The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Canterbury and requested two flights for a single traveller; one flying out to Christchurch and the other returning from Melbourne with a budget of £1,500, in March 2017.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘flight booking websites’.
38 High Street
Mystery Shopper said: The store window was clean and tidy with a poster displaying travel ideas. I particularly liked the layout of the shop; it was fresh and modern with comfortable seating. I was greeted with a warm smile. A consultant asked about my travel dates, flexibility, and if it was important to fly out of and into the same airport in London. They asked if there were any airlines I would particularly prefer, or ones to avoid before starting a search. They eventually found a flight with Emirates via Dubai and Sydney, returning to London for £695 with a short stopover in Dubai and at a good time of day. The following morning I received an email with full quote details that covered everything we had discussed. I felt they offered professional, considered advice and they were looking to obtain the best deal for me with an awareness of what I wanted. I also felt the price was very good.
How long in travel?
I’ve been working in the industry for 30 years, and even taught travel and tourism at one stage. I prefer front-line selling and love working at STA, where I’ve been for four years now.
How often do you sell holidays to Australia and New Zealand?
Asia and Australasia are our top two selling destinations regardless of the age. We do a lot for people who want to go out there to work, so they can see if they like it.
Top selling tips?
If a client is travelling alone, try to find a mix of organised and independent activities. This gives them the sense that they are still an intrepid explorer.
Proudest moment in travel?
I helped make a booking for a lady and her friend who wanted to follow in the footsteps of the explorer Ernest Shackleton. It was huge, around £60,000.
TTG has teamed up with React Surveys to simulate a realistic booking process each week – that means a mystery shopper looking for the best deal from agents and operators on the high street, online, on TV or in newspapers. The Mystery Shopper research is carried out on behalf of TTG by React Surveys,and no further details or information can be disclosed. Researchers take into consideration first impression, sales process, product and budget match and extras offered before giving an unbiased opinion of which channel/company they would have booked with on that occasion. We do not claim that the winner is the best in an area or specialist sector, as we may report on competing travel firms in the future. Please note that the aim of Mystery Shopper is not to criticise individual agents or companies, but to promote good sales technique for the benefit of all in the travel trade.