Excessive temperatures in parts of southern Europe and wildfires on the Greek resort islands of Corfu and Rhodes have highlighted the benefits of booking a package holiday through a travel agent.
“During the pandemic many travel agents worked heroically to get stranded customers home, reschedule reservations and assist with refunds. Now, once again, they are proving that they are invaluable in a crisis,” says Paul Harrison, co-founder of The Travel Franchise and Not Just Travel.
Since Covid, many agents, including Not Just Travel’s network of homeworking consultants, have reported record sales with many consumers realising that they offer a valuable service for no extra cost.
“Our agents are paid via commission from travel suppliers which means the consumer gets a great deal plus additional benefits such as personal service which often goes beyond the call of duty.”
“Many of our consultants are available out of normal office hours and provide their customers with their personal phone number in case of emergencies at no extra cost. We also have an expert ops team who will assist any agent trying to help their customer.”
With thousands of people evacuated from Rhodes and Corfu, and many others due to imminently depart on their summer break, consumers are frantically trying to determine their rights and discover whether they can claim refunds, cancel or switch to other destinations.
According to the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), passengers who have booked package holidays generally have more rights than those who have chosen flights and accommodation separately.
“The recent situation shows many people prefer to book a package holiday over arranging each element of your trip, such as flights and hotels, separately,” says Harrison.
Travel companies such as TUI and Jet2, both key trade partners of Not Just Travel, have cancelled many flights and are issuing refunds which means that holidaymakers will get their money back.
However, those who book flights and hotels separately are typically only entitled to a refund on their flight. If you become a travel agent with us, this is an example of what we will teach you during your five-day virtual training and continued support and development.
Because 98 per cent of our consultants do not have a travel background we allocate a business development manager who you can call whenever you need advice.
Of course every agent wants their customers to have a trouble-free holiday, but it can also be extremely rewarding when you get to help those whose holiday doesn’t exactly go to plan.
Consultant Lisa McCallum spent last weekend on the phone after she received a frantic phone call from her client, a family of four, who were in the swimming pool when they noticed wildfires approaching their hotel. After grabbing their passports they were moved to over 6 different hotels and the airport by mistake on one day, but with the knowledge that Lisa was only a whatsapp away.
Lisa, who was about to go into a theatre with her own family immediately started phoning the supplier for more information and spent most of the weekend trying to helping her client. She also used her knowledge of the island’s resort hotels to secure their last two nights at an all-inclusive hotel in Ixia, far away from the fires.
“Now the kids can swim in the pool and finally relax. They’ve been through a lot including sleeping on the lobby floor of one hotel and waking up covered in ash. My client has been super thankful I’m there virtually by her side and appreciate the support I’ve given.”
Lisa, a mum of two from Hertfordshire, loves her job. A self-confessed travel addict, she joined in 2016 after a career in finance and hasn’t looked back.