STROUD TOWNSHIP — Travel agents at AAA near Stroudsburg are used to the hustle and bustle of booking trips, but after Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas and created some problems on the coast of Florida, things have gotten really busy.
“It’s been crazy. Lots of people are trying to figure out alternate plans. People that are on cruise ships right now that were scheduled to stop in the Bahama’s, their itineraries have been completely altered, they have been made aware of that and the changes. As far as anyone scheduled to fly down to the Bahama’s of course those plans have been completely canceled,” said Stephanie Mennella, AAA Travel Agent.
Stephanie Mennella is a travel agent at AAA in Stroud Township. She says some customers have decided to delay plans until next year. Others who are already taking the time off from work are changing destinations.
“If it’s a cruise, it’s now a western Caribbean, which is like a Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Mexico. If someone was booked for an all-inclusive, they are now moving over to Rivera Maya, Cancun, lots of resorts there that can accommodate them in this situation,” said Mennella.
Travel agents at AAA tell Newswatch 16 one issue they are running into is the fact that a lot of customers opted not to get travel insurance. That becomes a big problem, especially when people book trips during hurricane season.
“The nice thing is that airlines allow you to make changes without any penalties in the case of a storm. However, if you get stuck somewhere, the best-case scenario is to have travel insurance. We always recommend that because it covers all your bases,” said Mennella.
According to AAA agents, travel insurance covers flight-change fees, extended hotel stays, and more.
It’s also suggested that travelers adjust plans based on advice from local authorities when traveling during severe weather.