Agents urge clients not to panic over swine flu

Agents are concerned that clients are thinking about avoiding travel to the US as well as Mexico in the wake of the swine flu epidemic.

Agents say they are dealing with cancellations and calls from nervous passengers as doubts remain about the severity of the swine flu outbreak, which has spread to more than 40 countries.

Colletts Travel in Hendon, London, has received requests from customers to cancel their bookings to Mexico and the US.

Marketing manager Jason Palmer said: “Clients who wish to cancel their holiday at the moment are only allowed by the relevant airlines to cancel within a narrow time frame. Most people in this situation will just have to wait until their departure date rolls forward so they can alter their trips.”

Somewhere2travel2 director Diane Denney said she had received calls from worried customers, but managed to avoid cancellations.

“I have had people travelling to the States asking questions and I’ve reassured them using advice from the Foreign Office and other websites,” she said.

There is also concern about the wider impact of the epidemic, as the travel industry comes under pressure from the recession.

“My worry is that this will be another reason for people to delay their travel plans. The late bookings to places like Turkey and Greece are not out there at the moment and this will not help,” added Denney.

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