From Holly’s Desk…

The volcano isn’t the only eruption

Two ladies stranded in Brussels, a businessman bogged down in London on a four-leg trip through Europe, 12 high school students grounded in Paris, our escorted Ireland trip on hold—it’s been a hectic week here at Compass Travel. The volcano crisis highlights what we’ve been saying for years: if you travel with us, you can breathe easier when things go wrong. And, they do go wrong. Not all the time, not to this extent, but why take the chance?

This morning, a woman stopped in to our office and tearfully explained her plight. She had been visiting her parents in New London, but needed to get back home to Germany. Unfortunately, she had booked her overseas flight online and was getting no response from the website. Unanswered calls to the airline left her frustrated and angry. Could we please help, she asked.

Professional and efficient, Wendy took up the cause; she immediately contacted Lufthansa and was able to book a new flight for this woman. “I guarantee, once you start working with us,” I overheard Wendy say, “you will never do it on your own again.”

Late last Sunday night, I came into the office to rebook a dozen stranded students who were scheduled to fly home from Paris today. I knew the backlog of flights would probably cause a cancellation for them even if the ash clouds started to diminish; once flights resumed, the airports in Europe would experience the biggest bottleneck in history. The kids will be back home by Sunday, much to the relief of their parents.

It takes a crisis of this magnitude to really highlight the deficiencies in the online travel industry. Our experienced agents were able to rebook flights, arrange lodging for weary travelers around the world, monitor changing conditions hourly, offer options and empathy, and bring some order to the chaos caused by that pesky volcano. Let me know if your computer could help you do all that.

From some of our happy travelers:

“Wendy, thank you for the call today and the offer to help me over the weekend. I was very impressed with the support you offered me; it’s a clear reminder of why I count on Compass Travel for my planning.” A businessman trying to get to Zurich

“We appreciate all you and your staff have done for us. It’s a lot easier to deal with life’s little bumps in the road when we have great people back in the States doing all they can to help from a distance.” A mother and daughter on vacation in Brussels

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