What makes a Superhero in the Travel Trade?
You need to know about destinations, airports, connection times, and differences in various resorts and hotels. Telepathy would be beneficial in being able to decipher what people want especially if the people travelling together want completely different things. There are all the general skills like excellent customer service, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, and working well under pressure. Never underestimate that people don’t know the name on their passport – this you learn over time. I won’t even get into the trials and tribulations of booking leaving cert holidays but the best skill to have, the SUPERPOWER, is problem-solving and at the speed of light if possible.
Onur Gul – Problem Solver Extrodinare
Let’s give a hand to the wonderful Onur Gul of Turkish Airlines.
I landed at Dublin Airport at 5.30 pm on Monday evening, collected bags and nipped across the road for a 6 pm antigen appointment beside Terminal 2 car park. I needed a negative antigen test to board a cruise departing the next day. My flight was at around 6 am meaning there was a very narrow window the evening before in which to get the test. And the once nearly round-the-clock availability of testing has dwindled across the board as travel requirements have eased.
The results of the advertised “Antigen Rapid Test (Results In 60 Minutes)” did not materialise in 60 minutes, or anything close to 60 minutes. A handful of emails & a fruitless call to a helpline number provided that then said to email resulted in silence.
The testing centre did not open till 7 am meaning I would be over the Irish Sea. The helpline number gave an email address I had already emailed to no avail and so, constantly refreshing an inbox with bated breath proved fruitless. A knot was forming in my stomach, trying to make a Plan B and Plan C while scrolling testing centres in Gatwick, in Dover and on the route between both. It was stretching the power of my weary & sleep-deprived brain (a 5+ hour flight beside my three-year-old the day before was wonderful but not restful).
It did occur to me that this must be what travelling without a travel agent must be like if a problem arises – all the more reason to book with one! I digress….
The wonderful Onur Gul comes to the rescue, despite not being party to the fam trip in question (that will be next week), the “Travel Hero” calmly explained “Don’t Worry My Friend, There are No Problems, Only Solutions. Give me ten minutes, it will be sorted” and it was. He darted across to the offices & managed to solve the stressful scenario with his excellent demeanour.
Ping – the precious email arrived in my inbox – 15 hours and 32 minutes after the test (10 minutes after telling Onur). Phew.
To those of us who know Onur, we’re not surprised and wouldn’t expect anything less than the gentleman making sure everyone and everything is ok but I thought it important to remind you all, most of all him.
To Onur – “Sir, I am lucky to call you a friend. Sincerely, thank you”.