You can book on line, but should you?

I bought a necklace on line last week from Aldo. I shopped around on their site, found the one I wanted, put my credit card in and picked it up at the store in the Promenade. Simple. Easy. Took about 15 minutes for the whole shopping experience. I had no issue with that.

Products like that can be purchased online without complications or difficulty. I also used my credit card travel service to book a ticket online with my point redemption. I can do that. I am capable to book a travel service online. Not every one can say the same.

Today’s call is just another example of why people should use travel agents to book their travel arrangements. Just because you can book it yourself, it doesn’t mean you should.

I answered a call from a customer in Alberta. She called to say that she needs to change something on her booking. When I asked her for the booking number, she couldn’t provide it to me. She couldn’t provide me anything actually, not the phone number it was booked under (she said the number had been changed), the invoice number, etc. I finally said what is the last name. She said, “that is the problem, the name is spelled wrong”. Okay, I replied, provide it to me under the way you spelled it so that I can pull up the file.

When I pulled up the file I saw the names and I couldn’t pronounce either one. The first name had 9 letters and the second name had 13 letters. Basically she told me that the names were reversed. “I mixed up the names, they are in the wrong order”. It gets better. The flight is leaving this afternoon and the client is at the airport and the TSA won’t allow her to go through – of course not! The name on the ticket does not match the passport. In the wrong order, it is the wrong name.

I phoned the company that her flight was booked through and they said they have to phone the airline rep and find out if it can be changed in time for her to make the flight. They told me to call back in half and hour. When I went back to the line the girl said that the TSA is trying to call the supplier for her.

This was booked on May 20th, leaving today May 24th. If the client had read their statement when it was sent to them on the 20th, this could have been avoided. If the client had reviewed their ticket when it was sent to them on May 20th this could have been avoided.

Perhaps the whole thing could have been avoided if they just picked up the phone and called and agent.

Stay tuned for more tales from a front line travel professional. Use us, we know what we are doing….