MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Travel cancellations are piling up as COVID-19 spreads across the United States. Memphis travel agents say they are fielding numerous concerns from clients as the virus makes its presence known.
“It’s been pretty chaotic to be quite honest with you,” said Jennifer Kruchten, president & CEO of Travelennium." I hate it that people are so scared."
Kruchten’s firm handles it all, from leisure to corporate to group travel. She said the number one question she gets from travelers now is, “Should I cancel?”
Kruchten said it’s a question she can’t answer.
“You as the client, the customer, you’re also going to have to do your due diligence,” she said.
Kruchten said she’s advising clients to take their health into consideration and view domestic and Caribbean trips as still on. Traffic to Asia has dramatically decreased in response to COVID-19, and Kruchten said European travel is slowing down too.
The Centers for Disease Control has also advised Americans to end cruise ship travel worldwide amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and Kruchten said she wouldn’t go on a cruise right now.
“My husband of almost 30 years has some lung issues, so I wouldn’t compromise him. And consequently, I probably wouldn’t go,” she said.
Travel in the next couple of months is expected to be impacted, she said.
Her firms sell travel insurance policies, but she told WMC Action News 5 that many people don’t realize fear of an illness is not covered under a basic policy. The most expensive policies allow travelers to cancel a trip for any reason. You must have one of those to not sustain any losses.
“This too shall pass. We had SARS, Swine, and Zika. This is just a virus,” said Kruchten.