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A funny look into A Travel Agent’s Life

AS YOUR TRAVEL AGENT …

I have advanced degrees in accounting, public relations, marketing, computer science, geography, history and Swahili.

I also can read minds and extend your credit line. Of course, I still have the reservation you put on hold six months ago, even though you never came in to purchase it, you don’t have a confirmation number and you think it was made under a last name that begins with a T. I know it’s my fault that the hotel does not have a helicopter landing pad and the stairwell from the third floor smells funny.

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I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT

It is obvious to me that when you booked your flight for Friday, you really meant Saturday. I also realize you meant to book your reservation at the Hilton. People always confuse it with the Galaxy Delight Hotel of Antarctica.

And yes, I can get you a cheaper rate, because you are almost, ALMOST 50. And yes, I should have realized when I assigned seat 23D that there was a screaming child in the next seat. Well heck, next time you want to sit next to a good-looking blonde or a hunk of a guy, just let me know. I will see what I can do.

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I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT

Yes, I am lying when I say that the $99 flight for tomorrow is sold out. After all, you did hear it on the radio – and I am really not interested in making a sale anyway.

I am quite capable of checking ALL the flights in September to Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach, from either Newark, LaGuardia, JFK, Philadelphia or Atlantic City, even though you are not even sure that you’ll be able to go – just for the fun of it.

At the same time, I will gladly find out why that cruise line won’t give you a refund even though YOU refused the insurance.

I always know which airline serves the best Vegetarian meal and I know exactly what to see and do in every city in 15 minutes without spending any money.

I take personal blame for airline delays, traffic jams, rental car flat tires, lost luggage, the soggy sandwich you get on the plane (if you are lucky) and the national economy.

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I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT

On your behalf, I shop around for the best price – for hours.

I don’t get frustrated when people still believe it will cost them more to work with a travel agency, not realizing that we have access to and check all the various internet websites for our clients.

If we can not meet or beat what you find on Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Sidestep, etc, we will give you $50 in cash.

You really don’t know that you got the best deal, unless you call us for a comparison.

And I will gladly find out why your hotel bill from 3 years ago has a $4 phone call on it, because, of course, you shouldn’t have to pay for your phone calls.

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I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT

Of course, I can get you a special corporate rate at the Ritz, because you are affiliated with the North-Lawn Bowling Club.

And, I will gladly work through lunch for the pleasure of talking with you and then call you back in 5 minutes with an exact price, even though you will not be traveling until next year (maybe) and you don’t know for how many days, how many people, and when and where you want to go.

I am expected to smile, empathize, console, consult, perform, sing, dance, fix the printer, anticipate the next fare decrease, and mix a darn good Pina Colada.

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I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT

I have over 25 years of experience (and EVERY employee of Excel Travel’s has at least 20 years of experience!). Yet, I don’t get upset if somebody thinks they can do a better job on their own. They will find out, eventually, the value of a good travel agent!

After the Hurricane in Cancun every one of our clients was back home even BEFORE the airport in Cancun re-opened.

We stayed in touch with our customers and advised them to go to an airport inland and fly back via Mexico City. I am sure you read it in the paper. Some people were stuck for a week, because they couldn’t get a hold of anybody.

We have received over 400 UNSOLICITED thank you notes and postcard from happy clients. And rest assured, we will take great care of you too.

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I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT

I am never offended when 2 weeks before Christmas, I spend 10 hours researching a 12 day Europe itinerary only to hear you say that you decided to buy a new car instead.

I also won’t turn you down when you call me crying, because you booked your own trip to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, you booked yourself to Las Vegas New Mexico, instead of Las Vegas Nevada. And now you need an inexpensive rental car and –I will be glad to help.

No, it’s not a problem for me to quickly construct several more guest rooms at the sold out hotel you want in Las Vegas, and this time I will NOT forget the helicopter landing pad.

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I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT

I can assist you with travel arrangements all over the world.

Renting a villa in the Caribbean, a castle in France or chartering a yacht in French Polynesia

Driving a Harley through the Swiss Mountains

Cruises, Safaris, Family Reunions

Tickets to the Superbowl, Indy 500, Wimbledon, the Masters

You name it, anything but the Jersey Shore and the Moon. Not yet.

Of course… you can do it yourself, just like the person who booked himself to Athens via London, not realizing that you can’t get from Heathrow to Gatwick in an hour and he missed the flight and had to purchase a new ticket for over $2000.

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I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT

Yes, you could even book your own cruise. All you need to do is pick a date and choose a ship. It’s sooo simple… But beware:

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship (the one with the surfing pool and ice skating rink) is named FREEDOM OF THE SEAS, so it would not be confused with the Carnival ship FREEDOM. Please!

Previous to that, Carnival named their newest ship LIBERTY, after Royal Caribbean called theirs LIBERTY OF THE SEAS.

Princess Cruises named its newest ship CROWN Princess

NOT to be confused with a ship by a competitor: the Norwegian CROWN

Then there is also, The Norwegian STAR and the STAR Princess

The SUN Princess and the Norwegian SUN

The Norwegian SEA and the SEA Princess

The DAWN Princess and the Norwegian DAWN

And the Norway was the third France – if you know what I mean

The word PRINCESS was used in the name of 27 different ships

The word PRINCE only by 4 of them, and all are very small. Go figure.

The name Rotterdam has been used by six different cruiseships

The name Nieuw Amsterdam 3x, and Amsterdam twice.

Cunard made it simple, they call them Queen Mary and Queen Mary 2

But they also have two Caronias and three Carinthias.

The Noordam which was taken out of service last year will be replaced by a much, much larger ship – to be named Noordam. Same name – different ship – different size!

The same thing was done with the Westerdam – numerous times!

Then there is the Island EXPLORER, the EXPLORER, the Pac. EXPLORER, +the EXPLORER of the S.

The Norwegian DREAM, the DREAM, the DREAM Princess and the Holiday DREAM

JEWEL of the Seas and the Norwegian JEWEL

The Norwegian MAJESTY, the MAJESTY of the Seas and the Ocean MAJESTY

The Seabourn LEGEND and the Carnival LEGEND pay attention – take notes

The Seven Seas MARINER and the MARINER of the Seas.

The NAVIGATOR of the Seas and the Seven Seas NAVIGATOR.

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I know all of this, because I AM YOUR TRAVEL AGENT, I am the owner of Excel Travel.

Call us… Not only will we shop around on your behalf – AT NO COST TO YOU – to make sure you get the best price,

we will make sure that you will end up on the right ship… or in the right hotel… and we will make sure that you have a fantastic vacation.

And despite of what I just said, WE DO ENJOY OUR JOB… and look forward to assisting you too with your exciting travel plans.

Copyright © 2009 Excel Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. _________45 Atlantic Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740 __________ (800-EXCEL-88)

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