Traveling over the holidays was already a tense experience, even before the pandemic. According to NPR, holiday travel this year is up 3% from pre-pandemic levels. Combine this with airline staffing shortages and a spike in flight cancellations, and it’s even more important to expect the unexpected. Fortunately, you can lean on Hayes Locums to get you to your destination for a locum tenens assignment no matter the time of year.
Unlike when you book your own locum tenens travel, when you allow Hayes to arrange your flight, our team has a bird’s eye view of your itinerary that allows us to make quick corrections. “We have direct access into airlines’ systems,” says Ana Ramos, our manager of travel services.
“Whatever airlines see as their flight inventory, we see as well, so we can act immediately when something happens. We’re always one step ahead.”
Ana and the Hayes Locums travel team have helped countless providers reach their assignment locations with as little hassle as possible.
Here’s a short guide they put together to help answer some common questions around traveling during the holidays.
What time of day is the best time to travel?
Travel early in the day. If you choose a flight earlier in the morning and that flight is cancelled, you’ll have more flexibility for rebooking throughout the day. Booking an afternoon or evening flight significantly limits your options for flying out the same day.
Are there any helpful travel apps?
Download TripCase. When Hayes Locums arranges travel for providers, they’re encouraged to download this app.It’s a travel app that provides immediate updates about changes to your itinerary.
“Once I was sitting at my gate before a flight, and I got a notification from TripCase that there was a delay minutes before the gate agent made the announcement,” says Ana. “Those few minutes can help when getting on the phone to rebook because you’re ahead of the game.”
If Hayes Locums arranges your travel, your consultant will also be able to monitor your itinerary using TripCase and act quickly on your behalf if there are any issues.
What if my luggage gets misplaced?
Keep your essentials in a small carry-on bag. Emphasis on “small” because overhead bins can fill up fast—especially during the holiday season. We recommend packing essentials like phone chargers, an extra change of clothes, and any necessary work items in your carry-on. In the event you lose your checked luggage or your flight gets cancelled, you’ll have all of the items you might need within reach while you wait to be reunited.
What if I have a tight connection between flights?
Study the airport map. Airport signage can be confusing, especially when you’re under pressure to make a tight connection. “The moment we arrive at the airport and need to get somewhere fast, we lose confidence,” says Ana. “When I’m on a flight to an unfamiliar airport, I look up the map and study it on my phone.” She recommends locating your gate on the map and getting there as soon as possible.
Even when you do your best to prepare, it’s hard to act quickly enough to set things right when a delay or cancellation happens. That’s why you should rely on Hayes Locums to arrange your travel, and lean on your consultant for support.
“For providers, their consultant is a single point of contact between them, our locum tenens travel team, and the facility,” says Ana. “We advise the facility of everything that’s happening, and that takes that burden off the provider.”
Hayes Locums consultants are available at any time of the day or night with 24/7 travel assistance. “Providers count on us when they’re traveling,” says Ana. “That’s why we take so much pride in the travel experience we provide and try to stay ahead of the curve—we see that as the Hayes Locums experience.”