In the wake of the success of my post about things I learned being a travel agent, I thought I would enlighten you with a number of ways you can annoy a travel agent. During my 15-month stint, there was no shortage of annoying people coming in or calling into the shop. I just wish would be able to read this post and think twice about their behaviour. Without further ado… 9 ways to annoy a travel agent.
- “So why should I book with you and not online?”
So you mean to tell me you came all this way to basically question why I have a job? Good relationships don’t really start out well when the first thing you say to me is essentially making me prove myself to you. Have you perhaps stopped to think that maybe there’s added value in using a travel agent? When you misconnect on your flight to Australia or Africa, and have no way of figuring out what to do next – is the Internet going to come to your rescue? Probably not. How bout that amazing honeymoon – is the Internet going to buy you a bottle of champagne for you to enjoy and have it waiting, chilled, in your room for when you arrive? Uh… no. So, stop wasting my time with these stupid questions and either sit down or piss off.
- Spend hours or days or weeks working with me, then taking my well thought out itinerary for you, and booking it elsewhere.
Oh these people can go f**k right off, excuse my language. But seriously- they can f**k off. Do you realize how long it took for your travel agent to put this together? While you went on your everyday regular routine… your travel agent spent hours upon hours to make sure they got every little detail you wanted for your trip and you just go and book it yourself? Man… you’re just the worst. In case you didn’t realize, a good part of my job is commission based… and this is how I pay my mortgage, so when you go and book it yourself, you’ve just screwed me out of a good chunk of money! You don’t work for free, so why should I be expected to?
- “So…. I just looked at my passport, and everything you just booked for me, well… I realized John is actually my MIDDLE name not my first name… that’s not a big deal, right?”
Um…. YEAH it’s a big deal. And, no, this isn’t going to be a free change either. If you’re lucky, you will be able to change the name – but most airlines wont permit this without some sort of penalty. From my experience a lot of airlines won’t even change it at all and you’re stuck buying an entirely new ticket. Not the travel agent’s fault you didn’t double check before you signed off on everything.
These are the folks who are secretly shopping around. Look, I have no problem with you shopping around – but be honest with me. Because when you turn around and say you’re booking it elsewhere because you’ve already found it cheaper than what I had found, you’re really gonna piss me off. I had one woman who would contact me once every couple months and list off 4 or 5 destinations she’d like to get pricing for, all for different dates – and she NEVER booked. So one day I called her out on it, and the emails stopped. I know what you’re doing… but if you’re just looking for basic pricing, there’s a thing called the Internet so you can do your research. If you’re serious about making your travel plans a reality- let’s talk.
- “I just have a quick question….”
It’s never a quick question. These people will end up sitting in front of you for hours upon hours and in all honesty will probably not end up booking.
- “Is that the best price you can do? Can’t you give me a discount?”
Buddy, I don’t even discount my family, never mind some person I’ve never even met. I don’t make the prices and I certainly don’t work for free. Nowhere does it say that I am a non-profit, and I am not obliged to have to give you a discount, especially if it’s coming out of my commission. Travel is a luxury, and if you want to go away, you have to pay the price the airline/supplier/ hotel tells me to charge you.
- “I know you’re closing in 5 minutes… but I was wondering if you could help me.”
Oh wonderful – because I really didn’t want to get home to my family, have my dinner or go to that after work commitment I had. All because you can’t wait until we’re open again (likely within 12 hours). Our hours are listed on the door or online… why didn’t you plan ahead.
- Not respecting my work/life balance
This one kind of goes hand-in-hand with #7. Please do not try to hunt me down on Facebook, or find my old employer to get my cell phone number (yes it happened) because you need to make a change to your trip in the middle of the night- when I don’t even have access to the programs required to make said changes. When I’m off work for the weekend, or for my regularly scheduled days off – DO NOT ASK MY COLLEAGUES FOR MY HOME NUMBER!
- The client in search of the best deal… to anywhere… anytime
These people walk in, likely because they have nothing better to do and want to waste your time. They’ll rarely ever book, and are just dreaming of going away. They don’t care where they go, or when… they just want you to get them the best deal. Can you narrow it down a little, because I need to have something to work with… there is no search function for “best deal anytime, anywhere.”
So I may have gotten a bit snarky on this one, but I truly feel it needed to be said. Travel agents are people –not the Internet, and they have a largely thankless job, most of the world thinks there is no need for them or that they can do it better. There is a purpose for travel agents, but keep in mind they’re usually commission based jobs – don’t waste their time. Do a bit of research ahead of time, and educate yourself!
Stay tuned for the final instalment in my “Life as a Travel Agent” series.
Travel agents, are there any other types of clients that drive you NUTS?