In today’s world of low cost, low expectation service, faceless online transactions and for many of us, a lack of connection in much of our everyday lives – it’s no wonder our hearts soar when we hear something positive.

Something like hearing a travel story that makes you smile and feel warm and fuzzy.

The kind of story that gives you goosebumps, makes you feel happy, sad, emotional and perhaps reflective… A story that actually makes you feel ‘Any’ kind of emotion.

This week for example in the wake of the United passenger dragging fiasco (itself a case and point how not to give a crap for people), an amazing story of ‘going above and beyond’ re-surfaced from a year ago about an Etihad Captain and crew in the U.K.

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You can read the full story here, but in a nutshell, the Captain aborted take off (Whilst literally taxiing down the runway) to let an elderly couple get off the plane so that they could visit their dying grandson in hospital.

Sadly the grandson died the next day, but had it not been for the Captain making that snap decision, those grandparents would never have seen him alive again.

The pilot didn’t have to do that. Etihad didn’t have to do that. The rest of the passengers on the plane didn’t have to put up with a potential delay either.

But they all did. And a year on, that positive story is still being told and shared. Because they all cared enough for it to matter.

There’s a similar story from the terrible 9/11 tragedy in the U.S that still goes around and around online (16 years later) about a small town called ‘Gander’ in Canada who came to the aid of so many stranded passengers and crew. Another legendary story, another reason to smile.

Read all about that one here if you haven’t read it already. You really should. It’s incredible.

They’re just two of the many amazing stories within the travel Industry that filled me with pride when I heard them.

Aside from re-inforcing our ‘Travel to change the world’ mantra at KarryOn, for me it’s the positive stories like this that make this industry truly incredible and remind me of how privileged I am to be a part of it.

I’m sure you feel the same too. Because as Travel Agents you already know – ‘caring for your customers IS the difference.

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Gander in Canada

It sounds so simple, but it’s often forgotten by so many.

BREAKING NEWS: “Caring for people is cool.”

That care that you show from the first second you engage with someone (Whether a customer or not yet), through to listening to their needs and desires with empathy, inspiring them and loading them up with all the tips and advice they need, to sharing their excitement and experiences during the trip and afterwards when they come home to tell you all about how incredible it was.

And that’s before any potential travel situations or plan changes you may bail them out of along the way.

If you do this you’ll become your customers travel butler, concierge, advisor, psychologist, teacher, trainer and all round happy smiling persona who they can’t travel without.

You’ll be the lead character in all their travel stories that they’ll tell everyone else about at dinner parties, at work and in general to anyone who’ll listen while they brag on about their incredible trip that you organised.

And you’ll feel great too.

It’s highly unlikely they’ll say the same great things about any OTA’s. Because they’re faceless machines.

Feels good to give a crap doesn’t it?

Feels so good that back in 2012 a clever, caring guy called Simon decided with some mates to actually launch a toilet paper called “Who Gives A Crap?”.

He started ‘Who Gives A Crap’ because he learnt that 2.3 billion people across the world don’t have access to a toilet. That’s roughly 40% of the global population and means that diarrhoea related diseases fill over half of sub-Saharan African hospital beds and kill 900 children under 5 every day.

whogivesacrap

Five years on they’ve managed to donate $478,500 to charities in need as well as save 30,797 trees and 72 million litres of water in the process. That’s some impact and another great story.

The point here is that it doesn’t matter what level of impact you make on anyone or anything. Just make caring your no.1 priority and create positive rather than negative stories by giving a crap.

That way everybody wins.

What do you think? Do you have any examples to share of going above and beyond and what happened as an outcome?