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A day working as a travel agent

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Some people might be curious about what exactly a travel agent does and how a day at a travel agenty is like. Of course there is no day fully alike, but a typical day would go something like this..

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09.00: Turning on our computers to do our flight queues, which are messages about schedule changes etc given by the airlines. The first hour at work is the only hour where our shop is closed for customers, so this is also used to get a general overview of our appointments, emails and todays agenda. Every Wednesday this hour is spent on a staff meeting where we are also learning about destinations and products, so Wednesdays we usually have more stuff to catch up on for the rest of the day

10.00-12.00: Respond to emails. We need to inform every customer about visas, insurance and vaccination in addition to all the destination and tour specific information, so around half our time is spend on the email

12.00-12.30 Lunch time- with travel posters and effects I am really reminded about how much I want to travel. I usually eat and dream about places I want to visit myself in my lunch break.

12.30-13.30: My first appointment of the day, for example advising three girls how to travel the world in four months on a ten thousand dollar budget. I don’t check flight prices, but show them examples of our tours, volunteer projects, surf and dive camps and language courses to get them motivated for what they will do, giving them only a roughly estimation of the costs.

13.30-16.30: Setting up trips for customers and updating existing offers. This is done in a flight booking system called Sabre or Amadeus. Here you start by first asking the system for the cheapest booking classes for the preferred flights, then checking the availability for the those booking classes and then ask the system to quote a price for the flights. This is a lot more work than booking tickets online, but you can much more easily understand why the tickets costs as much as they do and then you can manually price them together to see if they will cost less combined. For example we can trick the system to believe that a flight to a destination and then onwards to another is a return ticket, which gives us cheaper rates than two one way tickets.

Sabre screenshot

16.30-17.00: The last half hour I might be out of things to do and can then read about the destinations I want to visit or look for good flight deals for my own trips like the one below:

Pacific Islandhopping

The picture above shows an itinerary of my upcoming trip to most of the countries in the Pacific. The first two letters tell you which airline it is, then the flight number, then the booking class, the date, the destinations, the booking status and then flight times and airline references. I have gotten really used to the booking system over the years and will really miss using it when I quit. You might think that it all sounds a bit dull, but we also have quite a lot of fun at work as well, like when we were undressing for topless thursday last week and were featured in this newspaper.

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