a members-only luxury travel agency
Private Travel charges a fee—currently $40—to issue airline tickets. You may wonder what would compel you to pay $40 for something you can readily book online yourself. A fair question—especially if you have never had a flight delay or cancellation. To respond I’ll share a client experience from early February that showcases perfectly how Private Travel can save your vacation when the airlines seem determined to ruin it.
On Friday, February 4 at 10:22 AM I received an automated phone call from an airline advising me a client’s flight from San Francisco to Dallas scheduled for 3:05 PM that day had been cancelled and the airline had rebooked him on the same flight the next day, Saturday, February 5. The problem with this was my client—let’s call him Nate (not his real name)—was continuing to Santiago, Chile, and needed to be in Santiago on Saturday, February 5, to embark from nearby Valparaiso later that evening on an anniversary cruise with his wife.
I immediately called the airline and was advised by the automated prompt of a 32 minute hold time. So, I called Nate on another line to discuss options. He was also on hold with the airline. As we talked I brought up availability on my ticketing system and noticed there was an 1:15 PM flight from San Francisco to Dallas with 4 seats available that would give Nate enough time to connect to his Santiago flight (which—luckily—had not been cancelled). I quickly pulled two seats out of inventory—one for Nate and one for his wife—and put them in his reservation which is something that only a travel agent or airline agent can do. It can’t be done by a traveler at an airline’s website or at an online travel agency’s website.
By the time Nate and I reached agents at the airline there were no seats left on the 1:15 PM flight. If I hadn’t pulled two seats out of inventory when I did Nate would have had no other option than to fly to Dallas the next day and thereby miss his cruise embarkation. Nate had declined insurance (another no no that we’ll discuss another time) for his cruise and if he had missed the embarkation he would have been financially responsible for flying from Santiago to the next port of call to join the cruise a day late. Can you imagine a worse start to an anniversary cruise?
Luckily, by purchasing his air from Private Travel, Nate was able to leverage our air expertise & get two of only four remaining seats on an earlier flight which he otherwise could not have obtained. We saved his trip, a potentially sizable hit to his pocketbook, and maybe even helped his marriage.