Travel advisors are well-ready to handle pretty much whatever journey-related. Give them a vacation spot, finances, and a few key pastimes, and they can whip up a completely personalized itinerary to make a consumer experience over-the-moon, as they make their travel desires come real.
But what happens while an unforeseen travel nightmare occurs? We’re speaking, “I can’t discover my passport, and I leave for my journey in per week!” or “Surprise, a terrible hurricane hit, and all flights are canceled.” Here are seven of the maximum common tour dilemmas – and suggestions on how to overcome them on behalf of your customers. These are precisely the kinds of situations that show why vacationers must constantly use a relied-on journey agent to ebook their trips.
1. Passport issues
Talk to any tour agent, and that they’ll inform you that passport issues pinnacle the list of each day demanding situations. For example, Michele Cartwright, CTA, president and travel advisor at Destinations through Design, stated: “Just these days, a customer contacted one in every one of our agents about her grownup daughter’s passport — it had expired, and their vacation started the next day. We straight away obtained an appointment for the consumer to get an emergency passport on the nearby passport processing center, modified her flights and resort dates through at some point, and made the experience manifest for this mom and daughter.” Travel agent 1/travel disaster 0.
One of the simplest methods to keep away from passport issues and save your clients’ trips, suggests Shelley Fry, advertising and media manager at ExpeditionTrips, is to “collect passport information as quickly as feasible after reserving, and double-test the expiration date. Or, if they’re reserving ultimate-minute, affirm passport validity earlier than processing fee.”
Joe Lang, a proprietor of Joe Lang Travel, maintains a tickler record of while his customers’ passports are drawing near their 6-months-until-expiration date. Then, he proactively sends them emails reminding them to attend to the renewal so that they’re always equipped to journey.
Even when you do the whole lot right, now and again, life throws a curveball. Take this tale, told with the aid of Azzam Hajyousif, CEO of TNE Consultants, LLC: “We had two clients in Athens, Greece, who had a bag stolen from them, which alas had both of their passports, their wallets, their cash, and their airline tickets in the bag. That turned into one truly essential bag. They contacted us thru a acquired name, and we coordinated with the U.S. Embassy to assist them in getting brief passports. Fortunately, we had copies of their passports reachable in our document, and we had been capable of fax those copies to the U.S. Embassy in Athens. In addition, we contacted Lufthansa concerning their airline tickets and could have the go-back portion in their ticket reissued for a low rate. Thus, the passengers had been capable of using their new passports and their reissued tickets to get back home.”
The moral of the story: Tell your customers to make copies of all of their identity documents. Keep one replica with a trusted member of the family and one with a trusted travel agent. And tell them no longer to place all in their travel files and money in the equal bag.
2. Name misspelled
“Even with the quality of intentions, stuff takes place,” said Steve Leichner of PSL Travel. “We have had the situation [of a name misspelling] appear a couple of times. Each time, we contacted the airline as soon as the mistake changed into location. In most cases, the airways will work with you to accurate it. However, if the call is so specific that it seems like it becomes a placeholder, they may price a fee for a rebooking and use the current fare.”
3. Flights not on time
Everyone is aware that flight delays are an element and parcel of tours these days. Staying in conversation with a committed tour advisor is the important thing to coping with delays. Leichner relayed: “A few years ago, there has been a conference in Lisbon, which ended on the day of a standard strike in Portugal. As quickly because the strike turned into drawing close, we rearranged absolutely everyone’s schedules, prolonged their motel stays, modified their flights, and notified them of the exchange. Instead of an actual hassle, they’d have an extended vacation.”
Together with nearly every tour consultant that Travel Market Report spoke to, he started to make sure your clients construct enough time into their journey schedules (3 hours for connecting flights at important airports) and that they have desirable journey insurance.
Tammy Hemsath of Midwest Managed Travel additionally encourages “corporate groups to have a few types of emergency provider line their vacationers can name for fast assistance. In addition, they will admire the fact they can get in contact with an agent at any time day or night, as opposed to calling the airline or status in line on the airport.”
4. Lost luggage
Oh, the bane of misplaced baggage. What to do? “Hopefully, most tourists recognize to preserve vital items (e.G., prescriptions) with them at the aircraft. However, we also advocate wearing on objects which can be difficult to replace once overseas because — for far-flung cruising locations like the polar regions or Galapagos — having the proper gear can make or damage a guest’s ride,” stated Fry of ExpeditionTrips.
Mike Eric, an owner of Pioneer Travel, said: “It would not hurt to take a photo of what your suitcase seems like. When I labored within the Lost and Found workplace for an airline, you’ll be amazed at what number of human beings had no concept what their suitcase looked like, or maybe what shade it become.”
And Lang offered this tip: When you print out your journey insurance policy information, there should be a tag covered that carries your information. Then, you can laminate it and connect it to your baggage. Whoever reveals it could scan it so that the insurance business enterprise can get it back to you.
Here’s the story of a lost bag that wins the exceptional journey story prize in this category. Hajyousif defined: “We had a customer who became going to suggest to his female friend in California. So, as a part of the celebration, he purchased two extraordinarily costly bottles of wine (along the lines of $400 per bottle). He packed the bottles in his checked bags, secured them so they wouldn’t break, and were given on his flight. When he landed and got to luggage declare, his baggage in no way showed up. They had been going to celebrate her birthday in San Francisco, flying to Arizona to satisfy some buddies. He contacted the airline to find his bag, and by the time they observed it, it was no longer going to arrive before he departed from San Francisco to Phoenix. Hence, he decided to put off the concept until they arrived in Arizona, so he ought to present the wine. By using the manner, the wine changed from the 12 months she changed into born, so it had a few signs for the suggestion.”
Fast-forward: The airline lost his precious bag for a 2nd time on the second leg in their adventure. Under duress and now not his normal calm self, the purchaser referred to as Hajyousif’s office. “We have been able to source two bottles of wine from a comparable yr as his fiancé‘s birthday, although no longer the equal logo or antique … He was capable of completing his thought, make it a memorable occasion, and subsequently become reunited with his unique bottles of wine while he finally was given lower back to Chicago.” Now that’s how journey advisors can go above and beyond to help their clients, who will consider how they stored the day.