Helping leading travel agency TravelUp effectively communicate with consumers and stakeholders amid COVID-19 struggles
Leading UK travel agent TravelUp – like many other firms hit by COVID-19 – faced a near impossible situation in March 2020. When flights were grounded by the pandemic, the company found itself inundated with refund requests and was hit hard by restrictions outside of its control.
Over 122,000 customers had their flights cancelled, and TravelUp’s internal refund system was struggling to cope. The company was also facing a constant battle with airlines, over 100 of whom had prevented agents applying for refunds in the normal way. The CEO was faced with the challenge of communicating the real picture to its stakeholders and came under fire from journalists and consumers.
The situation was sensitive, and TravelUp needed to confront the problem, whilst also educating stakeholders on the difficulties the business was facing and the ways in which TravelUp was responding to and learning from the pandemic to enact positive change.
Having restructured the business to confront these challenges, TravelUp’s CEO Ali Shah, with our help, engaged directly with media to explain in more detail the situation, while also apologising to those facing refund delays.
The company then launched a campaign imploring the CAA to introduce a new ‘trust account’ system, whereby money would only be transferred to the relevant airline once the flight had departed. Our strategy was to engage with relevant MPs and to generate national press around the topic.
pieces of secured coverage, 70% of which were in national titles
Briefings with MPs to discuss legislative changes to the flight refund process