In our recent Covid-19 customer survey many respondents said they’d keep a close eye on when other companies started to travel again as a guide for their own intentions. To assist with this, we’ve put together a brief overview of where our clients have been travelling to during October 2020 along with some feedback from travellers on their recent travel experience.
The map below shows the most popular destinations for our clients during October 2020:
As with the other months we’ve reported on, Europe was the main travel area in October. We also saw another increase in trips to points outside of Europe with the U.S. and Africa seeing the biggest upturn due to clients needing to travel in sectors such as Engineering, Marine and Offshore.
As the month progressed we saw additional countries being added, often at short notice, to the list of those that require a 14 day self-isolation period when returning to the U.K. We also saw additional restrictions/lockdowns come into place in various parts of the U.K. at different times.
Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to contact clients when they return from travelling to gather feedback and tips so that we can share with others. It also ensures that our services adapt to changing requirements:
“On the outward flight we were only given a sandwich (no hot meal as usual. On the flight back to the U.K. British Airways supplied a hot meal. When I asked the steward, he said that this was the first time since COVID-19, that they had hot meals instead of sandwiches. In Heathrow on return, you are asked at immigration to confirm you have completed the online arrival document that is now required by the U.K. authorities and, they take a photo of the document and then you can proceed.”
“Before in check in area, the café/restaurant/bar and shop were all closed. After checking in and going through security all bars/restaurants/shops/duty-free were also all closed. There was a BA flight from LHR that arrived at 1630 hrs and only a few people came off that flight. My flight was KLM and, on that flight, there were only 8 of us passengers on board. It was mandatory for all passengers to wear face masks and all adhered to this except when eating or drinking.”
The feedback we have been receiving from travellers indicates that airlines, hotels, and airports have really got to grips with bringing in the relevant processes and safety measures to make travel as easy, and as safe, as it can be at the moment. We can also see that airlines and airports are trying to lead the way regarding testing facilities and processes and the UK Government Travel Taskforce will report back with their recommendations in the next few weeks.
Following the trend of recent months, we saw an upturn in the number of people travelling, and planning trips, for business, work, and education during October. The introduction of additional restrictions and lockdowns has seen some plans put on hold but, travel for work and education is still permitted and we will be open as normal throughout the lockdown periods to support our clients. Recent announcements on testing, a reduction in the self-isolation period and potential vaccines are encouraging and we will monitor and report on any travel-related implications.
It’s never been more important for travellers to have all of the information, advice and support they need to travel safely, and confidently when they’re ready to do so. We’ve created several resources to assist with this they feature on our dedicated Covid-19 Business Travel Guidance Hub. It also includes our thoughts on if airfares will increase/decrease and why it might make sense to book trips for travel in 2021 now to take advantage of lower fares and fewer restrictions on changing or cancelling tickets.