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Further news surrounding the success of covid vaccines has seen travellers’ confidence slowly return. The news was a welcome boost for travel companies, airlines and travel agents who have struggled since the pandemic struck earlier this year. It’s likely that next summer will see holidaymakers who have missed out this year flock to book both staycations and holidays abroad.
However, it’s also likely that prices will hike up to meet the sudden demand for travel.
Online travel agent TravelUp which offers value flights and hotels saw a surge in people booking holidays that they missed out on this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Express.co.uk spoke to TraveUp’s Director of Marketing and Communications Craig Ashford who discussed how prices could change when a vaccine eventually become available.
He said: “As the vaccine gets rolled out, the prices will start to increase.
“We’re unlikely to see the same levels of capacity next summer that we saw a year ago.
“The cost of flights will organically increase because there will be a higher demand.
“So booking now, makes sense.”
This prediction was shared by CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency Paul Charles.
Mr Charles said that he expected prices to rise but that people will be keen to get away from home.
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He told Telegraph Travel: “Prices will rise by 10-20 percent to cater for the demand, as operators try to recover lost earnings from this year.
“But staying away from home will be the clear focus for consumers, not staying at home.”
However, Mr Ashford said that consumers could come across other barriers if they book holidays now.
If a coronavirus vaccine isn’t made available as soon as people hoped and they have booked holidays in advance for next year, there could be an influx of consumers wishing to cancel.
A similar occurrence took place earlier this year when airlines and travel companies were forced to cancel customers’ flights and holidays following the introduction of travel restrictions.
But as Mr Ashford points out that next year, “it won’t be the airlines cancelling it will be the consumers.”
He added: “And that opens up a whole different challenge for us because if the aircraft is flying, if it’s travelling, that flight hasn’t been cancelled then all of these travellers will be bound to the terms and conditions of the airline which means the likelihood is they won’t get refunds.
“Even if they do decide to cancel, they’ll be penalised, or some airlines will say they can re-book, reschedule or take a credit voucher instead.
“People actually getting a refund I think is going to be null and void.”
Before booking, customers should be aware that if they cancel, they may not be able to get their money back.
Furthermore, travel insurance also does not usually cover “disinclination to travel” which means you have decided not to travel but the FCDO advice has not changed to advise against travel.
Mr Ashford added: “They are booking now in a pandemic, knowing what’s going on – I think the airlines will hold them to standard terms and conditions.”
“It’s a consumer’s choice now.”
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