Insider Interview: Travel Agent Chantal Grews, Student Flights

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A few weeks ago I was looking around for flights on the web, and on the spur of the moment, e-mailed the Student Flight South Africa head office. About 90 seconds later I had an e-mail and a voice-mail, both from Chantal. Unlike another agency who had quoted me exactly what I had been able to see for myself on the web, Chantal dug deep and got hold of some amazing options for me, gave me a run down on each and even inquired into extras like visas and layover accommodation without me asking.
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After deciding not to book, then deciding to book and almost booking and lastly, after eventually deciding not to book for now, Chantal was incredibly patient, professional and service orientated. I’m not sure if all Student Flight agents are as good as she is, but she definitely gave a great impression of her company, and I will be e-mailing her as soon as I need to book anything else!
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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you came to be a travel agent.
I am 24 years old , with an outgoing, free spirit. Three years ago I traveled to Malaysia for a December holiday and once there I realized how much I loved to travel and how much there is out there to see of the world and knew that I needed to start the new year doing something I was going to love and had a passion for. I applied to work at Student Flights and within two weeks started training for what has become the best career and a true passion.
 2. What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my career is that I am responsible for making dreams come true and making sure that I create the perfect holiday to make the best memories, It is a stressful thing to do as at any given time we have ten people all over the world and we really need to be on top of our game and make sure everything runs smoothly. All the hard work pays off with my own travels and experiences.
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3. Any downsides?
Its a little stressful at times, and not an easy job to do. A lot of people have the perception that working as a youth travel
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specialist, all we do is book things online and put things together but its deeper than that – we are making dreams come true and making sure that our clients have the best value for money.
4. In today’s technological society, how do you think travel agents have to adapt their offerings to stay relevant?
This is really an easy one – as South Africans we enjoy dealing with people face to face or over the phone and most of us are skeptical to just hand over credit card details on the internet. We strive to offer an amazing customer experience and relationship with all our clients , which sets us apart from the rest.
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 5. What added value does a consumer get from using an agent – such as Student Flights – instead of booking on the web?
As said before we strive for an amazing customer experience as well as adding value to our clients’ holidays. We have all traveled the world and are able to offer a been-there-done-that experience, We know the top resorts, the best airlines and we can assist with the little how to’s, do’s and don’ts and we can recommend things to do based on our own experiences. When you book with Student Flights you get added value and benefits, whereas online you get a only a price, and if anything goes wrong … who are you going call?
6. What are your own favorite holiday destinations?
I am absolutely in love with Asia, I love the culture, the different foods and most Asian countries have the most magnificent oceans and breathtaking views. Bali and Thailand are top on my list. Spain is also one of my best countries with Barcelona being my top city. Everything is so much bigger and better than what I am used to – it’s just amazing.
 7. What are your tips for people looking to book a holiday?
Don’t let your dreams stay dreams! If you want to see the world, contact us and we can help you plan everything. The first thing is to have an idea of what type of holiday you are looking for – beach, city, culture, summer or winter and a rough estimate of how much you are wanting to spend. Then we will make sure that we put together a holiday that maximizes your budget and ensures that you are able to see and do as much as possible. We make dreams come true so share your dreams with us and we will make them happen!
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8. Any packing / travelling tips for us?
Best travel tip – pack light! There is nothing more irritating than having to lug around a million bags and extra things. Trust me, wherever you go in the world, no matter whether you like it or not , you will shop and you will want to bring somethings home, so make sure that you have the space for that – and hey if you forget anything you can always buy it at your destination.
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*I wrote this post because of the great service I received and have in no way been paid, sponsored or given compensation of any kind to write this post.
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