Sometimes people don’t get it.
Let me explain what I mean. Yesterday, I was looking at how I would go from Athens to Istanbul. Taking a ferry back to Turkey was my first idea since it did not cost me too much the first time and I liked the idea of stopping at another island on the way.
Because I did not know which ferries to take, I thought I would stop by at a travel agency to ask about my options and get help booking the ferries. I guess that was a mistake!
I found a place located close to Athens’ main square. Unfortunately I was not received very well. The clerk was very tense from the moment I entered. When I asked her how I could get to Turkey by ferry, she said she could get me a ferry to one of the islands and then I would have to book the ticket from that island to Turkey by myself.
That is fine, however when I started asking about how to book the second ticket, the agent became plain rude and sharply responded that she was not tourist information and I should know how to get where I wanted!
Well, I understand if she did not have the information, but man why be rude about it. Furthermore, if I knew what ferry to take and simply wanted to book a ticket, I could just use the internet and not the services of a travel agent. I think in our new age of Internet, travel agents must offer more than just booking services to be competitive. Information and help is expected and good service is essential. During my trip I have dealt with many agents that have gotten the idea, but it looks like this lady has not.
Anyway, I told her she must be having a bad day and just left. This shop was not going to get my money! The not so funny part was today when I happened to be passing by the shop again. I heard the same lady having a fit and yelling at the other employees. Everybody just looked miserable. Then, a tourist walked in asking for help completing a transaction she had initiated on the internet. The lady refused to help this tourist in any way, even though there were no other clients and the 4 clerks were idle, since they were not going to make any money from it. If you ask for my opinion, helping the tourist would have been a sure way for them to make themselves a good name. I just wonder how these guys are staying in business.
At the end, I logged into the internet and booked a flight from Athens to Istanbul with Olympic Airways for later today. It is fast and I don’t have to deal with any travel agent :).