How Swine Flu affects your travel plans
Without question our #1 concern is your safety. Swine Flu is a concern indirectly and directly for many of you…especially our clients leaving for Mexico this weekend. Based on all of the data we have received thusfar from the travel gods, here’s the facts on swine flu:
1. Although no case to date has occurred in any cruise port, Cruise lines are not going to visit Mexican Ports for the time being and will substitute other ports where possible.
2. The CDC is advising against all non-essential travel to Mexico.
3. Airlines are probably not going to stop flying to Mexico and we don’t see this changing even if the situation worsens. However, some countries have stopped flights to Mexico.
4. Most airlines are allowing date changes with no penalty.
5. Nearly all of our suppliers such as Travel Impressions, Apple, Funjet, etc. are allowing vacation and even country changes without penalty for our clients. Thanks to our suppliers, we look good with our clients in times like this and another reason to use a travel agent.
6. Our insurance provider TravelSafe is covering vacation changes and refunds based on the cancel for any reason policy which is what we mainly sell…many other travel insurance providers are not covering anything related to swine flu or the fear of it.
KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE
36,000 People die of the flu in the US every year. As of this morning, one has died of the swine flu. Remember SARS? 750 people died globally which is miniscule compared to almost any other disease.
Over 100 reported swine flu deaths in Mexico city which has over 20 million people. This is .000001% and only 10 times less of a chance than being struck by lightning…IF you live in Mexico City. And the CDC states the deaths occured due to lack of medical care. 1%-4% of those infected with swine flu are at risk of death.
Media companies get paid when you watch or listen. The more dramatic they make it, the more you watch. Look at the big picture and see through the drama. Most of us have had a flu and are fine. Same as most people who have gotten swine flu.
WHAT TO DO
Keep up-to-date: For travel information, check your favorite news website often, as well as these useful sites: U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization, plus your airline’s website.
Any insurance is a gamble…Travel Insurance should not be. You work too hard for your money and to have the option to change your travel plans in an emergency shouldn’t be a tough decision.
Use a travel agency to book groups, dream vacations or those trips that require planning. They are priceless in situations like this and for finding the best deal.
Asked for advice for ordinary citizens, Chan, the WHO chief, said: “Continue with your business but try to pay special attention to personal hygiene.”