At the height of the covid-19 pandemic, the airline sector had been at a standstill, and understandably so. Governments across the world had imposed severe travel restrictions, and the absence of a vaccine had stopped leisure travelers and even business executives, who are responsible for the bulk of airline profits, from flying.
Consequently, air travel had dropped by around 60 percent and the airline industry had lost well over $370 billion in 2020 alone.
However, all hope is not lost.
According to polling, over 75 percent of business travelers are willing to resume air travel as much as or more than they did before covid. Besides, as we saw from previous crises that rocked the airline sector, such as 9/11, leisure travel has always been quick to rebound.
But what will prompt passengers to return to air travel in numbers that airlines need in order to stay in business?
Travel insurance to the rescue
To inspire customer confidence in taking a trip in these troubled times, airlines, hotels, and travel agents are offering free insurance coverage along with their regular products. However, these have fallen short when it comes to assuaging the fear of passengers, which is based on the reality of the pandemic’s deadliness.
Consumers are quite concerned with their health, and in most cases, they are choosing destinations based on healthcare access. This is because they realize the risk of being around strangers, hanging out in public places, taking public transport, and staying in congested spaces for long periods while flying.
While vaccines are the biggest booster of the average consumers’ confidence in flying again, they are also looking for packages that offer extensive covid testing and other facilities, such as access to medication.
What travel insurers need to get right
It turns out, potential passengers think that conventional travel insurance goes nowhere near offering the protection that the situation warrants. One of the first limitations is that the protection is limited by the coverage amount.
Currently, there are various airlines, such as WestJet and Virgin Atlantic offering travel insurance products. They have gone to the extent of adding no charge covid insurance, including emergency care, repatriation cost, denied boarding, and quarantine accommodation cost as well.
While these products all seem attractive, they are insufficient to boost passenger morale to the required levels.
This is because customers have come to expect a lot more. Easy access to healthcare consultations and medicines figure at the top of the list of things customers want when they are on a trip.
Expert medical advice can be lifesaving when it comes to dealing with a deadly disease like covid. Owing to this, airlines need to prioritize covering telemedicine costs for passengers who get sick while travelling, especially when they are enroute to a remote location where facilities are scarce.
Given how the newly arriving passengers at a destination will not know where to get their medical essentials, it would also be wise for airlines to partner with local pharmacies and deliver medication to passengers at their convenience.
Aside from this, there is raging demand among passengers for travel insurance that covers comprehensive care for extended periods and diagnostic treatment for covid complications.
In all of this, there is a common theme among passengers—they want peace of mind while travelling, and the airline or travel agent making sure of that will come out of the pandemic unharmed.
As airlines and travel agents look to recover from the pandemic, they need to grapple with the new realities of air travel and come up with innovative strategies to adapt. One of the best things they can do is assure passengers that they are safe from covid-19 and related complications to their health with diverse benefits that go along with their travel insurance.
If you need a one-stop solution to handle all your customer’s travel insurance needs, you have come to the right place. Reach us at [email protected] to know more about how we can help you alleviate your passenger’s doubts about travelling.