Living Retired — ‘Post-Pandemic Travel Disruptors’
Living Retired — ‘Post-Pandemic Travel Disruptors’
By Gary Chalk.
Have you joined the latest travel craze that is sweeping across the nation?
After two years of being screamed at on Zoom “YOU ARE ON MUTE!” baby boomers are re-emerging. We are leaving half-assembled jigsaw puzzles and homemade burnt sourdough bread behind and starting to travel — well, sort of. Here is what is actually happening…
You have likely heard about the ‘Covid-19 Science Advisory Table’ composed of expert physicians who advise the politicians who form policies. The ‘Covid-19 Science Advisory Table’ make recommendations about vaccination choices, masking, and school closings.
However, I’m sure there must also be a ‘Covid-19 Travel Advisory Table’ that advises politicians when people can begin to travel again.
Recently, the ‘Covid-19 Travel Advisory Table’ eased the travel restrictions. Hurray!!! Everybody went bonkers booking Caribbean cruises, train trips through the Rocky Mountains, and walking tours of Italy’s Amalfi coast. We busted our backs hauling soft-sided luggage up from the basement.
BUT, before you could say ‘Your ship has sailed’ the experts at the ‘Covid-19 Travel Advisory Table’ changed their mind — this time telling us we cannot travel! Everybody went ballistic, immediately cancelling all their reservations they made the day before!
BUT WAIT! Before we could stand at the top of the stairs and kick the luggage back down to the basement, the experts at the ‘Covid-19 Travel Advisory Table’ changed their mind AGAIN and told us we are good to go. This time everybody freaked out emailing their travel agents to rebook what they cancelled yesterday and to rebook what they originally booked two days ago! Are you with me so far?
In the travel business they refer to this phenomena as Post-Pandemic Travel Disrupters. We book trips — and before you can say ‘I Love New York’ — we cancel! Travel agents hate this, but travellers love it because cancelling means we won’t wait four hours to be screened at the airport and arrive in Miami to be told our luggage is in Fargo North Dakota.
Here is how you can join the in-crowd and be a Post-Pandemic Travel Disruptor. First, you and your spouse book a trip that has always been on your bucket list. Then, before you can say ‘Don’t leave home without it’ — you cancel. It’s easy. With a little practice you can become the envy of your closest naked below the waist friends on Zoom.
To cancel your trip, you choose from three standard excuses that have been around since Covid-19 began…
Excuse #1: ‘You are still waiting for your passport to be renewed.’ Government workers are not as efficient processing passport renewals working from home because they constantly have to leave their computer and run like a maniac to the front door to pick up their Amazon package before the porch pirates run away with it!
Excuse #2: ‘You haven’t the foggiest idea about the latest vaccination regulations.’ Last weeks Covid-19 policy requiring travellers to show proof of vaccination changed. Oh wait — that policy was not last weeks mandate, it was yesterdays, no, err, this mornings.
Excuse #3: ‘Pilots are booking off with Covid-19.’ Passengers are told to arrive at the airport yesterday. Airline assurance that the friendly staff at the departure gate will ‘figure something out’ doesn’t resonate with you.
Jan and I are newbie Post-Covid Travel Disruptors — we have booked, and subsequently cancelled, a handful of trips.
“Gary, I’ll research a seven day trip to Ireland. I’ll call our travel agent to book a car for us, find some unique B & B’s to stay in, and lineup some castles to visit.”
“Okay dear, please make sure we are booked to tour the Guinness plant.”
“Got it Gary. I will also ensure our seniors medical coverage is in order and begin packing.”
“Jan why are you packing now? The trip is still four months away!”
“Exactly Gary. That is why I need to get on it right away!”
A couple of days later we cancelled the Ireland trip by capitalizing on Excuse #1. “Gary, we are still waiting for our passports to be renewed so I’ll call and cancel. And I’ll change the fall clothes I packed for Ireland and replace them with heavy wool sweaters for a winter trip to Vermont. Maybe our agent can find us a deal.”
“Jan remind the agent to send us a copy of the cancellation papers for the trip we booked to the Caribbean last winter. I believe we used Excuse #2: the vaccination policy. And also, the flight out west we cancelled because of Excuse #3: the shortage of airline pilots.”
I called our friends to tell them Ireland had been cancelled, again. They understood. They had already cancelled their summer trip oversees because of Excuse #1, Excuse #2, AND Excuse #3! Instead, they said they will likely book a road trip to see the fall foliage.
Jan quickly suggested, “Gary, tell them the government has announced Excuse #4: ‘Outrageous price of gasoline.’ They can use that excuse a couple of days later when they cancel.”
The growth of Post-Pandemic Travel Disruptors has now led to yet another Covid-19 Advisory Table. This one — the ‘Covid-19 Technical Advisory Table’ is made up of expert IT professionals with experience botching ‘Help Desks.’ Their first recommendation is to do away with the ‘ArriveCAN’ app which travellers download on their cellphones so we can re-enter the country when we travel. Instead of the ‘ArriveCAN’ app a new one is being designed called ‘CancelCAN’ — so we can book and cancel our trips more efficiently. Such ingenuity!