Get Connected | Contact Us

Top 20 Strangest Requests Made to Travel Agents

by Lux Joseph 13. May 2015

In celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week (May 2-10) and Travel Agent Day (May 6), Commercial Medical Escorts is shining a spotlight on the work dedicated professional travel advisors do by releasing the “Top 20 Strangest Requests” made of indviduals in the past year. Our in-house travel department, Sky Cap Corp, witnesses many of these requests and many more on a daily basis.

“When planning your trip, travel agents know what consumers often don’t know to ask,” said Joseph McNamara, Sky Cap Corp CEO. “But according to a poll done by ASTA professionals, agents also sometimes have to save their clients from questions they DO ask. It’s clear from the list of “strangest requests” that some travelers need a little more hand holding than others,” he said.
  
“There are 429 million vacation days left on the table every year by American workers. When they finally get around to taking a vacation, consumers don’t have time for a do-over. Put that planning in the hands of a professional. You’ll be glad you did,” said Joseph.

The following are the Top 20 Strangest Requests made of an ASTA professional in the past year in no particular order:

1.    Can you please book the honeymoon suite for us and another couple?
2.    Can you please plan a honeymoon for me, my bride and my mother?
3.    Can you guarantee that no pet has ever been in the hotel room?
4.    Can I fish off of the cruise ship?
5.    Do they speak English in Britain? 
6.    Can you book two rooms in different parts of the resort—one for me and my wife, and the other for my girlfriend?
7.    Is our relationship like a client/lawyer relationship? (ASTA wonders if this is the same client who asked Question 6). 
8.    Does the crew actually sleep onboard the cruise ship?
9.    Don’t tell my fiancé this is where I took my first wife for our honeymoon.
10.    I would like to go somewhere where there are NOT a lot of men.
11.    I’d like to meet Elvis.
12.    I’d like to get married in the Caribbean on an island where the marriage is not legal in the U.S. (Again, we refer you to Question 6).
13.    Will there be shadows on my face at 4 p.m. when the pictures are taken?
14.    Will you watch my pet while I’m away?
15.    Are there toll roads on the way to Hawaii?
16.    How can I get to Europe without going by air or sea?
17.    I’d like to visit Scotland and Denmark on the same trip. (Agent then tells client he does not have time in his schedule to travel the distance). But they’re only an inch apart on the map!
18.    Can you set it up so that the whales jump in the background at the same time I’m proposing to my girlfriend?
19.    Can you ask the airline to block the seat next to me so I can stretch out?
20.    I don’t want a window seat on the plane because I just had my hair done.

Commercial Medical Escorts Urges Online Travelers ‘Think Before You Click’

by Lux Joseph 18. September 2014

Despite media hype pitting travel agents against the Internet, travel agents continue to embrace the Web as a valuable source of travel information and encourage their clients to take advantage of it. However, Joseph McNamara, President of Sky Cap Corp advises consumers to exercise caution before buying travel products online.

"Buying travel on the Internet is not for everyone," says McNamara. "Consumers have to know what to ask and when to ask it or they could end up wasting hundreds of dollars and countless hours on a trip that fails to meet their expectations."

As part of its continuing mission to provide useful travel information for its clients, Sky Cap Corp addresses many of the common concerns and questions consumers face when considering buying travel online.

Should consumers use the Internet to plan a trip? "Absolutely," said McNamara "But the key word here is ‘plan’. The Internet is a great source of information about destinations, hotels, attractions, local transportation and weather and more. However, the Internet often doesn’t provide the detail and depth travelers need to prepare a complete itinerary." Travelers should always consult a professional travel agency such as Sky Cap Corp before making any travel purchase. This is one of the reasons why Commercial Medical Escorts is so successful with travel arrangements for our patients.

Do consumers get the lowest airfare from a travel Web site? Not always. Most "bargains" sold on the Internet are usually for limited times and are highly restricted, forcing some travelers to change their itineraries to include a "red-eye" flight or layovers. Some sites that allow consumers to perform a search for the lowest price don’t include discounted consolidator air tickets. While other Internet sites do offer these tickets, traditional travel agencies offer the same discounts, in addition to valuable customer service and expertise.

