A day in the life of a travel agent…. (on a peak season)

1313: walk in the office, greet the boss, the colleague and the passenger dealing with the colleague.

1314: quickly browse thru the 59 emails and delete the unnecessary ones. (please people!!!! stop sending those chain letters because even if you send it to 5 people as what it has asked you to do, your wish of a salary increase will not be granted, trust me!)

1320: launch the office softwares

1322: change into uniform (i usually go to work in civilian clothes because the humidity outside these days is terrifying)

1324: call up the tariff department to follow up on the fare update for one of your favorite accounts so you can issue the ticket (yes, i’m looking at you arwinita)

1326: start answering calls, replying to emails and accepting walk-in passengers even if you still have 4 mins to spare before your actual working time starts.

1400: handle a passenger who cannot make up his mind as to which flight he will take going to Bombay, while he talks on the phone with whoever it is who’s got the power to decide which one he’ll be taking (probably the wife) you quietly open your inbox and start doing one of the quotations that one of your account was asking for. also, check if the fare has been updated already by the tariff department for your favorite account. answer phone calls in between and tell them to call 3166666 for new reservations. :p

1415: pax finally decides to take Kingfisher ticket and you’ve managed to answer 4 emails in that span of time which leaves you….. 39 more emails to answer. issue the ticket and bid the passenger farewell. quickly open your inbox and answer the next email.

1430: your favorite account calls and asks you for the ticket, you lie to her that you’re already issuing the ticket while your fingers type in a very hurried manner an email to your tariff section that you need the updated fares urgently or the account will take the ticket from Kanoo Travel (which is another lie) and copy your supervisor to it. while you’re trying to stall the time with your favorite account, make a small chit chat with her, start answering emails from another account while half-listening to the conversation going on the phone. manage to answer 2 emails during this time.

1445: call the tarrif section and demand for the updated fare to which they will tell you that the updated fare is already loaded on the system. ask the person to hold the line as you try to issue the ticket, bitch about the fact that your system is too slow and is taking a lifetime to go thru the ticketing procedure. while waiting for your system’s response, try to answer 2 more emails because your mailbox has just prompted you that 6 new ones just came in.

1453: the system finally gave you the same error that you have been complaining 2 days ago to your tarrif section, so you tell the tarrif agent on the other line that the fare update is still wrong to which you will be advised to issue the ticket mannually. * face palm * because this is a special fare for your special account, you’ve noted down all the necessary codes that you must use for mannually issuing the fare. while doing this, you receive another bunch of emails which you will completely ignore because you desperately want this ticket to be out of your way.

1500: you call the helpdesk of the system that you’re using to ask how to manually issue a ticket with a special fare. while she gives you the step-by-step procedure, you can’t help but notice that 3 more emails just came in.

1530: finally issue the ticket for your favorite account and be glad that you’ve finished one to-do task for the day. go back to answering emails again while the phone constantly rings beside you and hope that it will just magically unhook itself to give you some peace even for just a couple of minutes.

1545: get a phone call from one of your accounts that the ticket you’ve issued is under a wrong family name. you check her email and point out to her that she gave you the wrong name. you tell her for the nth time that when requesting for a reservation to please send along the passport copy of the passenger to avoid such inconvenience. she demands that the ticket be issued right away because the passenger is waiting in front of her. you tell her to fuck off (or you wish to tell her that) but you hurriedly make a new reservation under the correct name and quickly issue the ticket. you wish the client to have a nice day.

1555: by this time, you have about 46 emails waiting on your inbox. you quickly open each and every email to check which one is the most urgent, ignore the request for a holiday package on December (wtf????). You start to do the reservation from Riyadh to Dubai with Saudia Airlines which is departing in 6 hours, a reservation to Doha for the next day with Fly Dubai (i hate doing reservation for this airline), a change in flight from London to Dubai which is departing in 12 hours and a quotation going to Jeddah and back for the next day.

1615: while doing the above tasks, the passenger that your colleague is handling wrecked havoc because the price that you have quoted for her 2 days ago has increased by AED200. she faces you with all her guns blazing and accused you of giving the wrong information about the ticketing deadline. you show her the email you sent her at the same time that you made the reservation which clearly states that the ticketing deadline was yesterday and that she’s too late and she will never be able to get that fare back as the flight is fully booked. it’s either take the ticket now or get an additional increase the next day. the passenger, upon realizing her mistake will lie about the fact that someone from your office advised her yesterday that the reservation will still be valid for today. you check the profile of the passenger and show her that nobody accessed her profile yesterday as she claimed. you go back to answering all the pending emails and let your colleague handle the passenger.

