Epic Saves: True Tales of Travel Agents in Action
Every day, travel agents and tour operators are booking vacationers on their next excursions and answering questions about trips-of-a-lifetime. However, every once in a while, an agent has to put on their cape and come to the rescue of their clients. Here are some recent real-life "epic saves."
Blizzard Jonas: During the weekend of Jan. 22-24, a blizzard dropped three feet of snow onto the Big Apple. “I recently organized travel for approximately 375 individuals traveling around the globe to attend their company’s annual conference in New York City,” said Lisa Grossman, Luxury & Corporate Travel Specialist for Protravel International. “What should have been a seemingly simple corporate weekend retreat became exceedingly tricky when Blizzard Jonas hit the New York Metro area with roughly 30 inches of snow, and potentially stranded all travelers in NYC due to flight cancellations.”
Grossman’s client kept their team building events and corporate dinners as scheduled. “Behind the scenes, my team and I stayed awake throughout the night and rebooked, reissued and re-accommodated each and every passenger,” she said. “Each traveler was emailed their new flight and backup hotel accommodation without once having to worry about their previously canceled flight. My client was thrilled with the fact that were able to continue with their conference without having to worry about the situation at hand.”
Happy Grandma! Melissa Gutting, a Certified Travel Specialist in River Falls, Wisconsin had multigenerational clients traveling to Mexico, Azul Fives in the Riviera Maya. “The grandparents were traveling out of the country for the first time and had many apprehensions,” she said. “About two weeks prior to departure, the Grandma wanted to make sure that she had a reclining chair in her room so she could sleep sitting up, or she was going to cancel.”
Canceling this trip was not an option, so Gutting contacted the resort several times. “The amazing manager had us take a photo of the chair that we needed, so she could get an idea of what their needs were,” she explained. “She proceeded to go around the entire resort, taking pictures of every chair they had, from the beach lounge chairs, pool chairs, chairs in restaurants, lobby, disco, everything. Once she gathered her photos, she emailed them all to me, and said that they could put any of these chairs into their room, and would do anything to make them comfortable.”
One of the beach chairs was the chair of choice. “These were not difficult clients of mine at all, but this request was so strong, it could have cost them the trip,” she said.
Lost passport: Alex Kutin, Travel Leaders in Indianapolis, Indiana had a client who was going on a family trip to Jamaica and lost her passport during the layover in Atlanta. “We helped get her a new one in under four hours so she would not miss her vacation,” said Kutin. “She called us in tears, because she had been told it would take four days to get her a new passport. We got in touch with our Senator’s office and they had teams set up to handle passport issues. By this time, her flight had taken off and her family went without her. She was still in Atlanta. We got a call back from the Senator’s office and they said tell her to go to the tram station. When she got there, they handed her a new passport, already printed. She caught the flight out the next morning.”
Giving a lift: Cruise Planners franchise co-owner Jill Petrowsky had a client who had been working with clients for over a year. “They were so excited to finally be able to go on a trip that was on their bucket list,” she said. “They ended up missing their flight at Bradley International Airport and the only flight remaining was out of Boston, over 90 minutes away. They could not afford a car service so my business partner and I ended up driving them to Boston so they could make the flight and enjoy their dream vacation!
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