Monday, June 23, 2014

Dopey Travel Agents

It starts like this...
I don't know if the label 'Humour - Travel' fits this story, but perhaps farcical would be better.

A man wanted to travel from London to Granada in Spain, then later take a flight from Lisbon back to the USA. He was instead put on a flight to Grenada in the West Indies (pronounced Gren-ae-da). He is currently seeking compensation through court.

It reminded me of the numerous mess-ups I have experienced when using dopey travel agents. A few are listed below:

1) My brother and I booked a flight from the UK to New Zealand, and the travel agent said he would ring closer to the time of departure date to collect our tickets. When we went in to find out why we had heard nothing, he had forgotten to book the flight and in fact forgotten all about us. It meant we had to fly separately most of the trip and arrive home two days apart, leaving one of us to arrange accommodation for those two days with no offer of compensation. His attitude was everyone makes mistakes.

2) My wife and I went on an extended trip to the UK, and wanted money sent to a bank account we were wishing to open over there. We asked for the account to be based in a north English town near where we would be staying and they said no problem. The money was instead sent to a London branch and we couldn't get any money, as the bank said they couldn't transfer it until we activated it personally. After weeks of trying, I had to travel down to London to sort it out.

3) We travelled to the Gold Coast for a ten day stay in a hotel. I said my only stipulation was a quiet room, please ask for that. The agent said she would guarantee us that would be arranged. The room we got was the noisiest in the large complex overlooking a very busy expressway.
...but too often ends like this

I could go on with more examples but that gives an idea. While there must be competent agents, most I have dealt with could only be described as dopey. I book online now, and so far the internet hasn't let me down. You pay extra to go through an agent for peace of mind, and end up wanted to give them a piece of your mind. It's their job, but sad to say not one that many can carry out with competence, unless I have just been unlucky.

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