The weekend proved another challenge for us with the continuation of crazy, unpredictable world weather. With the absolute devastation of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and Miami area of the United States still fresh in our minds we were dealt another blow in the form of a tornado which delayed Diamond Princess arrival for disembarkation into Yokohama by a day.
The ship was due to arrive into Yokohama (Tokyo) on Monday 18th September, but was delayed until Tuesday 19th September at 2pm. The first we knew was when many of us came into the office to find emails from customers asking what to do?
Well, people that had booked complete packages with us and had our ATOL protected flights included were in safe hands. Firstly we had to find out whether flights could be changed – so this is down to the airlines terms and conditions and whether they will change due to the circumstances. Many airlines will stick to their terms and conditions so then it is up to us to source suitable flights (at a cost) to get our passengers home.
My customers were all reassured that I would be working on it and they were able to relax and not get involved in the chaos that was going on around them as people were queuing at reception to try and make phone calls to airlines etc to arrange new flights.
I re-booked flights, ticketed them and had new E tickets printed and emailed….just as easy as that, well from the customers point of view and that’s why you should always book an ATOL protected package.
Is it cheaper to book the cruise with an agent and then the flights separately? Weill on the odd occasion maybe you will save a few pounds – but is it worth it when anything can happen? This ship was a day late and it caused turmoil on board. Now I say on the odd occasion it may be cheaper because actually for the most part my fare will be better as a package because of special packaging fares we receive from both the Cruise lines and the airlines, so actually it is normally a win win for the customer.
This is just one example of when ATOL protection has proven invaluable – there are many many more.
So remember ALWAYS be ATOL protected