Volcano’s golden ashes – and the winner is…Back to Forum
Anonymous20 Apr 2010
Given the unprecedented, historic events we are experiencing due to the ash clouds from the Icelandic volcano I’m wondering: Who managed to turn the situation into a profit, which businesses lost the most, and what impact did this have on people’s lives?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!20 Apr 2010
Businesses that have gained: Telephone- and video-conferencing I would think would be up dramatically. Trains (Eurostar, Eurail) should be booked solid.
Lost the most – travel industry (airlines, travel agents and tourist-based places). Hotels are full from those unable to go, but have had cancellations from those supposd to come as an offset. Some will be better off, others worse off (depending on their occupancy rates).21 Apr 2010
I think the biggest winners are car hire companies, there have been several reports of them charging £900 for 2 days hire ! , for a small hatchback which would normally be around £70 for the same amount of time.
In terms of the biggest losers throughout this firework display its clearly the Airlines by a country mile.21 Apr 2010
Yes good point Martyn , although lets be honest Insurance companies Never lose money overall , all those years of high premiums with no claims means there actually the only real winners .21 Apr 2010
For every person that makes a claim, there will be hundreds of people who will see the hassle caused by this event and will ensure they get a gold plated Travel Insurance policy when next they venture abroad. And anyway, insurers don’t really make thier profits from premiums vs. claims; as long as these even out over the years (which they usually do) the real money is to be made managing the cash in the interim.
So while you may think natural disasters etc. are bad news, in fact they usually increase demand for policies and can ensure rates harden as customers demand more policies and better T&Cs. So it’s really a win-win for the insurers.
HSBC Insurance has stated it will cover all claims related to the recent event (subject to usual caveats) so that is good news. I believe many others will cover in a similar way as well; if they don’t they will lose customers.21 Apr 2010
This episode has demonstrated the value of using a travel management professional and firms may derive long-term benefit if they take the opportunity to promote the value of their skills & knowledge. Their sterling efforts to resolve all manner of travel difficulties seems to have been under-reported in the mainstream media.21 Apr 2010
My personal experience last week was that although personally very helpful, my Travel Management firm (which I boycott normally) was similarly paralysed and was unable to get several of my colleagues home.
I stepped in and sorted it, online, faster and less expensively than the Travel management firm could.
The few bookings I DID make with them before things got worse were wildly overpriced and they slapped a massive 20% fee on top of all that. Disgraceful.
Not impressed, and will continue to book my own travel wherever possible.21 Apr 2010
I am sorry to say only on very rare occasions have I seen a TMC which offers genuine value.
Having compared the TMC’s proposal with what I arrange I know I am saving about 30% on my weekly travel costs by educating myself (and others) and I stay/fly in much greater comfort than would be the case had I booked via a TMC. And that doesn’t include the fees they charge on top of the actual prices levied by travel providers.
I recognise there are often rebate deals which can give value, and in large firms forcing compliance with policy can also save money (usually at the expense of employees’ comfort and job satisfaction) and there are some (very modest IMHO) benefits in the case of a serious emergency/hijacking etc. in knowing for certain if someone was on a flight.
Plus I have the control to vary my plans much more easily than would be the case going through a third party, which is invariably closed at weekends/early mornings or charges extra to change arrangements last minute.21 Apr 2010
Airports have also been big losers. On BBC TV last night, the boss of NCL said he was losing £100,000 a day. At the other end of the scale, BAA claims it’s losing £6 million a day:
Then what about the airport concessions ? No passengers so no purchases being made at the tax free shops so that impacts on the perfume and drinks’ industries etc.
Airport rail links lose out as fewer travellers need to use them.
Another big loser is the UK government. Fewer air passengers (because some will not travel at all or else will travel overland) will hit APD revenues.21 Apr 2010
Maybe the subject of TMC should have a deicated thread, but they really have had an end to the value they could ever offer.
I have engaged a few from a local independent to a mighty global organisation and all fail to deliver on value and routings you would have done yourself. I like VK can now within most instances spend 20 minutes securing best value for money and best routing for an individual.21 Apr 2010
The problem is that the staff are not as proffessional as they used to be. They get certificates at college and don’t work up the experience.
I was a travel agent in the mid 70’s to early 80’s when knowing your stuff made the job. Air fare calculations were an art and studying for the BA Fares & Ticketing as most agents did then was complecated but fun.
I let my staff book what they want, with which airline and hotels they want. They know the guidelines and what is acceptable and ask if in doubt. My experience of any try of TMC has been the same, overpriced poor value.21 Apr 2010
TMCs certainly have gotten any of my colleagues home this week & most of them made their own way back! Unless you are on corporate travel however, I believe any possible insurance claim is killed by making your travel arrangements and trying to get home on alternative routes.
My guess was that the main winners are hotels, because they put prices up for people that are stranded, but also charge cancellation fees to the people that cannot turn up.
what protection is there for individual travellers to prevent companies (hotels, ferry, car rental etc) put their prices up and taking advantage of the situation? Which government bails individuals out if they dont have sufficient insurance? Which insurance doesn’t have a small print excluding “acts of god”?
I am equally puzzled and intrigued by the question on how to prevent individual travellers being at the end of the food chain, footing the bill? Any suggestions?21 Apr 2010