Travelling... Page 73

  • Psychotext 7 Jul 2020 10:21:43 67,487 posts
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    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    Why do people use travel agents nowadays (apart from oldies)?
    They were £3,000 cheaper for my flight than direct was.

    That said, there are some really good "boutique" travel agents out there.

    Edited by Psychotext at 10:23:10 07-07-2020
  • Nexus_6 7 Jul 2020 10:23:39 5,269 posts
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    Trafford wrote:
    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    Why do people use travel agents nowadays (apart from oldies)?
    I was a flight broker for 20 years and there's a lot more to it than saving 50 quid on a flight to Bangkok.
    If someone is spending 5-100K a year on leisure trips they tend to want someone who is reliable to oversee things. To be responsible when things go tits up.
    Also provide guidance and inspiration on where to go next. Plan complex itineraries for business travellers etc.
    People would pay more to book with us because we were good.
    Sadly there are a lot of cowboys in the industry, new companies come and go. All have pretty much the same terms and conditions but it's how they act on them.

    I was lucky in that I worked for a well established independent who looked after us and more importantly clients when things went wrong, acts of God.
    I could bend rules to help people out and they let us do some of the shadier aspects of the industry as long as the client was taken care of.
    Shadier aspects? How many bodies have you disposed of over your career?
  • Dougs 7 Jul 2020 10:27:58 95,479 posts
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    Those drugs don't move themselves either you know.

    Edited by Dougs at 10:28:29 07-07-2020
  • Trafford 7 Jul 2020 10:33:28 8,674 posts
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    @Psychotext

    Don't know what to it circumstances were on this but if it was a 3k saving on a business or first fare it was probably fully non refundable and sat on a pile waiting for the airline to refund if elligable.

    You see, my old firm would have paid you back immediately in faith that we'd get it back from the carrier.
    Smaller companies wouldn't have the reserves to do that.
  • Psychotext 7 Jul 2020 11:13:23 67,487 posts
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    Trafford wrote:
    @Psychotext

    Don't know what to it circumstances were on this but if it was a 3k saving on a business or first fare it was probably fully non refundable and sat on a pile waiting for the airline to refund if elligable.

    You see, my old firm would have paid you back immediately in faith that we'd get it back from the carrier.
    Smaller companies wouldn't have the reserves to do that.
    Yeah, I don't have a problem with the wait, but not responding to the request to say they've got it isn't acceptable. Could easily be automated.
  • RyanDS 7 Jul 2020 11:46:14 13,326 posts
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    Cheers for all the advice chaps!

    Booked myself a little place in Boulogne Sur Mer for tomorrow, just somewhere close to Calais so not a long ride after work. Got a nice little list of places from the helpful posts up thread so will just decide on Thursday where to next, depending on weather and how long I can be bothered to ride for.

    I do think I need to make it up to the Netherlands though. Currently on 49 countries and that would be my magic 50 that I have been aiming for.
  • TheSaint 7 Jul 2020 13:05:22 19,883 posts
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    It's not very compatible with a motorcycle-based midlife crisis but the Eurostar makes it super easy to get to Amsterdam or Rotterdam now.
  • RyanDS 9 Jul 2020 20:59:11 13,326 posts
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    Been fun so far. Yesterday decided to leave early so instead of 6pm eurotunnel got midday. Decided to try a new place, everyone recommends Le Touquet but I noticed Boulonge sur mer on the map so thought would give it a try as only 20 minutes south of calais.

    Wow, so glad I did. Wonderful little town, lots of little bistros, cafes and a walled town. Walking along the wall is beautiful, only takes 20 minutes odd, but lovely views. Very friendly little place as well. I pulled up on my motorbike and asked a cafe owner where I could park and he said pretty much nowhere close as restricted area, then looked at sky and said i could park on his patio as wont be busy as cold! Definitely deserved the beers i had there last night.

    Morning found out there is largest aquarium in europe in town so spent a few hours there. Not up there with Osaka etc, but worth a visit.

    Then rose up coast following route given by barman. Added an hour but wow! So many great views and little places to pull over and have a coffee and just chill.

    Then off to Kortrijk which was my destination for the day. I quite like it and had lunch there, but weather was good and I have the Hague tomorrow so decided to press on to Ghent and get hotel there instead. I fucking love Ghent. Some mussels, wine and some beers just along the river. Then went to a great bar Salaman introduced me to to play some pinball.

    God I missed travelling. I think these two days alone have battled my depression more than any drug regime could.
  • Salaman 9 Jul 2020 21:19:47 23,871 posts
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    RyanDS wrote:
    Then went to a great bar Salaman introduced me to to play some pinball.
    Haha, nice one! Haven't been back since then sadly but I did convince the girlfriend to sacrifice a few hours on our 4-day Budapest stay to a place with tons of pinball machines.
  • RyanDS 9 Jul 2020 21:23:49 13,326 posts
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    Salaman wrote:
    RyanDS wrote:
    Then went to a great bar Salaman introduced me to to play some pinball.
    Haha, nice one! Haven't been back since then sadly but I did convince the girlfriend to sacrifice a few hours on our 4-day Budapest stay to a place with tons of pinball machines.
    Quite good in there. You have to sanitise machines before playing, table service etc.

