Local travel agent says COVID surge not affecting travel plans


The past 2 years have been a roller coaster for the travel industry. What is the impact of the latest wave of COVID on travel? Newswatch 16’s Elizabeth Worthington takes a look

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Between airport horror stories and surging coronavirus cases, you might think people are taking a break from travel.

As Elizabeth Worthington of Newswatch 16 shows us, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

There are a lot of people who are just not fazed by the COVID numbers and are going ahead with their travel plans, and there are also a lot of people who are booking trips further afield and hoping there’s will have fewer cases by then.

Tammy Curtis wasn’t at all worried about COVID when she and her family left Forest City for Cancun, Mexico during the holidays.

She was worried about possible problems at the airport.

“We had to leave the resort an hour earlier this time than other times before because they thought it was going to be crazy at the airport. But we flew in from America and they use VeriFly and testing at the complex to downloading everything we needed to download, it was clicking on your phone, like 1, 2, 3 and you went through wherever you had to go,” Curtis said. “We’ve never had a problem ; I was worried because everyone was contacting me in Mexico saying, you better hope you come back! I think, well, there’s no better place to get stuck in.”

Not everyone was so lucky. The day Tammy and her family returned home, over a thousand flights were cancelled.

Getting stuck is the number one concern for many travelers.

Whether it’s because of a canceled flight or someone in your party catching COVID.

Faith Ann Bartholomew said: “They’re like, what if I test positive, am I covered, can I do it, how long will it be before I come back?”

That’s the kind of stuff that keeps travel agent Faith Ann Bartholomew busy.

“Those with travel issues, I usually text because they’re at the airport, their flight is delayed, they’re going to miss their connection,” Bartholomew said.

Bartholomew runs a travel agency from his home in Covington Township.

The business boom is a pleasant surprise for her.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but since Christmas it’s been really non-stop,” Bartholomew added.

A high number of COVID cases does not prevent people from planning their trip.

Some of the people who call him are already fed up with the winter and want to leave as soon as possible in an easy place and not too far.

Others are booking trips for 2023.

“Honestly, I think it’s going to be there and we just have to learn to live with it. So it depends on what you’re comfortable with,” Bartholomew explained.

Bartholomew says most airlines and resorts are always flexible when it comes to changing their plans.

Click here for WNEP flight tracker.

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