When you think of the words “Super Hero”,
a person wearing a cape and mask come to mind.
When I think back over the years, I realize Travel Advisors can be Super Hero’s and are huge in making a difference in a clients life. I found this lesson out personally years before entering the world of being a Travel Advisor myself, when my Travel Agent at the time, stood with us when the flight we had taken to catch our very first cruise, Canada 3000, went into bankruptcy and we were stranded in Florida. We were about to be charged a huge fee (more then double what we had paid for the vacation) to be able to fly home. As it turned out, because of their due diligence, we were awarded a full refund on a flight because of our Advisor directing and advocating for us.
Years later, I found myself, now as the Travel Advisor, in the same position. Our customer (an elderly lady) had booked one of our escorted tours with us. There were 10 guests that we were escorting in all, which included booking flights, river cruise, transfers, excursions, hotels and more on one of the most amazing & customized journeys through Europe. She had requested a business class sleeping pod for her flights to and from Europe. No problem, happy to help her in that decision. After booking her flight, I still continued to check flights for her as a service. Later that day, after checking again, I saw that her flights had dropped in price by $900.00. Unbelievable but it can happen.
Knowing the regulations & the relationship we have with our suppliers, I was able to cancel the previous booking and re-book within minutes saving her $900.00 dollars. Money that could be used on souvenirs, excursions and of course some fine dining and wine along the way. I then emailed & called the client to let her know, not thinking I was a “Hero”.
The next morning our client went way out of her way to say “Thanks for being my hero!” A bottle of Red wine for my husband, a bottle of white for me and a box of chocolates for us to share!
Does this happen all the time? No! I wish it would, but for a few minutes of servicing our clients, was well worth the effort in pleasing a wonderful client who has since travelled with us many times and has become a personal friend (like many of our clients).
It’s always great to help in those magic moments when ‘one-offs’ happen, and there are many, but I also recall a group of nineteen, including our client above, who were joining us for a Mediterranean Cruise. Sadly, it was shortly after the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max – I’m sure a nightmare for Boeing and for so many airlines. Since we were travelling as a group, our clients all booked and paid for seating near one another and certainly for couples to be together, as well as some had upgraded their seats. When we sent all of the documents to our clients, everything was in order and no issues with seating. Sadly, upon arriving at the terminal, our guests found themselves in seats distanced from both one another and no where near the up-graded seats they had paid for. Some were in the very last row with no reclining seats. All due to an aircraft change to a smaller plane.
This did NOT go over well!
As I began to hear the frustration, I gathered those that were checking in with us as a group and I was able to explain the situation to the check in Agent – and although a little inconvenient, within an hour we had everyone’s seats reassigned. Here’s the best part – each of us were given ‘up-grades’ to preferred seating for the inconvenience which was even better than originally booked. Once I got to the gate, I found the rest of the group and realized they to, had issues. So, I took them to the airline counter and got them all fixed as well in less than an hour. I had arrived at ‘Hero Status’ once again. I was even on hand to solve a couple of minor issues and get credits and free dinners on the ship for some. We all had the most memorable trip. “Best cruise ever” they all said as they continued to thank me many times over for the great service on our escorted vacation.
Again, does this always happen – Of course not! But when we can service our clients and give them the best, stress free vacation that we can, then its all worth it. It’s great when your guests are treated like royalty, all because you took the time to serve them well! I and our Team love what we do!!!