“So how much would a ticket to London be in December?” Get used to hearing this phrase pretty much any time you venture to a party or night out with your ‘non industry friends’.
For some reason half of the general public thinks that you’ve memorized all of the airfares and availabilities over the next year to any given capital city on the other side of the world.
I mean, why wouldn’t we? We should know every single intricate bit of information about fifty different airlines, their seasonality and whether they can or cannot do a gluten-free, low-lactose, carb-free meal to keep you nutritionally balanced during your five hour flight to Bali before starting an 85 hr binge on Jungle Juice, Bintang and gravy boat challenges at Piggys in Kuta (try it).
And when you can’t recite the answer that random drunk person is trying to get out of you while you’re waiting in line for the toilet at your friend-of-a-friend’s 25th birthday party then be prepared for them to announce that they already found the information themselves Google – in like five seconds.
Which brings me to the next annoying question you will hear out of every person’s mouth that knows you’re a TA.
“Didn’t the Internet kill Travel Agents, like ten years ago?”
Yeah bud, we definitely disappeared – along with movie theatres, electronics stores and the entire music industry. In case you haven’t noticed my sarcastic tone, it’s there.
Yes, a lot of brick and mortar agencies bit the dust, but that’s because they couldn’t roll with the punches or decided they couldn’t survive on a low margin/high volume business model and bowed out.
The Internet definitely changed the way we do business. Kill? No. Strengthen? Yes.
“You must get really cheap flights, right?”
The short answer is no. Unless you work for an airline then you’re paying pretty much the same as any normal customer. Yes, there are a few ‘industry fares’ – but they have slowly devalued and disappeared over time and are pretty much impossible to get seats on when you want to go – which is fair enough, if retail Travel Agents could get to London in First Class for $300 then we would never be at our desks.
I’m not complaining though. We do get amazing perks like famil trips and overseas conferences paid for by our companies. It’s just not as flexible as you may think; more of a take-it-or-leave it type thing and we are still WORKING to learn more about the destinations we send our clients to.
“What’s the point in using a Travel Agent when I can do it myself?”
Listen dude, we’re not here trying to win your business. I’m sure the industry will survive without your annual booking to Las Vegas for a boys fling. I’m sure you can do it yourself. Know what else you can do yourself?
Make a sandwich – been to Subway?
Carry boxes – hired a removalist?
Tell time by the sun – own a watch?
We live in a world where people are short of time and want things done right. The funny thing is that for you to use all of the services above you would pay an extra premium. Most Travel Agents charge the same or less than online competitors, so in conclusion – you’re a chump for doing it yourself.
So next time you’re at a party, a restaurant with a communal dining table or stuck in an elevator with a Travel Agent think twice before asking these recycled questions. We’ve heard them all before.
Instead, ask for our business card and get in touch the next time you need to book a trip – we’re amazing.
What are the most annoying questions you are getting asked at parties?
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