May 29, 2023


Just Do Travel

Local travel agent says COVID surge not affecting travel plans

The last 2 years have been a roller coaster for the travel industry. How’s the latest COVID surge impacting travel? Newswatch 16’s Elizabeth Worthington takes a look

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Between horror stories at airports and the surge of coronavirus cases, you might think people are taking a pause from traveling. 

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

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

Tammy Curtis was not worried about COVID at all when she and her family left Forest City for Cancun, Mexico around the holidays.

She was worried about possible trouble at the airport.

“We had to leave the resort an hour earlier this time than other times before because they thought it was gonna be crazy at the airport. But we flew American and they use VeriFly and from testing at the resort to downloading everything that we needed to download, it was clicking your phone, like 1,2,3 and you walk through everywhere that you need to walk through,” Curtis said. “We’ve never had a problem; I was worried because everybody was contacting me in Mexico saying, you better hope you get back! I’m thinking, well there’s no better place to get stuck.”

Not everyone has been so lucky. On the day Tammy and her family flew home, more than a thousand flights were canceled.

Getting stuck is the main concern for a lot of travelers.

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

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

That’s the kind of thing that’s been keeping travel agent Faith Ann Bartholomew really busy.

“The ones that are having travel issues, I’m usually texting because they’re at the airport, their flight is delayed, they’re gonna miss their connection,” said Bartholomew.

Bartholomew runs a travel agency out of her home in Covington Township.

The boom in business for her is a pleasant surprise.

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

A high COVID case count isn’t keeping people from their travel plans.

Some of the people who call her are already sick of the winter and want to get away ASAP somewhere easy, and not too far.

Others are booking trips for 2023.

“Honestly I think this is going to be around and we just have to learn how to live with it. So it comes into what you’re comfortable with,” explained Bartholomew.

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

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