Travel agents show the benefits of their service during Storm Emma ITAA Member agents worked tirelessly to cater for customers’ changing travel plans
14th March 2018 Despite the immense disruption and disarray experienced by the travel sector during the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, members of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) worked tirelessly throughout the chaos to ensure that consumers were taken care of.
Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA, said, “Our members up and down the country went to great lengths to ensure that their clients were looked after. In addition it was a very costly few days as most agents report there were little or no sales over this period. On behalf of our association, I applaud this extra work by our members and the commitment of travel trade professionals to their clients.”
John Galligan, of Galligan Travel, had elderly clients scheduled to fly to Marbella early on Saturday 3rd March. “With the office closed, I took their files home with me and during the blizzard, I contacted them from home. To take the stress out of it, on Thursday I rebooked their holiday for a week later and arranged for them to stay in a different hotel, as the original one was full for the new dates. They were able to relax during the snow storm and not worry about trying to get out to the airport and are looking forward to a nice sun holiday later this week.”
Paul Sexton, of TravelAgent.ie, said, “With the flexibility of the GDS and a little foresight, we booked provisional flights/hotel alternatives for our clients ahead of expected cancellations. Our clients simply left the mile long airport queues, checked into their hotel and travelled home on the first available flight.”
John Mc Guill, of Mc Guill Travel Dundalk, took care of a couple who had booked a cruise from Tenerife to Southampton for their 40th wedding anniversary, “They were booked to fly on Thursday and board the cruise on Friday. As the storm worsened it looked like we would have to rebook them to fly from Dublin on Friday, the day of the cruise, but it quickly became apparent that the airport was going to close on Friday! With help of our friends in Cruisescapes, and the hand delivery of their tickets to their home in snowy Dundalk, we booked them a flight out of Belfast airport and a night in the Maldron Hotel beforehand, which was walking distance to the terminal!”