Cherese Weekes | January 08, 2014 4:15 PM ET
Agents Weathering the Storm For Their Clients
For the past few days, the travel industry has been drastically disrupted by the forces of nature involving the intrusive snowstorm Hercules, and the frigid record breaking low temperatures plummeting the atmosphere.
Even major airlines including JetBlue Airways, Southwest and American Airlines have canceled their trips operating from airports like JFK, La Guardia and Newark Liberty Airport because of frozen plane parts and to prevent any mishaps from occurring in air.
Although we cannot put a stop to Mother Nature’s wrath or reprimand her for dampening our vacation plans, agents are essential when finding a solution to bad weather conditions.
“I am a brand new agent and weather can definitely have a poor impact on the flow of travel,” says JoAnne McCormack, travel consultant for SeaDreams Travel in Jupiter, Fla.
While the agents can't do the "time" waiting out the flights in the airports for their clients, they can help fix fouled-up plans.
“Travelers may just have to wait it out and try to get on the next flight. Their agents can also re-route their vacation plans by booking a different hotel.”
In times like these, agents are the key to holding their vacationers’ plans together, especially when the odds seem pretty grim.
Because many agents have strong relationships with various suppliers within the travel industry, they may be able to provide complete comfort by switching hotels or travel times to compensate and accommodate their customers efficiently.
“It’s not my favorite time of the year for travel,” says Carline Rameau, owner/manager of Integrity Multi Services LLC. “I am very loyal to my customers and make sure that I return phone calls and make the effort to give them what they want.”
As a goal to be successful, Rameau acknowledges that plans can go awry and it is up to the agent to ensure travelers remain OK in any situation.
“Agents sell vacations according to the season," says Rameau, who also admits that this can be the key to finding the perfect vacation package that suits their style.
Whether new to the travel industry like McCormack or a veteran like Rameau, travels agents all share a main goal: to get their agents to where they want to go safely, successfully and accurately.
And in order to do this, their wealth of information connects them to the ins and outs of the industry, which allows them to plan ahead whether in good times or in bad.
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