Sign up to receive this and other news in your inbox each month.
Miss an edition of Trawick International Travel News? Read back issues.
New travel compensation plan for flight delays and cancellations
The Biden administration announced new regulations are coming to ensure passengers are compensated for flight delays and cancellations caused by airlines as Congress considers legislation with similar goals.
The rules haven’t been officially proposed but were announced with few details on Monday, May 8th. They would require airlines to provide compensation, meal vouchers, overnight accommodations, ground transportation to and from a hotel, rebooking, and timely customer service during and after flight delays and cancellations that are under the airlines’ control.
Lawmakers in Congress have been pressing the Federal Aviation Administration to address passenger protections after what critics have called a Southwest Airlines “meltdown” in December when delays and cancellations stranded thousands of passengers across the country during the holiday season.
Aside from the forthcoming rule, DOT has also launched a website and expanded its customer service dashboard to provide more transparency about the types of compensation airlines currently guarantee when they cause flight irregularities.
Memorial Day Weekend Travel
If you’re planning to take a trip for Memorial Day weekend, you may want to prepare yourself for busy airports and roads.
According to the AAA, nearly 3.4 million travelers are expected to fly to their destinations this Memorial Day, an increase of 11% over last year. Air travel over the holiday weekend is projected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, with 170,000 more passengers – or 5.4% more – than in 2019. Despite high ticket prices, demand for flights is skyrocketing. This Memorial Day weekend could be the busiest at airports since 2005.
AAA booking data for the Memorial Day weekend shows tourist hotspots like Orlando, New York City, and Las Vegas are top domestic destinations. Cruise port cities in Florida and Alaska, as well as Seattle, are high on the list, given the 50% increase in domestic cruise bookings compared to last year. Other popular U.S. cities this Memorial Day include Denver, Boston, Anaheim, and Canton, Ohio. International travel is surging with bookings 250% higher this holiday weekend compared to 2022. European cities such as Rome, Paris, Dublin, London, Barcelona, and Athens, are the most popular international destinations.
Don't forget to get insured to avoid headaches for your memorial day holiday! Get a quote with us now
Top Summer Travel Destinations
As travelers across the country plan their summer vacation, they're increasingly turning to Google Flights to find the best deals. And now, the search engine is telling us exactly where travelers want to go. Based on three months of searches for flights this summer, Google has put together a list of the top 20 destinations U.S. travelers are looking to visit.
With COVID-19 restrictions long gone, people are ready to travel abroad – especially over in Europe. The single-most searched destination is London, dethroning the domestic fan favorites like Orlando and Las Vegas that topped the list a year ago. The English capital tops the list for 2023 summer flight searches - specifically, June through August — followed by Cancun, Mexico; Paris; Orlando, Florida; Rome; and New York City.
Of the top 20 most-searched destinations, European cities are trending, with Rome, Barcelona, and Dublin all making the list as well. Tokyo also made the cut, following Japan's reopening last October. As domestic destinations go, beyond Orlando and NYC, summer vacationers are searching for Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco.
Google also pointed out that there's an all-time high for searches around passports ahead of summer travel. The U.S. State Department is currently processing 500,000 passports a week, and most recent estimates say passport processing time is currently 10 to 13 weeks.
If you have already booked your summer trip, get a travel insurance quote today.
Floods in Italy
Parts of Italy are experiencing a deluge of storms, surprising tourists who expected warm weather in May. TikTok videos taken in Florence and the Amalfi Coast show hail pummeling the ground and rainwater gushing down stairways. The country's northern cities have also fallen victim to severe weather, but the worst-affected area has been Emilia-Romagna and parts of the central Marche region.
While temperatures vary depending on location, May in Italy is generally warm, according to ItalyExplained.com, a travel blog focused on Italy, but May 2023 is proving to be exceptional.
The deluge also forced the cancellation of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, a race held by Formula One, to protect those attending the event and to avoid placing an additional burden on emergency services.
There has been no official advice from the U.S. about traveling to Italy, but meteorologists have said Italy can expect several more days of heavy rain. With that being said, we suggest buying a trip cancellation plan with optional Cancel for Any Reason and Interruption for Any Reason benefits, like our Safe Travels Voyager plan. It allows you to cancel your trip entirely up to 48 hours before you depart or leave your trip after being there for at least 48 hours for any reason and receive partial reimbursement for prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs.