Global Travel – When the s#!% hits the fan | TravelResearchOnline


Global Travel – When the s#!% hits the fan

Last month, I took some time off with my family who were visiting me here in my hometown of Boise.  After returning back to work I was anticipating a slower time for me as many of my clients were on vacation or about to leave. I looked forward to easing back into the working world from a well-deserved break.

No such luck! For some reason, I decided to check on the status of a trip for a client who was leaving the following day. As I reviewed it, a look of panic came across me. I had her booked the wrong two nights at the Hotel Ritz Montreal and she was arriving in two days. How did I miss this? How did I do this?

This particular client is 80 years old and this was to be her bucket list trip. Her son was accompanying her to her first ever trip to the East coast and the planning process spanned 10 months. In the end, she was taking a 12-Day Oceania Colors of the Fall cruise which was preceded by a two night stay at the Ritz Carlton in Montreal. The accommodations were top of the line all the way around and included private drivers, butlers, and all the bells and whistles. It truly was her dream trip.

I contacted everyone. Travelbound was going to look into it and I even called a contact at the hotel that I had met at Virtuoso Travel Week. She told me there was a reservation agent who was able to work miracles on mistakes, but it would have to wait till the following day.  This was 6pm on Friday night and I now had to wait till Saturday morning.  I went home feeling sick and worried and very upset and annoyed with myself at such a silly mistake. I had looked this over so much….. how did I get it wrong?

Saturday morning I began to follow up. My clients were flying out that night and I was no further along than I was yesterday. I called the emergency number for Travelbound and got a complete runaround. I gave them the name of the reservation agent who was working on the issue and begged them to call. They did and came back advising that the change could be made but the two bedded option was now a single bed with a rollaway, for which I needed to pay. I told them to do it.

After I hung up, I got a message from the Ritz saying the booking had been modified at no extra charge, and that since I was a Virtuoso agent, rather than have a rollaway bed, she would be glad to upgrade them, personally meet them, and offer a tour of the hotel.  I was thrilled and could not thank them enough for their courtesy and kindness. It was well above and beyond!

It was then that I realized that the people at the Ritz not only enjoy their job, but actually care about their clients and their partners. They went above and beyond in my eyes and helped turn a bad situation into a great one. It’s these partnerships that make each of our businesses successful and help us all in each achieving our goals.

Of course my clients arrived on time and, as if nothing ever happened, had a delightful time there and are at this moment enjoying their cruise.

This hotel is now on my must-sell list for Montreal and I will be sending a huge thank you card and a box of chocolates to the hotel. We are always so quick to judge when things go wrong it’s only fair to praise and encourage when things go right. They saved my reputation and I cannot thank them enough. Of course I am only human and mistakes do happen; it’s just a lot better when the supplier is on your side.

Has anyone else got themselves into a situation where it seemed doomed but somehow managed to turn it around?

Nikki Smith works in a Boise based brick and mortar agency, Global Travel, a Virtuoso Agency. Nikki got her start in her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland when she started in the industry as a flight attendant. She has also worked as a guide for ski and snow vacations worldwide.

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