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Travel agents do more than just tell you what flights you should take or what cruise you should book. They are there for their clients during even the most challenging of travel moments.
“We were on a day trip and a girl was about to pass out from a combination of heat exhaustion and a hangover, so I sent the guests on the floating market tour while I stayed behind, knowing that I had approximately 30 to 40 minutes to fix her up,” said Clint Bertucci, Founder of Travr.com.
Bertucci shot into action. “Having just received my certification and first aid and CPR training was very helpful,” he said. “First, I placed bags of ice on the back of her neck and her chest. Then, I found the beverage closest to Gatorade with electrolytes that I could find in Thailand. Then I asked her to eat two small bananas and little balls of sticky rice, chasing them with the electrolyte drink.
Within 30 minutes the girl was completely normal.
Tammi R. Van Volkinburgh, an agent and an affiliate of Travel Experts, had a client who went to a camp in Tanzania. Unfortunately, at their first stop on a month-long trip, the safe I their room didn’t lock well.
“They had $3,000 stolen,” said Van Volkinburgh. “Trans-Africa Safaris not only worked with the camp to identify the thief, but also fronted my clients $3,000 to replace their missing funds so that they would be comfortable for the rest of their trip.”
Speaking of safaris, Tamsin Allpress was going to have to cancel a client’s ultra-deluxe safari as their pet sitter for three dogs and two cats became ill. She made the ultimate sacrifice so they could go on vacation.
“Even though they had insurance, it doesn’t pay up for such circumstances,” said Allpress, from Tamsin & Cooke, an affiliate of Travel Experts. “To save the vacation, I offered to move my office to their home for the duration.”
The clients flew Allpress up to their home for the three weeks that they were away. “They called every day to check on me and their best friends, while I continued working,” said Allpress. “My clients returned having truly had the best trip of a lifetime.”
Last year, Tom Karnes, President/Owner of LaMacchia Travel, had one travel group going to Italy, but one of the clients left his phone at the TSA in Frankfurt.
Coincidentally, Karnes was leaving the next day for Europe. “Our tour leader remembered I was going via Frankfurt and asked if I would go to lost and found to see if anyone claimed it,” he said. “I had a 90-minute change in Frankfurt, and was directed and redirected three times until I was ultimately sent outside the airport to a different entrance and sent to the basement.
Fifty minutes of his 90-minute layover had already ticked by and his wife was nervously waiting at the gate. Karnes asked about the phone and many had been found. It took 20 minutes to find the iPhone with a photo of a man and his granddaughter as a screen saver, fill out the paperwork and get to the gate.
“It was touch-and-go and, just as the doors are closing, I arrive and was able to board my flight,” he said. “We do it because we are good people.”
What has your travel agent done for you that was over-and-above?