Tales from the Secret Agent: The trip of a lifetime

By Lisa James
26/06/2023
Home » Tales from the Secret Agent: The trip of a lifetime

A busy day ends with a juicy enquiry.

It’s for a trip of a lifetime to Canada – Rocky Mountaineer followed by a cruise up Alaska’s Inside Passage.

The client tells me she’s looking for top end, including GoldLeaf Service on the train and balcony cabin on the cruise. She wants the works and is very specific about dates.

“You’re only 70 once,” says the lady in front of me, who, by the look of her, has had 70 very hard years.

Details all duly noted down, I tell her I will get onto it right away and will have a quote for her within 48 hours.

Quote arrives on schedule and is passed on.

“We have a much better price than this,” I’m informed, when I present the nine-page itinerary listing a trip that is truly ‘of a lifetime’. 

Our price is just over £4,700 per person and I know it’s the best around to include everything she wants, but I ask her to drop in the quote she has to see if it’s like-for-like and if we can get nearer to what she has.

She’s on the doorstep next morning and I’m ready for her.

Once installed in front of my desk, out comes ‘the quote’, or, should I say, a handful of pages including but not exclusive to Iglu Cruise. Booking.com, Tripadvisor and WeBuyAnyCar.com (not sure that one is supposed to be in there).

Nothing ties up and nothing has the hint of the very important dates that she simply must travel on.

I start to explain this is not a quote but a few online fares from details gathered on the interweb.

I’m told in no uncertain terms her granddaughter put this together for her as she books all the family holidays and she said this trip was perfect and only £3,355pp.

I advise her to speak to her granddaughter and ask her to get it booked, as it certainly is a bargain, and off she goes.

Fast forward an hour and she’s back.

Shes spoken to Chardonnay, who, after having another look has decided that it’s beyond her highly skilled travel dabbling and she is only comfortable booking the family on a week’s jolly through a mainstream operator.

Feeling like I need a few chardonnays myself, even though it’s not yet noon, I tell her I will look at ways we can bring the cost down – change cabin type, hotels, etc, but still leave her with a once-in-a-lifetime holiday.

New itinerary collected and cost now just over £4,000pp, she seems happy and promises she will be back after going through it.

I have a feeling she will…

Read more Secret Agent tales here.

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