As the tropical storm continues to wreak havoc on greater Houston, local travel agents are doing their part to help clients whose travels have been disrupted.
One of those agents is Katrina Rayner of Service Travel. She’s no stranger to busy world of travelling, as a travel agent she has more than 25 years under her belt.
“I started off walking around downtown Tulsa delivering airline tickets,” said Rayner. “When the opportunity came up, I decided to open my own agency.”
She’s seen her fair share of travel issues, from flight delays to inclement weather, but nothing like the catastrophic tropical storm in Houston.
“I don’t remember a time when two airports in a city have been closed for the length of time,” said Rayner. “That’s crazy.”
For the past week, she’s been monitoring cruises, hotels and airports for about 30 clients, both for vacation and business travel.
“I felt sorry for my client who couldn’t go on her cruise that had saved money to go,” said Rayner. “I felt bad about a group of ladies who had been on a 14 day trip and were ready to get home but they were stuck in Vancouver, Canada for the night.”
Rayner thinks the need for travel agents’ assistance due to storm-related travel hiccups won’t slow down anytime soon.
“If you booked through a travel agent, they’re going to be on it. They’re going to be helping you,” said Rayner. “If you booked through the airline, you might be stuck on hold.”
And to be even more cautious – many agents are highly recommending travel insurance as well.
“This tropical storm is the prefect example of why we try to tell people to buy travel insurance.”
Thousands of flights have been cancelled since the storm hit but the good news is many of these airlines and cruise lines are allowing changes without a fee.