Is it just me or are there more and more people with unrealistic expectations lately? Of course, the mainstream media does not help the matters by not clarifying anything. All they seem to report is on the “bargains” and “killer deals,” but when it comes time to book those things, someone has to tell travelers about the restrictions, taxes, and “limited availability.” That all seems to fall on me, the lowly travel professional. And when I have a client or prospect with those unreasonable expectations, invariably they end up disappointed—and it is my fault.
This afternoon, I ran into one of them. It went something like this:
GRAIG: Mouse World Vacations this is (cuts me off)
CALLER: Yeah, I need airfare (from Salt Lake City) to Orlando and I can’t find it anywhere less then $500. I’ve looked at (inset online mega-travel agency here) and all the airlines websites.”
GRAIG: What dates were you looking… (Cuts me off again)
CALLER: June 12th -19th” for 2 adults and 4 kids.
GRAIG: How can I assist you?
CALLER: This is a recession and everybody tells me that the airlines are making deals for last minutes flights and that the airlines can’t afford to fly with empty seats. I even tried to name my own price and they won’t take any of my bids. I think $200 to fly to Orlando is a good price don’t you?
GRAIG: That would be a great….
CALLER: So why can’t I get those prices? What’s the secret? Can YOU get me that price?
GRAIG: Let me take a look at the latest airfares. (Pause as I look up the fares) I am sorry, there is nothing less than $500.
CALLER: What?, But what about all these bargains I keep hearing about? What am I supposed to do now? My trip is just over 3 weeks away! That’s almost $3000 in flights. What’s wrong with you people?
Now that’s a great way to come back from lunch. How many of us out there have had that call (or something like it) happening more and more often. It’s hard to explain to people that I look at thousands of airfares everyday and that very, very few times do I ever see prices fall drastically the closer to the date of travel. It’s hard to explain to them, that the story they saw online, on TV, or heard from their friend is wrong. They can’t understand that they just can’t call the airlines and barter and negotiate with them over the price of airfare. For added enjoyment try to explain that the airfare doesn’t include baggage fees, seating fees, transfers and more.
Don’t get me wrong there are great deals in travel out there and I can certainly find them—as a travel professional it is part of what we do. But clients also need to be realistic about the price as well. Deal?.
(Ring , ring)
Oh no there it goes again!
Graig Wilkins (odd spelling and all) is a home based travel agent specializing in Disney destinations worldwide. He is the Owner /Manger of Mouse World Vacations and can be reached at Graig@MouseWorldVacations.com or www.MouseWorldVactions.com
What about you? What are some of your clients’ unrealistic expectations? How do you handle them? Please leave a comment!