Real Stories From Real Travellers
Travelling is one of life’s great pleasures. Yet the process of making a holiday happen is rarely as straightforward as clicking, booking and going – particularly if you’re leaving Australia. Even the most tech-savvy globe-trotter can make mistakes.
Helloworld Travel agents are among the most experienced travellers in the game, with a range of fail-safe measures and systems in place. Suppliers are regularly assessed for solvency, safety and reputation – and only the best are used.
Here are just some of the situations when a Helloworld Travel agent has come to the rescue of a traveller who, for one reason or another, has found themselves in hot water.
Rome is not in Queensland (but Roma is)
Travel agents are often contacted by travellers stunned at the huge price gap between what they think are identical airfares. Bill, for example, called his agent to express frustration at the huge difference in price between his agent’s quoted fare and what he’d seen online for a planned Italian getaway. When the agent checked the quote, she told her client he’d booked a ticket to Roma in outback Queensland – not the Italian capital, Rome.
That hurricane came outta nowhere!
Florida is warm most of the year but it’s also in the eye of many a hurricane that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean. Anne, who was holidaying in Orlando, found herself needing to bunker down for a couple of days to ride out the storm. Enter Helloworld Travel store owner and manager Meral Murgoski, who had the foresight to establish dialogue on Facebook (in addition to the phone) and, after ensuring Anne’s safety, adjusted her itinerary to account for the lost days, had amendment fees waived and helped lodge her client’s travel insurance claim for the holiday disruption. Now that’s service!
Rescued after a relationship breakdown
Counselling is another part of a Helloworld Travel agent’s job description as even the best of friends can fall out while travelling. After a relationship breakdown during a three-month Asian jaunt, one agent was contacted late one evening by her highly distressed 18-year-old client. Stuck in Thailand after her male travel companion fled with her passport, Brooke was told to go to the Australian Embassy the next morning where she was issued with an emergency passport, valid only for her one-way flight home to Melbourne. Drawing on her client’s emergency contact details, the agent made contact with Brooke’s father, who promptly paid for a newly booked one-way flight home on the temporary passport. Brooke landed home safely another day later. While travel insurance didn’t cover Brooke’s lost funds, having a friendly travel agent at hand helped ease a highly stressful situation.
Scams are everywhere
Finally, consider this. Thousands of travellers find their plans nixed by online scams every year, costing millions of dollars and ruining many holidays. A recent UK study found one in four travellers fell victim to an online travel scam in 2017, costing some AU$12.2 million. The most common scams involved fake air tickets and hotel deals, many of which used sophisticated websites to fool their victims.
To avoid disappointment, it pays to talk to a real human being about your holiday plans.