Travel Agent = Lifeline
I am often asked – why book a trip with a travel agent when it’s so easy to book everything online. One of the major advantages of booking your trip through a travel consultant is that you have a “lifeline” and partner if things go wrong. That belief was recently reinforced when a client of mine had her trip to Italy interrupted by a lost (more likely pickpocketed) passport in Rome.
I responded to her panicked e-mail promptly and after a brief exchange of e-mails to clarify the situation took care of the following things for her…
1) Sent her the consular information – where to go, what time to arrive, what to bring etc…
2) Notified the next hotel in Venice of her challenge and arrange a late arrival
3) Provided information on how to exchange her train tickets and where to find train times
4) Set up a claim with the travel insurance company to reimburse her for any expenses incurred with the delay (she wisely purchased travel insurance before she left…)
5) Provided support and reassurance that a lost passport would merely be an inconvenience and not the end of a great trip…
…all while she went to bed and slept.
The next day I received the following e-mail:
“We just arrived at the Hotel Londra— before 5pm!!!! Thank you thank you thank you for the practical (and emotional!) support and advice. We arrived half an hour before the consulate opened, so we were the first. We were out of there by ten. It’s good I left my bags in the hotel. We got to the train station at 11:10 and caught an 11:50frecciargento to Venice! The Hotel is beautiful! Elegant! Facing the grand canal. Thank you so much. We ended up just being delayed 2 hours (and of course lost some sleep)… but now I feel more relaxed than I have in days! Surviving the loss of passport and arriving in a beautiful hotel (friendly people too) with the perfect room. Grazie mille!
Would your online booking agent do that for you? Next time you have a trip where having a lifeline is important, give me a call and let me be your partner.