I ‘ve already booked online,” says the old fella shuffling over my doorstep.
“So there’s nothing in it for you,” he adds.
In terms of how to win friends and influence people, he’s not doing a great job.
“How can I help you?” I ask, despite already knowing I have absolutely no intention of helping him.
Turns out he’s found an amazing deal on the interweb to India and has booked it.
However, it’s leaving 23 December and he’s now been told by the online travel company that he needs a visa and needs to make an appointment to obtain said visa but if he slips me a fiver can I sort it for him?
Sadly, the answer is: “No.”
I explain we only offer information to our own clients and only arrange visas for people who actually book with us and I advise him that, if his online agent has advised that he will need to make an appointment at the Indian embassy and appear in person to obtain said visa, then that’s what he will need to do.
I’m well aware the e-visa has just been reinstated for UK passports but sadly, as mentioned, I can only pass this information on to our own clients and wouldn’t want to contradict the lovely lady at wesellcheapIndiaholidays.com
Christmas is a funny time in travel.
Everyone’s cold and lots are dreading the big day, so will drop in with the vaguest itinerary possible, where they are super-flexible, can fly from any airport and can confirm there will be three in party – but it could increase to five.
Nothing I suggests quite ‘fits the bill’, so I give this group of clients short shrift as it dawns on me it’s more likely they’ve come inside to make full use of my central heating.
My stock response is to give them an armful of brochures and tell them to have a look through, then come back with all the info we need to give them a correct quote.
There are the odd ones that want to drag it out by throwing various other suggestions at me, such as one couple, who were initially looking at five days self-catering in Benidorm self-catering asking: “How about a Hawaii all-inclusive?”
I reward these enquiries by very obviously making up prices.
I find this tends to work…
Read more Secret Agent anecdotes here.