Masters postponed: Local travel agents are dealing with an influx of cancellations


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The announcement to postpone golf’s biggest tournament is a blow to a lot of people’s vacation plans.

There have been several closed or delayed events throughout the out nation. Amusement parks, schools, and now the Masters have all been temporarily postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus is forcing people who have booked trips to cancel or reschedule.

“I had 73 families that I was helping to get out of Augusta during Masters Week,” said AAA travel agent Erin Walkotten.

This region was getting set for golf’s biggest tournament. While some people use Masters Week to pocket some extra cash, other residents plan vacations to get out of the city.

“I would say this office alone is helping 500 families go somewhere during Masters Week,” said Walkotten.

Walkotten, she says a typical day for her is helping her clients find their dream destination. As the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, it’s becoming more challenging to travel.

“But now we are helping those 500 people cancel their vacation and get their money back,” said Walkotten.

While the world continues to figure out how the coronavirus will play out, Walkotten says the phones have been ringing no-stop as people are calling in to cancel their trips.

“In a time like this with the COVID-19 virus going around, most people who booked it on their own are staying on wait holds for about six hours,” explained Walkotten. “You call me, and I handle it from start to finish.”

Walkotten says travelers shouldn’t worry about not getting their money back. She says most vendors are either offering full refunds or allowing people to reschedule at a later date.

“There are so many unknowns about the COVID-19, and I think that is what so scary to people,” said Walkotten. “However, you have to travel to make memories, and it will be there when it’s ready to go.”

Travel agents are urging people not to panic, as we get more information about the new coronavirus.

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