Vanuatu Takeover
Vanuatu Takeover

How to read a travel agent’s body language: A guide

Experts say that over 90 percent of our communication is non-verbal, which is roughly the same percentage of Travel Agents currently struggling with a drinking problem….ha!

Experts say that over 90 percent of our communication is non-verbal, which is roughly the same percentage of Travel Agents currently struggling with a drinking problem….ha!

But in all seriousness, there’s a hell of a lot you can learn about a Travel Agent just by looking at their body language. Here’s a sweet guide on decoding their postures and positions – use this information responsibly!


1. The 10,000 yard stare


With a stare that could cut through a block of limestone, these agents are most probably dreaming about their next holiday or famil, or about that dreamy boy or girl they keep seeing around at industry nights. It’s common to see this vacant stare first thing in the morning after a boozed-up Buzz night, or on the weekends, when being stuck in the office/store is the last place the agent wants to be.

You may have to call out the agent’s name repeatedly to snap them out of their trance. Alternatively, a yank on the arm should bring them back to the present moment.


2. The lean back, arms crossed


Leaning back in the chair with arms crossed is standard Travel Agent body language, and you don’t need a PhD in psychology to understand the sentiment behind it.

Many agents adopt this pose when on the receiving end of multiple requests to cheapen the price. It’s a bodily expression that’s equal parts defensive and sheer repulsion at the customer’s over-concern with price at the expense of comfort, class and convenience. The greater the distance between the agent and the customer, the greater the gulf the two must bridge if they’re going work together.


3. The shifty eyes


You’ll often see the shifty eyes in situations where the agent – either by accident or through their own smarts – stands to make much more commission than they’d originally expected: e.g., they’ve just fare quoted the customer’s booking and a cheaper booking class is now available, or they’ve just realised the tour the customer wants to book has been discounted. You’ll see their eyes dart around their computer screen as they work out how much they’re bound to make by using the computer’s calculator.

Of course, some agents will pass these savings onto the customer, potentially earning themselves a customer for life. But often times they won’t, and there’s totally nothing wrong with that: Travel Agents deserve a lucky break every now and again.


4. The finger/foot tapping


Sit down at an agent’s desk when they already have about a billion things to do, and sooner or later you’ll witness them turning into percussionists. You’ll often feel the vibrations from their foot tapping on the floor first before they begin tapping their pens on their desks and giving you short, curt responses.

You’ll also see agents tapping away when a customer sits down at their desk five minutes before closing time. Word of advice: always leave vibrating agents alone. Always!


5. The royal pose


Back straight, head held high, hands placed on the desk palms facing down as if giving an oath: this is the royal pose, and you’ll often see agents adopting this position after they’ve just closed a five figure sale and are feeling quite good about themselves. Indeed, accompanying this pose is pure, unadulterated confidence, and if anyone walks into the store/office at this time it’s at this agent’s desk that they’ll be drawn to.

Although it’s totally possible to adopt this bodily expression without making the killer sale (in line with the whole “fake it until you make it” philosophy), in reality it’s hard to pull off, and most of these try-hards just end up looking like complete douches.

What other bodily expressions are you a gun at decoding? Let us know – we’d love to hear them!