VIP President, Jennifer Doncsecz, was featured in Travel Weekly’s article “Travel Agents Prove Their Value During Hurricane Season.”
“We have had a lot of switches of destinations that we took care of last week,” said Doncsecz, president of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based VIP Vacations. “We have had the domino effect this week of Miami canceling a lot of connecting flights to the Caribbean, too. Even if an island was spared, flights through Miami were canceled.”
Doncsecz, however, has found a bright side to the Hurrican Irma situation.
“It has been crazy, but that’s why consumers should use an agent – we deal with the airlines and resorts to save them the stress of having to do it themselves,” she said. “I think hurricanes can sometimes shed light on how wonderful travel consultants are for their clients.”
Furthermore, VIP’s suppliers have been very proactive in helping the agency’s travel advisors rebook clients whose travel plans scuttled by the storms.
“Sandals actually allowed us to move couples to different destinations. We moved clients to St. Lucia, and they said, ‘We wanted to go there but the costs were too high,’” Doncsecz said. “It was a pleasant surprise to have clients not annoyed with a change – especially for a honeymoon.
“I am truly so amazed at how many cruise lines and resorts have stepped up to aid other destinations hit by these storms. I feel blessed to be in such a giving industry!”
Looking ahead, Doncsecz said it’s difficult to predict how the hurricanes will further impact clients’ travel plans: “The ripple effect will be in the next few weeks as we see how quickly islands can rebuild.”
To view the article, click here.