What is new?


Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

What is new with you?

We have been home for over 2 months, and I have noticed some changes in the posts from many of you. In the beginning I saw a lot of funny memes and sarcasm regarding obesity by the end of quarantine, being crazy, or having gray hair; many jokes related to physical and mental aspect of being secluded from others.

Over time, I have noticed some postings of anger, political sarcasm, and from many others, very positive comments, like losing weight and exercise, learning something new, reposting good deeds from others and thanks to the First Responders.

We are going through tough times, there is no discussion about that! Many are frustrated for not being at work, many others are scared and feel safer being home. Some are afraid to lose their lives and others are afraid to lose their homes. Honestly, I don’t think there is a right answer, because we are not in everyone else’s shoes.

Personally, we lost loved ones from Covid-19, and we have loved ones in the hospital from this awful virus. There are other people very dear to us that have lost their businesses, and also some who are very close to losing them.

So, if you asked what is new with me, I’d tell you that I am exercising every day, it helps both my sanity and my body. I participate in some seminars on Zoom (never knew I would be using Zoom this much!) I read a lot of novels and thrillers, I’ve rediscovered gardening, and I try to learn as much as I can about the state of the travel industry now.

What I don’t do is also important. I don’t spend my time watching the news, nor reading or talking about Covid-19 – it stresses me out. I limit the time that I allow people to talk to me about the subject.

I try to make this time as positive as I can. The only control I have is what I can do about myself and my life. I can’t control others, nor I can control the country or the world.

As I expressed before, this is also a tough time for me and my family, but I choose to make the best of it as much as I can. Those who know me see me joking even more, some of it is just to cover up my fears. I spend more time doing things I enjoy and avoid negative (and Covid positive) people.

Again, what is new with you?

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Airlines and Perception


Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

Last week I wrote about how the American airlines are responding to protect passengers from getting Covid-19 while flying. Many other countries and airlines check passengers’ temperature before they check in.

Emirates airline administers blood tests for Covid-19, with results in 10 minutes, at the terminal before a passenger boards the plane. This test is administered by the Dubai Health Authority. This test does not substitute for the use of masks during the flight; passengers need to wear masks as well.

In terms of PERCEPTION, I personally like the proactive approach being used by Emirates, BUT we all know that unfortunately, there are some false positive and false negative results. The false negative could be dangerous for other passengers, and the false positives will not only frustrate a healthy passenger not being allowed to fly, but also give the false idea that once “recovered” this person will be immune.

Until we have a vaccine and/or medication for this horrible virus, I believe that airlines need to give us some type of protection; at least some distance, and the mandatory use of masks. But how to enforce the use of masks on a flight? I think that counting on the flight attendant to enforce this rule is not fair, nor is safe. We all know what can happen when one complains about someone kicking the seat behind, we get a viral YouTube video. How about having a marshal on each flight making sure everyone wears the mask. Since we now have more PPE, the airline could give an N95 mask to each passenger (so all wear the same protective mask) and if one is not wearing it, they’ll need to deal with the marshal plus pay a fine for violating the safety of others.

I truly believe that by doing this, and promoting these efforts through advertising, the PERCEPTION that passengers will have about the airline industry will improve.

What is your opinion?

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Team Players


Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

On May 6th, we celebrated Travel Agent/Advisors Day. In my opinion, it was a day to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ll return brighter and stronger than before. I truly believe that now more than ever, travelers will use a travel agent rather than use a search engine or book travel themselves. (Please see my previous blogs about that!)

Now, let’s talk about the other players in the travel industry, since we know that it takes two to tango. We have all heard about the different actions the airlines are taking to protect passengers. In order to sell travel, we need to eventually sell airline tickets, right? So, they are supposed to be team players on the same court/field where travel safety is being considered.

But now we have heard that Frontier Airlines is selling the middle seat starting from $39. So right away I have a few questions for this so called “Team Player:”

  • Why does the traveler need to pay to be protected?
  • If I am seated in the aisle seat and pay for the middle seat, should the traveler in the window seat pay me half of the money?
  • What if (in the same scenario) I pay for the middle seat and the traveler seated in the window seat wants to pay for middle seat, do you charge half each?
  • Can I use the flight attendant to intervene in a dispute with the traveler seated by the window if they’re putting some of their belongings on the middle seat when I paid for it?

Actually, it is funny that we, the taxpayers, bail out the airlines yet we still have to pay to be protected and keep a little distance from another traveler that could be easily be Covid-19 asymptomatic.

Now let’s get to another so called “Team Player,” United Airlines:
“We are not mandating that passengers wear a mask, however, we strongly encourage travelers follow CDC guidance to wear a face covering when social distancing is difficult,” said Nicole Carriere, a spokeswoman for United. “By providing the masks, we’re making it that much easier for them to do so.”

How can they strongly encourage us not to get Covid-19 from asymptomatic travelers who don’t show any symptoms or fever when they come onto the plane?

How about the other Team Players? Who will guarantee that the passengers will be wearing masks during the whole flight, keep a safe distance when leaving the plane or going to the bathroom, so we will not be spreading the virus?

In my opinion, we need a stronger position from all the Team Players so we can be prepared when we start traveling again.

What is your opinion?

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Fear in Travel


Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

Let’s talk about FEAR, how real it is, and how we can expect travelers to deal with anxiety and fear of going back to traveling after (or even before the end of) a global pandemic.

In my opinion, it will be easier for people who want to travel but have lost their jobs to find the money to travel, than for those who are scared of catching Covid-19 to find a reason to go someplace.

The good news is that most Americans are ready to travel as soon as the lockdowns are lifted. We also know for a fact that the number of bookings of cruises (not counting those rescheduled) are already greater than the same time last year.

We also know that because of different budgets for land tours and cruises, more and more people can afford to travel. They can pay in payments or they use credit cards for this. Many people believe that travel is great therapy and that they deserve it, even more so now after going through hard times like this horrible pandemic.

So how to deal with FEAR?

Fears are psychological, emotional and physical. The best way to help someone with fear is to acknowledge that it is real, and slowly give them facts that can help them believe that they should feel safe.

How? Collect information about how airlines and cruises will be proactive in protecting everyone against getting the virus. How hotels in many countries will do a good job by being totally disinfected. How buses and restaurants will be working, and so forth.

Maybe the first task for travel agents/advisors will be to focus on the ready travelers. First the ones who can afford to travel, and then making very budget conscious itineraries for those who need a break before going back to work. Not everyone thinks alike, but I can assure you that many believe that a fresh new start begins with a beautiful break from everything to reenergize and bring more positive energy to a new beginning.

Slowly but steadily gather information for the clients with FEARS, and then, when you least expect it, you have a long list of new clients, PLUS great experience in the psychology of your business.

I love a quote from Einstein and truly believe in it. Think about it when you are moving ahead with your business:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Every day is an opportunity to grow yourself and grow your business! You can do it, despite the pandemic, despite negative people. Believe that everything is a miracle – like you are!


Follow me at:
Facebook @travelwithrosana
Instagram @ travelwithrosana
Blogs@ www.travelwithrosana.com