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