Covid-19 has taken a devastating financial and personal toll on the travel sector – and the mental health of the people working within it. Tom Parry reports.
"I was too afraid to leave the house in case I saw angry customers. I had such anxiety; I was constantly looking over my shoulder.”
After a successful 30-year career, Janette Healey recently made “the hardest decision of my life” – to leave her beloved travel industry behind.
The “heartbreaking” choice followed months of abuse and anger from customers over refunds brought about by the Covid-19 crisis.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do the job any more – I just couldn’t go on. I was passing out through stress and I had to see a counsellor. I realised that enough was enough."
Healey’s story is sobering and all too familiar to the thousands of travel agents, reservations staff and customer service workers pushed to their limits during this crisis – more often than not dealing with problems far beyond their control.