Tales from The Secret (Travel) Agent: the one with the shivering dog

By Lisa James
10/02/2022
Home » Tales from The Secret (Travel) Agent: the one with the shivering dog

Meet Travel Gossip’s Secret Agent – a travel boss who always has a smile on their face, mainly thanks to the antics of the people coming through the door.

In this episode, our Secret Agent has an early bird enquiry from a customer keen to rekindle a long-distance love affair, and smells a rat when the phone rings…

Arrive at the office at 8.30 this morning in an attempt to catch up but I’m accosted at the door by what can only be described as a shifty character.

“What time you open?” he enquires whilst reading the times on the office door. “9.30,” I reply.

This obviously doesn’t go down too well as his next comment is: “Well, what are you doing here now then?”

Standing in the freezing morning air I’m in no mood for his interrogation and ask him how I can help him.

“Well, it’s just an enquiry at the moment,” he tells me, right off the bat, and feels he needs to add: “I’m not booking anything today” and – as even the office dog has started shivering – I think I’d better hurry him up and asked him again how I can help him.

Turns out he wants to go and see a lady friend in Thailand who he met four years ago on a holiday. She’s been back in touch and is desperate to rekindle their love affair.

He wants to get to Phuket and his need is so great he wants to leave ‘as soon as possible’ but only if the price is right.

I am no fan of conducting business on the doorstep but know if I invite him in I will never get rid of him so I briefly explain the restrictions going to Thailand at this time and how the sandbox works etc but I may as well have been speaking to him in Thai.

“No, No, No. I’m not doing any of that. She was alright to look at but I’m not that desperate,” he tells me.

In the cold morning light, I decide to not give him my honest opinion on his aesthetics and bid him a good morning, thinking the young lady in Thailand has had a very lucky escape…

Has he gone yet?

Took a call from a lady asking for a very familiar quote I had given the day before.

A quick check of the number displayed shows it’s a local ‘rival’.

I play along, umming and ahhing in all the right places, then ask her to hold while I check. I tap random keys on my keyboard.

I then announce I have a quote £300 lower than the one I know she is trying to beat for my obviously shopping around client. 

An audible gasp from the agent is followed by a check on the flights. “ Yep, right flights,” I say. “Are the transfers private?” she asks. Again affirmative.

A rookie mistake not dialling 141 before ringing me so I have no idea who I’m actually dealing with.  

I wonder if I will see the client again –  and if I do maybe the price might have gone up!

Read more Tales from the Secret (Travel) Agent here.

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