entire itinerary is especially useful in keeping it all sorted out.
Any particularly great trips to watch?
Keep an eye on Central and South America. There have been some premium cabin tickets under $1000 that are simply incredible deals.
In the meantime, if someone does want to book a flight, what are the most important things they need to be aware of?
There are a three things to look for:
1) A great refund or credit policy or book a refundable ticket. For the large majority of airlines, non-refundable tickets are just that: non-refundable. A virus does not change that. What airlines are doing is waiving the change fee (typically hundreds of dollars) and extending how long credits are valid for. Some are even honoring credits into next year.
2) If your flight is canceled or the schedule changes, your refund rules depend on the airline. Nearly all canceled flights mean a refund though some could result in a credit instead.
3) Buy through a reputable third-party booking agent. Many discount sites have not changed their change policies despite the airlines changing theirs, and there have been quite a few horror stories of customers on hold for hours trying to get in touch with customer service to no avail. Travel agents, particularly well-established, boutique agencies, have access to far more support than the regular weary traveler. Another perk to booking through a reputable agent rather than a website is their ability to stay up to date on the latest flying regulations, border restrictions, etc. so you don’t have to.