#stuckinbali. Lessons for travellers.

Airport of Bali

#stuckinbali. Lessons for travellers.

“A volcanic eruption has caused major airlines Virgin Australia and Jetstar to cancel trips to and from Bali. Thousands of passengers are believed to be stranded.”

 When GFC hit roomsXML felt the pinch but due to reasonable Australian economic management and the high Aussie dollar, people continued to travel and we maintained growth.

 The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull was the first major challenge I can remember that made me feel utterly helpless.  At the time our strength was on Euro properties something like 30% of all Euro bookings being cancelled or no shows because of the Ash Cloud.

 Wholesalers were awesome in facilitating refunds, but we basically lost 30% of our revenue.  It wasn’t our fault, but gee, it really hurt.  Three weeks of giving refunds on hard earned business.

 The real lessons become apparent with the Bangkok floods or riots.  It was summarized by an email one of my mates sent:

 “It’s a disaster; we can’t get through to XXXXXX (the massive OTA they booked through)  as its just engaged the whole time; everyone is trying to get out or get a room.”

 Forward to 2015 and a great example of a Facebook post from one of my daughters old teachers;

 “I’m stuck in Bali everyone : ( it is absolutely crazy here with everyone trying to get a flight out….. Looks like I may not make it for the first week back at this stage : (“

 And

 “Well it may be ending with hours on the floor at Denpasar airport with thousands of other travellers… “

 Finally

 “So xxxx just offered me the one flight option home – Saturday the 18th July – l when I ticked the box that said ” this does not suit me” it refunded my ticket – in travel vouchers”

 Could you think of anything worse? A packed, mayhemic  airport where you have waited for hours for any news to see if you can get out…to be told to come back tomorrow, or next week, knowing you are one of THOUSANDS going through the same routine.

 The other option?

 Go to a travel agent.  Travel insurance.  One phone call, agent onto it, calls you back with a solution.  You aren’t waiting for that call from the airport either.  But by the pool, with a drink. Another G&T thanks.

 We’ve seen it before, we’ve seen it a again.  Next time a pax says “ooh, I can save $10 and book it myself” tell them the magic words; Ash cloud.

 

Source = roomsXML

2 thoughts on “ #stuckinbali. Lessons for travellers.

  1. Hi Gary – thanks for taking the time to write and feedback. But Idispute – agents have far more reaching contacts within airlines than just a website to contact someone through. In response to your response, we had an agent who was able to call their Garuda rep, and as follows: "XXXX had one lady who went to the airport and demanded a refund and was given one only to find there were no flights at all and any that had been scheduled were at complete capacity and nothing available until at least 30 July. XXXXX called Garuda and they kindly put that family back on the priority list and they arrived home this morning. It goes to show travel agents have some value. If only people knew what we do in the background they could see the value. "We book it via our GDS – Galileo and not the website. That way we can rebook if we need to and don't need to rely on the agents webportals they have.
  2. All good in theory, except that most agents book through wholesalers and have just as much trouble getting through. Same with Virgin and JetStar. I suspect most would use the agent website for both which generally in crisis time like this is hopeless. Either website or GDS generally requires a call to the 'help desk' to get authorities for no penalty re-tickets. But in one thing you are correct. The client can make one phone call and go back to his pool bar ..

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