Heroes Need Holidays Too
By Brook Bramley, Owner, TravelQuest
As a travel agency owner who specializes in creating customized itineraries for my clients, I have planned unique trips for travelers from many different countries. One recent client, however, stands out because of how he contacted me.
One day I received an email which caught my attention, in it the sender started by apologizing for not providing a contact phone number and said he did not have a working phone number. Now I do a lot of business over the internet and am all too aware of scams that occur through this medium, so I was very cautious. After thinking of whether to reply at all, I decided that I might as well send a brief email asking for more information to further qualify the client so that I could better plan his trip to meet his preferences.
He replied immediately and provided all the information I had requested. I also noticed that his email address was clearly a US Army Military address. It turns out he was a Sergeant on active duty with the US Army in Afghanistan. He was interested in planning a getaway with his buddies during leave on his tour of duty. After this was clearly established, we set up email communication and I started to do research to plan his trip to Dublin.
We had gotten halfway through planning the trip when I had to leave for London with my family for a vacation we had planned months ago. I was eager to complete the booking on this trip and make sure he was very happy with my service so I didn’t even mention that I would be traveling internationally. My family and I boarded the Friday afternoon British Airways flight to London and we arrived there at 7:00am Saturday morning. I continued my email correspondence with my client without missing a beat. He had specifically requested accommodation near Dawson Street in Dublin which is a lively area with lots of restaurants and activity. I did some searching through my suppliers and on-line sources and found a boutique hotel located right on Dawson Street.
While in London we finalized his hotel selection and I then started communicating with the hotel in Dublin to secure the rooms he wanted for himself and his traveling companions. I often communicate directly with hotels to ensure that I get the room arrangements that best suit my clients and to ensure they get the best treatment upon arrival. Since I was now on the same time zone as the hotel he had chosen, they replied quickly and had availability which was no guarantee as there were not many choices in that location. I immediately booked the rooms for him. Then my client asked me if I would mind booking airfare for him and his companions from Frankfurt to Dublin for the trip. Of course, I answered yes and proceeded to locate flights for him which he approved. He sent payment via PayPal and I booked the flights as directed.
Funnily enough I started booking this trip in Southlake and finalized all the arrangements in London but it was all pretty seamless. After his arrangements were complete, I sent him a thank you email for his business and he replied back with a kind note of appreciation for my help in planning his trip. While this was not a particularly difficult trip to plan, it was one I will always remember because of who my client was. My work is all about relationships and providing top rate service. That is why I love what I do. To be able to serve, in some small way, a member of the US Army serving in a war zone and protecting our nation’s freedom is extremely gratifying. Though his trip is planned for March 2012, I will be sure to check in with him closer to the date and again afterwards to make sure everything is perfect.
TravelQuest is a boutique travel company specializing in custom land and cruise itineraries for families and large groups. Our clients include multi-generation families, nonprofits and small business groups. Their goal is to share the beauty, diversity and excitement of great travel destinations with a discerning audience. Visit their web site at www.TravelQuestco.com.