Travel agents in the U.S. say that individual customers have canceled trips due to concerns over Ebola, although the travel market remains mostly unaffected overall. Tim Husted, a traveler-services executive for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, says fewer than 1% of the company’s leisure travelers have changed a booking and there is even less of a reaction among business travelers, although a few have requested routes that avoid Dallas. Maryann Cook, a travel agent in New York, says a Florida doctor who booked a $197,000 family safari trip to South Africa for 30 people next year wants to rebook it for 2016, even if it means losing a $60,000 deposit.
He didn’t feel a real urgency because South Africa is so far away from the problem spot, but he got a lot of stress from his children and his children’s children.
New York travel agent Blake Fleetwood says a client who booked travel to India is worried about a stopover in London, where there could be a greater chance of exposure to travelers from west Africa.
We’re hearing from everyone. Even people flying domestically are very nervous.
He says he understands the anxiety:
I wouldn’t fly on Frontier Airlines. I know that’s a crazy thing to say, but I just wouldn’t want my mind to be bothered. I would take another airline.