FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Mail Call September 2020

Sep 29, 2020
September 2020

Q&A WITH ANGELIQUE PLATAS,
ASSOCIATE EDITOR

In our July/August issue, we discussed the reality of 2020 and adapting travel plans, which inspired the questions: What’s next? Are you shifting gears and hitting the road or braving the airline changes? If so, where to? A few readers wrote in with responses:

Our family took our first flight in months to our vacation home in South Carolina, where we could easily self-quarantine and work remotely during an extended stay. Philadelphia International Airport seemed clean and was easy to get through — no long lines or backed-up TSA PreCheck. We wore disposable masks in the airport, changed them regularly and doubled up on the flight with cloth masks just to be safe. We also sanitized our hands, seats and luggage. So far, so good!

JENN NEWMAN, VIA EMAIL

We will not be flying for a while but definitely taking some weekend road trips. My wife and I have been staying local for now but have some near-future plans to rent a luxe RV and explore.

WILSON REILLY, VIA EMAIL

My girlfriend and I have an extended RV, purchased last year. We have national parks mapped out in Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado for the fall.

CALVIN VALDORA, VIA EMAIL

FAMILY STYLE

In our March 3 issue of eFlyer USA we covered the petition hosted by consumerreports.org asking American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines to stop charging fees to seat families together. This inspired a few readers to write in with thoughts:

I strongly oppose charging for family seating. I do not want to be responsible for overseeing someone’s child on a flight. This is the parents’ responsibility, and they should not be charged extra to perform it. Separation can also be a terrifying experience for a child on a flight.

WILLIAM HARNED, VIA EMAIL

Except for emergencies (maybe one or two annually) families should be able to find seats together by early booking. Other passengers should not have to take up the slack because parents didn’t plan ahead.

BROOKE HALL, VIA EMAIL

ADDITIONAL SANITATION STANDARDS AT HOTELS

In our April 29 issue of eFlyer USA we discussed hotels, including Marriott, rolling out new cleanliness standards and health policies for guests and staff. We asked our readers: Will a hotel’s cleanliness policy play a part in your future travel decisions? How important are these standards to you? What other cleanliness initiatives would you like to see implemented?

Thanks for asking this question! I’d like to see staff wait 72 hours before entering a room that’s been vacated (for their safety), then entering to clean the room, then waiting another 72 hours before letting a patron into that room. No, it’s not ideal for the hotel business. But my guess is there will be enough empty rooms in the first months after re-opening that this could be easily done, and it would be reassuring to me as a guest to know no one has entered my room for 72 hours, and no one else will enter it (no daily cleaning) while I am staying there. This just might get me to stay in a hotel again.

FRANCESCA KELLY, VIA EMAIL

LETTER TO THE PUBLISHER

After publisher and CEO Francis X. Gallagher sent several travel updates and informative newsletters and before most recently discussing COVID travel experiences in his July/August Publisher’s Letter, an avid reader wrote in with similar thoughts and experiences:

Our anticipated trip on the Queen Mary 2 and onward to Mykonos has been put off until next year. Cunard canceled the voyage, but we’re going to rebook for next June, taking advantage of the cruise line’s 125 percent offer. Cunard has been exceptional communicating with customers and generous in terms of cancellation and refunds. I’ve been very impressed by its transparency.

Fortunately, we were able to cancel all our hotel and ferry reservations. The Greek government ruled passengers can rebook ferry trips for up to 18 months and, if not used, get a full refund. Hyatt and all our Greek hotels readily refunded deposits or canceled without penalty. And Delta Air Lines replaced our SkyMiles with- out penalty as well — given I have no elite status on Delta, that was unexpected!

We’re now left with our U.K. and EU flights to deal with. The European Union requires refunds, but you need to ask. British Airways provides a voucher if we cancel or a full refund if it cancels. But now travelers can rebook through April 30, 2022.

Aegean Air is another story. We had until last Friday to change our reservation without penalty but needed to rebook for flights before March 2021. Otherwise, regular penalties apply. As we had a flexible ticket, additional available options enable us to declare (up to four hours prior to departure) an “open” ticket which would be valid for 18 months with only a €20 per-person penalty.

As we have travel insurance with “cancel for any reason,” this should cover this circumstance, at albeit 75 percent. iTravelInsured is allowing a one-time date change to existing policies up to one year due to coronavirus.

We plan to rebook this entire itinerary next year with the hope the pandemic has abated and travel becomes available, enjoyable and safe. Our October trip to Tuscany/Paris/Amsterdam may be in jeopardy. Time will tell.

So, lessons learned: Book your cruise through a trusted and experienced travel agent (I booked through Q Cruise & Travel, a Cunard specialist). Have a good travel insurance policy with a trusted brand (we booked iTravelnsured/Starr through Squaremouth). Choose flexible fares when the price differential is moderate; though more expensive, they provide more options if scheduling goes awry. Know your travelers’ rights; while the two EU airlines provided options for cancellation/reimbursement/rebooking, knowing the EU requirements gave us ammunition in the event we were unable to achieve our rebook- ing goals.

JONATHAN M. FUCHS, VIA EMAIL

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
May 26, 2022

New Caravaggio Experience at Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese

Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese invites art lovers to step back into the Renaissance with its new Caravaggio Experience. The experience entails a complete immersion into the work and life of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, the iconic Renaissance painter.

TAP Air Portugal: 77 Years Young

TAP Air Portugal, or rather Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, was founded 77 years ago, March 14, 1945, and flew its first commercial flight September 19, 1946, inaugurating service from Lisbon to Madrid, Spain, aboard a Douglas DC-3.

Daily
May 26, 2022

Off the Map Travel Norwegian Fjords Electric Porsche Trip

If you’re a fan of adventure travel and luxury cars, Off the Map Travel has an experience for you. The new Drive the Fjords tour allows travelers to explore the Norwegian fjords and Sunnmore Alps in style in an electric Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.

Daily
May 26, 2022

New Golden Rock Resort, Sint Eustatius

Golden Rock Resort, the upscale, contemporary lifestyle property, opened in 2021 on the remote Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius. Compared to many other Caribbean islands, Sint Eustatius (aka Statia) is not known for mass tourism.

Discover Egypt in Total Luxury with World’s Most Eminent Archaeologists

THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED

Daily
May 25, 2022

Princess Cruises Launches All-Inclusive Premier Add-On

Princess Premier, a new add-on recently launched by Princess Cruises, offers cruise-goers unlimited WiFi, premium/top-shelf beverages, photos and more. The new offer builds off the popular Princess Plus add-on to bring guests a more comprehensive bundle and savings of more than 50 percent when all the amenities are purchased separately.

eFlyer Deals
May 24, 2022

Blossom Hotel Houston Presents Stay Longer Offer with Exciting Experiences and Initiatives

Houston’s newest luxury property, Blossom Hotel Houston, recently announced the Blossom Stay Longer offer, allowing guests the chance to experience all of the hotel’s world-class amenities. Tiered by length of visit, the offer ranges from three- to seven-night stays. Guests staying three nights will receive $50 in food and beverage credit, welcome beverages for two and complimentary WiFi.

Los Cabos Sets Your Vacation Apart
from the Rest

Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.

eFlyer Deals
May 24, 2022

Earn a Fourth Night Free at Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf

Through June 30, Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf offers guests a fourth night free, valid for a minimum of four nights in the property’s Junior suite.