By Isiah REYES
The massive storm on the east coast this week has affected flights all across the country. Greg Shirey, manager of Montrose Travel, said that there have been calls from passengers who wished to reschedule flights. To deal with the extra calls, workers at Montrose Travel had to work extra hours to deal with the anticipated larger call volume.
“It’s extra staffing that’s involved,” said Shirey. “We request agents to help us with any additional hours. We try to go down that path.” Shirey said that the media converge of the severity of the storm also helped him in preparing for an increase in anticipated calls.
For most travel agencies, it is standard operating procedure to bring in extra staff and to ramp up as much as possible in the event that there is a worse case scenario, such as harsh weather conditions.
In terms of pricing, most airlines put the conditions of changing their ticket either on their website or some type of recording for when passengers call in.
“Typically there are no fees involved and airlines do ask if a passenger wants to travel the same day to call their airline or their agency,” Shirey said. “The information is readily available for most passengers.”
More than 70 flights were canceled Monday at Los Angeles International Airport due to the winter storm. The peak impacts of the storm were late Monday through Tuesday night.
“My advice for people traveling to the east coast would be to reach out to their travel agency or to their airline if they are concerned and to see if their flight is operating and to take advice from them,” Shirey said. “Be patient, people are trying to work with them as best they can and to do the best to accommodate them. No one wants for the traveler to be inconvenienced and these kind of big events are a major inconvenience for everyone, particularly if it’s a get-to place.”