Travel Agent Matthew Exline shares one of his client stories for this week’s Travel Agent Diaries entry.
I have a story I would like to share about how I was able to save a client’s trip, and ensure that he reached his destination safely and on time.
The client, whom I will call “Joe,” was traveling to an extremely remote and dangerous area of a Southeast Asian country on a humanitarian mission. The stakes were high due to major security concerns, and it was extremely important for Joe to arrive at his destination on time in order to carry out his mission. I was responsible for arranging his complex air itinerary from Florida to a tiny obscure airport in this remote area.
At the last possible minute, as Joe was already leaving on the first leg of his journey, I got an email that the small Asian-based airline had cancelled the final two legs of his flight. The cancellation notice came to me because I had provided my contact information to the airline; this is something I always do.
I spent an hour on the phone arguing with the airline’s representative, but they would still only let me rebook one of two flights that had been cancelled. After some thorough research, I found a flight with a different airline that would replace the flight that had been cancelled. I booked it immediately for Joe to replace the missing flight, completely averting the crisis that had ensued just hours earlier.
Joe made it to his destination safely and on time. He was able to carry out his humanitarian mission, but this was only possible because I dropped what I was doing and spent hours working to clean up the mess caused by the cancelled flights on his behalf. He would not have been able to fix the problem himself, because he had already departed on the first leg of his journey.
Had the problem not been fixed promptly, he would not have made it to his destination on time and would not have been able to carry out his mission. And to top it off, the extra expense incurred to rebook with an alternate airline at the last minute was covered by the travel insurance that Joe had purchased on my recommendation.
Let Matthew Exline, CCC, CIS, help you plan your next trip. He can help you with any kind of travel, but his specialties are cruises (any cruise line or destination), guided tours, and international airfare. He can help both individual and groups, including family groups, fundraising groups, and inventive travel groups. He is a CLIA Certified Cruise Counselor and a SITE Certified Incentive Specialist.