I am often asked the question, Why should I use a travel advisor to book my trip?
Rather than give the textbook answers that have been embedded in our brains I prefer to cite real-time situations. And so I begin with a day in the life of…
Take yesterday for example. We offer our clients the luxury of a 24/7 service. There is no answering service to take the calls and relay messages. The calls are handled by our trained travel and concierge team.
At 6 AM the phone rings and I answer a call from my client whose daughter and traveling partner are in Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and cannot check-in for their flight.
Even though we confirmed their flights the day before ( a must when traveling abroad), they have been told that they must report to the standby line as the flight is overbooked. Many travelers would not know who to turn to at a time like this however my clients know all they have to do is to Ask Lisa.
Air France offices are closed and do not open until 8 AM EST and the 800 numbers listed on the internet and Google all direct you to the same number with the same message. That doesn’t work for clients whose flight will depart in less than one hour.
With our knowledge and experience, we were able to reach the customer service center in Paris. The operator confirmed that they indeed had tickets, seats and were confirmed on the flight. With the operator on one ear, I phoned girls at the airport and explained.
I suggested that they approach an employee with the information that I was relaying from the customer service center at Air France. As easy as that may seem, it was an impossible situation. The supervisor kindly suggested that they return to the line.
The operator on the phone line was eager to get off the phone however I reminded her that our consortium does a lot of business with the airline and I did not think that upper management would appreciate her unwillingness to help. Of course, this was all said in a very tactful manner.
Time was of the essence and so with my persistence, she phoned the desk at the airport. Within minutes the Supervisor was able to locate my clients, print their tickets and escort them through the security line.
With minutes to spare they boarded the plane and were well on their way. Without the help of a travel advisor, they would have been bumped off the flight like so many others waiting in the same line.
In an SOS situation it is a great feeling to have someone to call and for assistance be able to ask Lisa, your travel advisor…
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