Talking to clients about summer air travel: Travel Weekly

Jamie Biesiada

Air travel this summer has been a hot topic lately, and not for any good reasons. If you’re flying in the summer of 2022, your chances of experiencing delays or cancellations are higher than usual.

On the most recent episode of the “Trade Secrets” podcast I co-host, we tackled the topic with Marc Casto, president of leisure Americas for Flight Centre Travel Group.

There are a few things behind the issues airlines are facing today, Casto said. The system is in disorder as a result of the pandemic, and staffing levels have not returned to where they need to be. Demand growth in recent months has been steep, too, steeper than anyone predicted.

“No one’s ready for it,” Casto said, and that includes airlines, the TSA and airports.

With the situation being what it is, here’s Casto’s advice for advisors:

“I think a big portion of it is we have to be up front and center with our clients,” he said. “We have to tell the truth of the story as to what has taken place.”

That means being transparent with clients and honestly sharing what they could encounter when they fly. And today, that includes prices that are in many cases higher than the last time the client flew.

Casto himself has been traveling nearly every week since the beginning of the year. With air travel being what it is, he does a few things to mitigate its impact on his schedule. 

First, he takes the first flight of the day. He finds it helpful to have status with an airline. He never takes connections if he can avoid them (a good policy at any time, he pointed out). And the days of making short connections are over. Finally, he said, he won’t check a bag for fear of losing it.

For more insights and tips on dealing with summer air travel, listen to the latest episode of Trade Secrets wherever you listen to podcasts. In addition to Casto’s tips, we hear from several listeners who share how they’ve been helping their clients this summer.

And if you have a question or tip to share yourself, about air or any other kind of travel or your business, call into to Trade Secrets’ hotline, 201-902-2098, or email [email protected].

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