Get Clean Air Assurance With a Weather Guarantee

Peak vacation season increasingly coincides with peak wildfire season—and the potential for poor air quality

September 20, 2022

As scientists and outdoor enthusiasts, Sensible understands that rain clouds aren't the only thing that can come between fun and the sun.

Fed by expansive annual wildfires, smokey skies are becoming a yearly peril for people who love travel and the outdoors. Wildfires quickly spike air pollution and sharply degrade the experience of being outside by posing a lasting threat to respiratory health.

As such, Sensible is innovating to help our partners in the US and Europe meet this emerging threat to peak season revenues and customer experience. We’re excited to announce new coverage through our Weather Guarantee, which includes protection against the experiential and financial losses caused by unhealthy air quality.

Sensible’s unique protection

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates the level of ambient airborne material (and respiratory risk) for a given location using a 24-hour average of what’s known as PM 2.5.

PM 2.5 accounts for tiny inhalable particles; materials that have a diameter of approximately 2.5 micrometers or smaller. 

For comparison, the average human hair is approximately 70 micrometers in diameter. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is another tool the EPA uses to measure the risks of being outdoors and breathing an unfiltered atmosphere. AQI works on a scale from 0 to 500, where increasing values indicate a rising level of air pollution. You can think of AQI as a layman’s scale for understanding air quality on any given day, and it’s based on PM 2.5 measurements.

Along with its deep catalog of atmospheric data, Sensible’s Climate Engine uses PM2.5 forecasting to dynamically generate Weather Guarantees for a given location—and to inform and protect our partners and their guests from the risks of degraded air quality.

Preparing for future fire seasons

Studies by Stanford, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Cancer Institute, and many others have noted that poor air quality disproportionately impacts the respiratory health of infants, children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing repository conditions.

By providing air quality assurance through our Weather Guarantee, Sensible is aiming to prioritize personal health and further de-risk travel for our partners and end-users. If a guest determines that their personal risk is too high, or that the outdoor experience they were looking forward to most is ruined by smokey skies, we help them walk away with their money and positive attitude intact.

Sensible’s partners don’t have to worry about long lines at their customer service desk, or about issuing ticket vouchers for another day in the future. We manage every Weather Guarantee entirely in-house.

Whether the coverage shields a week-long stay at a mountain resort or an afternoon at a theme park, Weather Guarantee users don’t have to do (or cancel) anything, and can still use their tickets if they so choose. They simply receive a preemptive reimbursement on each morning of a reservation impacted by hazardous air quality. 

And while guests may be able to enjoy another, indoor part of the experiences offered by our partners—Sensible acknowledges that feeling unsafe is unfun—and a Weather Guarantee provides users with the ultimate flexibility in choosing how to spend their day.

For businesses that want to shield their customers and operations against the possibility of hazardous air quality—and for consumers who want to ensure wildfire season doesn’t burn up their annual vacation fund—Sensible’s Weather Guarantee provides an innovative and empowering level of flexibility.

Learn more about air quality!

Just this month, mountain towns throughout the Pacific Northwest, California, and the Rocky Mountains were impacted by wildfires and unhealthy air quality. At Sensible, we believe that longer, more severe wildfire seasons will increasingly put the guest experience offered by hotels, resorts, and tourist destinations at risk—both in the American West and around the world.

That’s why we’re so excited to add “clean air” to the reliable and stress-free coverage of our Weather Guarantee product. It’s another data-informed way to protect businesses and travelers against the experiential and financial losses caused by climate change.

If you’d like to learn more about air quality and some of the variables Sensible’s Climate Engine uses to generate Weather Guarantees, check out AirNow and NOAA for more information!

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