As they have done many times before, Florida-based travel
agents found themselves having to get clients home while being in a hurricane's path themselves.
As Hurricane Dorian bore down on the East Coast last week,
its path unpredictable after it had battered the Bahamas, home-based advisor Danny
Fisher of Travel Leaders drove from Cocoa Beach to
Orlando, outside of the hurricane zone, and set up temporary shop in a DoubleTree
Cruise Planners travel advisor Carol Furst Matulonis of Fort
Pierce, Fla., cut short her Labor Day weekend trip in Aruba to assure she'd get
back before the storm hit to protect her home and office and to better assist
clients. Travelers were flying into and connecting in Miami, and they needed
flights rescheduled. Cruise passengers required assistance in deciding how to proceed
with modified itineraries.
Doug Kostowski and Cuqui Ramos collected hurricane relief supplies at their agency.
"I had to call those clients to see if they wanted to
rebook the shortened and re-routed cruises or take the cancellation offer,"
she said. "Every client was nice and understanding, and after two days of
working on the balcony, we thought it was best to change our own plans and we
flew home Saturday morning to put up shutters at home and work."
Matulonis was grateful her office ended up losing power for
only one day.
For other travel agents, being spared meant they could give
back. Once the storm was predicted to miss Miami, Cuqui Ramos and Doug
Kostowski converted Travel People, their Travel Leaders Network agency in Miami, into a relief supplies
Correction: Travel People is the name of Doug Kostowski and Cuqui Ramos' agency.