Are tour prices cheaper online? Usually, no. Although many wholesale tour operators maintain Web sites, they don’t offer discounts there. Sky Cap Corp can help clients choose the tour that’s right for them and in most cases save the client as much money if not more.

Is the Internet a good source for hotel discounts? Although several hotel chains offer discounts on their Web sites, duplicate promotions are usually available offline. Hotel discounters have sites as well, but the best deals usually come from chain-sponsored promotions and parallel deals offered through your local travel agent. These experienced travel agents can also help clients find hotels at locations most convenient for them.

Other common consumer concerns about buying travel online include issues of security, cancellations and customer service. It is particularly important for those planning trips involving groups, young children and the disabled to seek the help of a travel agent. In addition, today’s consumers are increasingly seeking unique, customized trips that often require the assistance of a skilled travel professional.

"The bottom line is that smart travelers know their time, money and travel dreams are too important to be left floating in cyber-space," said McNamara. "And the customer satisfaction that comes with a travel agents’ hard work, expertise and quality service will never go out of style. We are there for our clients before, during and after their trip."

Hottest Domestic and International 2014 Summer Destinations

by Lux Joseph 9. August 2014

The summer is coming to an end, but there is still time to enjoy some of the hottest travel destinations of 2014. Orlando and Las Vegas are the top two most popular summer destinations according to the 2014 Hot Spots for Summer survey. Orlando came out on top with a 17 percent share of responses and Las Vegas maintained the second spot with 14 percent.

“Orlando and Las Vegas remain on top as affordable, family-friendly and fun destinations," said Zane Kerby, ASTA President and CEO. "They are also the type of destinations where a travel agent can enhance your trip from helping navigate Orlando’s theme parks, to making sure you pick the right Vegas hotel that matches your unique needs."

Following Orlando and Las Vegas, the other top ten domestic cities are Miami (4 percent), San Francisco (4 percent), Los Angeles (3 percent), New York City (2 percent), San Diego (2 percent), Honolulu (2 percent), Washington DC (2 percent) and New Orleans (2 percent).  New Orleans is new to the list, moving Seattle out of the top ten.

While remaining at the top, Orlando and Las Vegas have been slowly decreasing in response share for several years, as have most of the other top ten destinations. Ten years ago the top ten destinations represented 75% of the responses, and today it represents 51 percent. This year, over 100 different domestic destinations received at least one vote as a hot summer destination, reflecting the consumer trend for more unique vacation experiences.

When asked about 2014 state destinations, Florida again topped the list for the 2014 summer season with a 23 percent response rate. Rounding out the top five state destinations for summer travel are Nevada (13 percent), California (12 percent), New York (11 percent) and Hawaii (11 percent). As with the cities, the percentage share of responses is down for the top states, except for Hawaii which had modest growth in response share.

Do you have more than a few days free this summer? Are you looking to travel abroad? London and Rome as the two most popular summer destinations according to the annual Hot Spots for Summer survey. London received a 9 percent share of votes followed by Rome with an 8 percent share.

 Over 150 cities made the hot list, with the top ten cities accounting for 37 percent of the responses. Beyond the typical tourist cities, travel agents say they are also planning many trips to many unique destinations like Yerevan, Armenia and Johannesburg, South Africa for this summer with both cited by agents as hot locations.

In addition to London and Rome, Paris (8 percent), Cancun (5 percent), Punta Cana (3 percent), Barcelona (1 percent), Riviera Maya (1 percent), Amsterdam (1 percent), Madrid (1 percent), and Montego Bay (1 percent) round out the top ten international cities. Amsterdam and Madrid are new to the top ten pushing out Venice and Athens.

For countries/regions, Italy remains at the top with an 18 percent share of the votes. Mexico (11 percent) moves up to second place after two years in third and fourth place. The other countries/regions in the top five include France (11percent), United Kingdom (11 percent) and the Caribbean (8 percent). The same five countries/regions have remained in the top five for over eight years and represent 61% of the votes.

Commercial Medical Escorts utilizes a travel agent to make all their travel arrangements. We believe this adds cost savings to our clients, the most up to date travel information, and an educated individual in the area of medical escorts. We encourage travelers who would like to experience these hot spots to find a helpful travel agent who specializes in the destinations that they dream of visiting.


© Commercial Medical Escorts. Optimized website design by MoreVisibility.