    I have to say I am finding France and Belgium really weird with coronavirus. Either no one cares (most places are normal) or else super careful. So some bars make you wash hands before entry and you sit far apart, and my hotel told me I must wear mask non stop when not in room. But most places no precautions at all.
  • Armoured_Bear 9 Jul 2020 22:45:31 29,027 posts
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    Yeah, Ghent is a lovely city, I'd love to go back one day.
  • Armoured_Bear 9 Jul 2020 22:47:42 29,027 posts
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    Trafford wrote:
    Armoured_Bear wrote:
    Why do people use travel agents nowadays (apart from oldies)?
    I was a flight broker for 20 years and there's a lot more to it than saving 50 quid on a flight to Bangkok.
    If someone is spending 5-100K a year on leisure trips they tend to want someone who is reliable to oversee things. To be responsible when things go tits up.
    Also provide guidance and inspiration on where to go next. Plan complex itineraries for business travellers etc.
    People would pay more to book with us because we were good.
    Sadly there are a lot of cowboys in the industry, new companies come and go. All have pretty much the same terms and conditions but it's how they act on them.

    I was lucky in that I worked for a well established independent who looked after us and more importantly clients when things went wrong, acts of God.
    I could bend rules to help people out and they let us do some of the shadier aspects of the industry as long as the client was taken care of.
    When things go tits up with flights, surely It's better to have booked direct with the airline? Quite a few times I've been in airports and witness groups desperately trying to get a hold of their travel agent as the airline wouldn't do anything direct.
  • Trafford 9 Jul 2020 23:13:43 8,674 posts
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    @Armoured_Bear

    True, when you're at the airport and things go wrong, getting in the queue and sorting it yourself is the best bet. An agent will never be able to get through to the desk.

    I was more referring to stuff in advance like route cancellations or airline failure. An agent will often
    have it sorted before the news breaks, *it's called reprotecting people.

    Agents can often pull strings by liasing with airline reps. Or blagging airline call centres.

    Edited by Trafford at 23:16:20 09-07-2020
  • RyanDS 10 Jul 2020 18:00:39 13,326 posts
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    Lots of riding today. Got up early for breakfast by the river in Ghent, then went back to hotel to get early start as wanted to be in Breda by 11 for a job interview call. Then got stuck in the lift in the hotel....took 20 minutes to free me which ended up with me sliding through the 2 foot gap they managed to open as i was stuck between floors. Then got stuck in traffic by antwerp so ended up pulling into a village and doing the interview in my leathers sitting on the pavement trying to look professional and apologising profusely for being sweaty and unkempt.

    Then rode on to east of rotterdam where a mate said was a lovely ride along the Lekdijk. Added an hour to the journey but beautiful ride atop a dike, water on one side and picturesque windmills and cows on the other. I highly recommend.

    Now in the Hague which is welcoming and friendly and very pretty.

    700km of riding so far...
  • Psychotext 20 Jul 2020 23:28:39 67,487 posts
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    Just booked Canada (Vancouver) for Christmas. Cancellable flights.

    God I really hope things are better by then. Not travelling has made this year utterly miserable for me thus far.
  • reddevil93 21 Jul 2020 02:20:43 15,629 posts
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    Did you end up making that Mexico City trip or it got canned? Been on 3 domestic flights here since the pandemic really started. Only bit that I really didn't like was the tunnel as you board.
  • Psychotext 21 Jul 2020 10:13:03 67,487 posts
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    Yeah, that was in the pre-virus days though. No-one was really doing anything in terms of additional virus screening etc then.
  • Tonka 21 Jul 2020 10:18:10 31,114 posts
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    Are you guys allowed to travel within your countries, and if so -- are you?

    I've been at my parents place for two weeks (they are at their cottage in the woods) and it's packed with tourists here.
  • Psychotext 21 Jul 2020 10:33:58 67,487 posts
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    I believe I can in Wales as of last week. Up until then there was an advised 5 mile limit.

    Places like Snowdon are fucked with cunt tourists again. Blocking the roads and leaving rubbish everywhere. Yay!
  • elstoof 21 Jul 2020 10:36:28 25,989 posts
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    Had to can a holiday in Canada next month, doing a trip to Scotland via York and Chester instead
  • Tonka 21 Jul 2020 10:47:12 31,114 posts
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    Swedish national parks are also struggling under the massive increase of visitors.
  • fontgeeksogood 21 Jul 2020 15:11:27 10,631 posts
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    elstoof wrote:
    Had to can a holiday in Canada next month, doing a trip to Scotland via York and Chester instead
    We're full anyway, fack off
  • elstoof 21 Jul 2020 15:50:47 25,989 posts
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    You weren’t saying that when I was paying my Airbnb deposit for your spare room
  • Vortex808 21 Jul 2020 16:49:54 14,021 posts
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    Your non-refundable deposit will keep him in peleton for the next year! 😃
  • fontgeeksogood 21 Jul 2020 16:52:06 10,631 posts
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    The Peloton is in the Airbnb annexe
  • elstoof 21 Jul 2020 17:09:26 25,989 posts
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    Next to the pile of Architectural Digest magazines
  • Psychotext 23 Jul 2020 15:20:54 67,487 posts
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    Still heard nothing about my flights from the travel agent. Thankfully it seems that the Frankfurt to Tokyo leg (there and back) of the booking has been cancelled, so at least I may be able to do something via insurance if I can't resolve it soon.
  • Tonka 2 Aug 2020 12:04:19 31,114 posts
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    I've never seen as many tourists on the island where I grew up, as I have this year. Absolutely packed. Everywhere.
  • JoelStinty 2 Aug 2020 19:24:45 8,982 posts
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    Yeah it is rammed where I live too in Cornwall. We're normally busy every summer but its gone nuts. A few business have said that their customers numbers are up. I've Booked a week in Salisbury in October as I written of going abroad this year but kind of having second thoughts because of what is happening down here. Will have to see. Can understand people getting away as its been tough the last few months. Need the week too.

    Got friends in Bristol and Andover so be a good opportunity to catch up with them. Like my history so Bath, Winchester and a few others will be on my itinerary. Probably take my road bike up in the car too and do a couple of lengthy rides.
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