Tom Walley, general manager of the Flight Centre Travel Group’s Australia leisure travel businesses, today predicted that the US would maintain its appeal as a holiday destination.
“The US has been incredibly popular and we expect that popularity to continue, given the country’s huge appeal to Aussie holidaymakers,” Mr Walley said.
“Our US ticket numbers increased almost 40% last month and have grown almost 15% so far this financial year.
“The strong demand we have seen in recent times has, in part, been fuelled by some the cheapest return fares we have ever seen to Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York and other destinations.
“We don’t anticipate that any short-term uncertainty arising as a result of yesterday’s election will deter travellers from taking advantage of these offers.”
Mr Walley said travellers could take steps to protect themselves from the impacts of possible exchange rate fluctuations in the future by paying upfront for as many holiday necessities as possible and converting spending money now.
“This effectively means you are locking in a rate and protecting yourself if you think the Aussie dollar will depreciate against its US counterpart,” Mr Walley said.
“For a short time, and to give travellers who are concerned about possible political uncertainty additional peace of mind, we have extended our Platinum Captain’s Airfare Packages to the USA and to include an additional bonus that we have light heartedly dubbed our Travel Trump Card.
“In basic terms, the Platinum package now allows travellers to cancel US flights on certain airlines, including Qantas and Virgin Australia, for any reason without incurring the fees that normally apply. The package also extends to various land and tour operators.
‘This is on top of the other bonuses that apply to the $149 Platinum package, including Price Drop Protection and a $150 credit towards accommodation.”
The new Platinum US policy applies to bookings made between now and November 21 for travel during 2017.
Cancellations must be made at least eight weeks before the travel date.
Flight Centre launched a similar Platinum policy for European bookings in the aftermath of the June 23 Brexit referendum.