1645: * breathe *

1646: go back to answering emails which is now down to 29

1715: one of your accounts call you and ask you to urgently issue a ticket to Doha which is departing in 5 hours, you tell her that it’s only business class available. she says ok and sends you the LPO for the issuance. you send the eticket and email to her.

1730: receive a call from the same account who called you at 1715 and tells you to cancel the flight to Doha because the passenger decided not to go.

1745: you realize you need to pee but you continue on answering emails which is now down to 17.

1750: you receive a phone call from one of your accounts and you told her if she can please send an email to you because you have a lot of other pending emails to finish. she gets really upset with this and will tell you that she can never get hold of anybody at your office and nobody returns her call and she tells you it’s urgent. you ask her when is the travel date of the passenger, she tells you July 1 (let it be noted that I am writing this entry on the 23rd of June). so you get all the details from her and promised her that you’ll call her back as soon as you’re finished doing the reservations which are departing in the next 2 days.

1815: you finally got up to pee

1820: you finalize the Dubai – Doha – Shanghai – Narita – Doha – Dubai – New York – Miami – Mexico – New York – Doha – Dubai of one of your passengers.

1845: a passenger comes in so you stop clearing your inbox which is now thankfully down to 9. he asks for a package to Bangkok on September. you give him a complete holiday package together with your business card and crosses your finger that he will take it because if not, he just wasted a good amount of time with you. he tells you he’ll think about it. oopf!

1930: you call back the client asking for a 01July reservation, she tells you that she already made the reservation directly with the airline and that i must call the airline to get the reservation transfered to our system so they can pay by LPO.

1935: you call the airline a girl answers after 10mins. of being on hold, she helps you with your concern and tells you that the booking is now ready to be claimed thru your system, the problem is you have no idea what the entry is to claim the reservation. so you call the helpdesk of the system that you’re using to check the command to claim this booking. helpdesk is already closed so you call the regional office in Bahrain. the helpdesk agent will have no idea about it and will put you on hold for a good 10mins to check with her supervisor how it’s done.

2005: your order of sushi comes (which is your lunch by the way) but you’re still on the phone with the helpdesk so you just gobbled 2 sushis in your mouth while answering the emails left in your inbox with the phone receiver tucked between your left cheek and shoulder waiting for the agent to get back to you with the right command.

2010: the helpdesk agent finally gave you the correct command. so you thanked her as she apologized for the long wait that you had to do which is now fine with you since she was able to give you what you want anyway.

2020: you try to issue this reservation but the account has no more balance left on the system (ticket cost is AED36415 each, going to London on first class for 3 passengers).

2025: you call the supervisor and asks permission to issue these 3 tickets manually today and just issue the invoice the next day when our Credit Control office can already give a buffer for the amount that we need. you get an approval from her and you issue the ticket.

2030: you close the office doors and start working on the 6 more emails left on your inbox.

2100: you start preparing the Sales Report making sure that the cash, credit card transactions and mail orders are tallied. you prepare the bank slip for the cash to be deposited and you arrange the issued tickets in chronological order before you send it to your Accounts department.

2115: you finally send an email to your Cashiering section that everything is tallied from your outlet for that day.

2130: you go back to your system and start clearing the queues on your system.

2145: you turn off the lights, the AC, lock the doors and go home.

you were supposed to go by 2030 by the way….

i need a vacation.


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  • Neth Cavero June 24, 2010 at 16:24

    Hahaha of all the blogs that you wrote this was probably the one that I most like because first it was so true and very detailed, it was hilarious and finally because I was part of your experience hehehe. I could literally laugh on floor reading this especially when I saw my name sapol na sapol and the story about how you would lie to me and your colleague and how would you manage your time by doing your work simultaneously. Kakaloka.

    Seriously speaking, thanks for all the chit chat and all the outstanding service that you have extended with your favorite account – Vopak *wink wink*. I appreciate all the efforts. Keep it up and go ahead take a break girl, you deserve the time to relax!

    • galatea234 June 25, 2010 at 08:31

      hahaha neth, ikaw na maging multi-tasker. i really need a break from all these…. huhuhuhu,. may utang pa pala ako sayo na email to Sudhip. hmpf! tomorrow. :p

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    Welcome to my blog! My name is Noemi, a Filipina who caught the travel bug at an early age and has never been cured. I blog about travel, food and my extraordinary mundane life in London with the Greek Mister.

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