British Council-A travel agent

British Council-A travel agent

British Council-A travel agent


Transcript of the podcast

Good afternoon. My name’s Carl, I’m a travel agent, and I work for one of the major chains in the high street. I’ve been with them for about 10 years and while I’ve been working I’ve studied for a number of qualifications

People often ask me why I decided to be a travel agent. As a young adult I loved travelling and worked for a while as a rep in Spain. When I came back to the UK I decided to stay within the travel industry, and my experience of working in resorts abroad helped me to get a job as a travel agent. I have to admit that one of the main reasons I wanted to be a travel agent was that we get cheap flights and holidays. It’s a great perk

Basically I’m a sales person. I advise people on the holiday options available to them, you know, different destinations, types of holiday, ways to get there, and so on. When a customer has decided what they want, I book it for them and make any other arrangements they might need, such as car hire or tours. My responsibility doesn’t end there, though. I have to make sure that clients know if any visas are necessary, or if they will need vaccinations, and how to get them. If they are flying, I need to tell them what time they have to check in, and make sure they know what time they will be arriving. I also give information on likely weather conditions and anything else I think will be useful for them

I’m finding that more and more customers want a tailor-made holiday, not just a package from a brochure. It’s a lot more interesting for me if I can organise the whole thing make out an itinerary, book flights, ferries, trains, accommodation and everything. I love providing a personalised service, especially if it’s to places that I know. I can really help customers get a great holiday that will be ideal for them

Sometimes I get difficult customers. One man came in wanting a flight to Venice the next day. I checked out times and fares on the computer, and found a very reasonable flight at a suitable time, so we booked it there and then. A week later he came in and he was absolutely furious. He wanted to know why I had flown him to Venice, in Italy, when he had had an important meeting in Vienna, which is in Austria. I didn’t know what to say, but since then I’ve always been careful to check that people really know where they want to go


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