Homeworker ‘overwhelmed’ by praise after helping elderly clients despite personal loss

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Homeworker ‘overwhelmed’ by praise after helping elderly clients despite personal loss

Holidaysplease agent Ally Streeter had sleepless nights worrying that two elderly ladies who’d booked a river cruise wouldn’t be able to manage alone when they arrived at London Heathrow for their flight to France.

She had arranged special assistance for them at the London airport, but she was unable to guarantee there would be someone available to help them with their luggage.

The ladies had booked a taxi, but the driver wasn’t able to take their luggage to the check-in desk.

Concerned that the pair, aged 88 and 90, would be unable to stand in a long queue, Ally came up with her own solution.

She decided to drive them herself to the airport, together with her friend Donna.

The plan was for Donna to sit with the ladies while Ally waited in the check in queue and, when she was close to the front, Donna would bring them over to check in.

Ally drove nearly 30 miles from her home in Basingstoke to Guilford pick up the clients, then a further 30 miles to Heathrow.

However, when they arrived at Heathrow, there were no queues so the ladies were able to check in immediately.

Ally and Donna helped them with their bags and escorted them safely to the assistance lounge. They texted her later to say they’d got through security and we’re having some lunch.

Other agents praised Ally after she posted about her trip on Facebook, calling her a legend for providing ‘great service’ and ‘going the extra mile’ for her customers.

What is even more remarkable is that Ally had spent two months working with her clients on the Rivieria Cruises booking while staying in a hospice with her mum, who passed away suddenly in May.

“They don’t like computers so I photocopied itineraries from brochures, typed a letter with details and posted it,” said Ally. “It took forever to arrive! We spoke on the phone from March and they booked in May.”

Agents responding to Ally’s Facebook post said she was ‘a credit to the industry’ and that she had provided the sort of personal service you only get from booking with someone in person.

Coincidentally, Advantage Chief Commercial Officer Kelly Cookes said last week that a recent survey of its members showed more clients were looking for increased support when booking holidays.

The survey, conducted over the summer, revealed that 94% of Advantage members have seen an increase in new customers. It found that 30% of clients visiting agents for the first time are aged 35-44, a third are between 45 and 54 and 15% are over 60.

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