search parameters daily to find affected
travelers, said travel emergencies like this
are where agents can shine.
“Largay Travel is not the only one out
there doing it,” she said. “When the airport
does shut down and they have a human to
talk to instead of a six-hour hold, that’s really what it’s all about.”
Continued from Page 1
would be delayed by nearly a week.
Autry booked the client into an airport
hotel, waitlisted her on every flight he
could find for the next six days and had
colleagues call United once an hour to try
to grab any seats that might open up.
At 1: 45 a.m. on Oct. 31, when Autry was
on hold with United to check on the client’s
status, he received an email from the client
that she had a confirmation.
Autry wasn’t the only agent keeping a
close eye on travelers: Montrose had more
than a thousand clients affected by Sandy.
Touch and tech
Besides just hunkering down to work the
phones, GDSs, air desks and airline contacts, agents were also using technology
systems that automate part of the process,
which freed them from manually searching
their records so that they could spend time
working with their clients.
Jim Osborne, vice president of air, space
and specialty products for Virtuoso, had his
air team working its systems on the Sun-
day before Sandy hit to identify and rebook
travelers whose flights appeared vulnerable.
Plan A, Plan B, Plan C
As for Largay’s clients, it was the familiar
routine of Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. One client was coming home from Taipei, Taiwan.
His flight from Tokyo to New York was
canceled; United Airlines rebooked him
to Chicago during the storm and then put
him on a flight to New York, but that flight
wasn’t due to operate until Nov. 3, several
Largay had a hotel room waiting for him
at O’Hare on Oct. 30 and put him on a
flight into Hartford, Conn., the next morning before all those seats were sold out.
Klimak also had a group of 70 returning from Malta, and as a precaution she
managed to put a hold on 45 rooms at an
airport hotel in Frankfurt so they’d have a
place to stay.
Kellie Bishop, who holds the title of chief
possibility officer for Travel Leaders in
Charlottesville, Va., rebooked honeymooners bound to St. Lucia: they departed from
Charlotte instead of Washington Dulles,
and she rented a car for them to drive from
Charlottesville to Charlotte.
“They’ll be basking in the sun on a beautiful beach for seven days while we clean up
from the rains around here,” she said.
Stories like Harold Panel’s, a travel consultant with Travel Experts in Raleigh,
Panel had a client “desperate” to get home
from London. The client’s original itinerary
had him flying home through Boston, and
the Boston flight was canceled. Panel got the
last seat on a London-Atlanta routing.
Getting the last seat was not always an
easy task. Daren Autry, senior supervisor of
Montrose Travel’s leisure and romance division, had a client who discovered that her
trip home on United Airlines from Rome
April 4-7, 2013
Join ASTA at a destination training
program like no other, where you’ll not
only learn how to sell the destination…
you’ll live it. ASTA’s IDE equips you with
the crucial tools and vital know-how
you will need to close the sale upon your
• Participate in a series of top-ranked
education seminars that range from
cultural experiences, iconic landmarks,
to tips on bartering at local souks
for ARC reporting
• Make connections with local suppliers
to build personal relationships
• Attend lavish evening networking
events that showcase the wonders of
ARC is giving travel agencies in states
hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy —
New Jersey, New York and Connecticut — until Monday, Nov. 5, to make
filings for Interactive Agency Reporting that were originally due Oct. 30.
IAR reports are normally due every
ARC had extended the deadline to
midnight on Nov. 2 for agencies in
Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland,
Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Virginia, Vermont and Washington,
The reporting extension was the
second one issued by ARC in the
wake of Sandy.
Register today at ASTA.org/IDE
• Continue your experience and build
itineraries for your clients with
complimentary sightseeing and pre-and post-tour options
Start your Dubai experience early with
the Definitely Dubai i Phone App
NOVEMBER 5, 2012