Lismore travel manager Janelle Beuker.
Lismore travel manager Janelle Beuker.

Meet the travel ‘angel’ bringing Aussies home

TRAVEL ‘angel’ Janelle Beucker has been helping Aussies return home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Beucker secured tickets for Lismore Heights residents Janine and Trevor Davey after they became stuck in South Africa at the end of a cruise.

The Daveys were on board the NCL Spirit Cruise ship that docked in Capetown, South Africa, on Sunday along with 151 Australians.

Janine’s brother, John Bortolin, made a plea for help on social media, and Beucker was able to find tickets for the Daveys plus two more Australian couples.

The Lismore born and raised personal travel manager lived near Janine and her family when they were growing up.

“We knew each other,” she said.

“Every travel agent has access to a global reservation system, and that’s the one I work daily,” she said.

“We can usually see the live availability on flights.

“I had a look and I saw a couple of seats available and quickly booked those, and through the course of the night, I managed to secure another four seats on that same Qantas flight.”

The travel professional said she has been helping her clients to return safely.

“Whether they be flight or cruises, we have had to rearrange their travel completely, and then have to negotiate and communicate with hotels, airlines, negotiate good outcomes for the client, credits to use at a later date or a cancellation, and trying to get something back when possible,” she sad.

“It’s been like this for the last three or four weeks that everything started to change, and we only got busier.

“I have a few that are still returning home, but I’ll have all of them safely back in Australia by the weekend.”

Ms Beucker said besides the airlines cancelling flights, it has also becoming impossible for people to transit via airports.

“There is a lot of people all over the world trying to get home, but their possibilities are decreasing because their options are becoming less and less,” she said.

“I have never seen anything like this in my career.

“The 9/11 event and other outbreaks, obviously people became more weary f travel at those time, but it’s never been to the extent, and now with the ban on travel, it really deflated people’s confidence.

“I do believe that people will travel again, but a lot of trust will have be built up, but not with travel agents, airlines or government, but about feeling comfortable,” she said.