Tag Archives: On hold

A virtual tourist on hold

Last week I wrote about how amazing it is to be in a virtual private concert with some of the great names of the world.

This week I want to talk about visiting some of the great places of the world – virtually! For someone who loves to travel so much this has been a hard time to be in one place with no trip to look forward to. My trip to Ireland to visit my cousins in Dublin has been cancelled and no doubt the cruise I have planned for mid June in the Med will go that way too. I am a frequent follower of travel sites from around the world so this is rather bitter sweet seeing these lovely images floating into my daily feed. It is a bit like being on a diet and working in a candy store. It is just not fair!

So while I sit on hold …. AGAIN … and … AGAIN …. I go on little trips on my computer…….On hold with KLM…… been for a while….so

I think today I will go to the Louvre –

Well that was fun. Still on hold with KLM. *sigh* Let’s go somewhere different.

Aah feel so good to get back to Africa. I loved my time growing up there. When we first arrived as immigrants from the UK we were all so terrified of the bugs. We just weren’t used to them. Imagine seeing a gecko for the first time. Growing up in England we were used to snails, slugs and spiders – but geckos …. this was a whole new kind of terror. Of course we soon got used to it and graduated to camping in the middle of the African bush with all sorts of creatures walking past our small two man tent… but that story is for another time.

Meanwhile back in Calgary – I AM STILL ON HOLD WITH KLM. And here’s the sad thing – their music sucks. It is this really soft repetitive piano style tune which does nothing to lift the spirits when you are on hold. It isn’t even spiced up with the odd human voice telling me that my “patience is appreciated”. WAIT … oh my goodness I got through. I spoke to a human. So uplifting. Joaquim is manning the phones for Delta / KLM in Chile of all places. He was so sweet – and he told me the refund will only take 21 business days – hang on – that’s 4 weeks ūüė¶

I guess I should be grateful that I wasn’t on hold with EZ-PASS – they are voted online as having the worst on hold music (if you can call it that)

At least it keeps you awake – if slightly crazy!

OK – next thing I have to do is go on hold with Air Canada …. Somebody shoot me!

Comforting sounds while “on hold”

You know what I mean about being on hold.  Anyone who has tried to redeem aeroplan points will know that you can pretty much put your phone on speaker and clean every cupboard in your kitchen while you wait.  Sometimes I think the on hold music Рor lack of it Рshows what the company actually thinks of the person on hold.

Westjet for example will have music playing and then jokes. ¬†It’s amusing and very human and can be entertaining. ¬†Except if you are a travel agent and have to phone quite often then the jokes can get old.

Some airlines I have phoned don’t even have on hold music – just a strange crackling silence interrupted every so often by an announcement that “an agent will be with you shortly”. ¬†And then there is the biggest on hold lie OF ALL TIME…..

“Your call is important to us”

…. so therefore we will keep you on hold for 2 hours. ¬†NOT.

So imagine my surprise the other day when I phoned Regent Seven Seas Cruises Air Deviation department. ¬†Let me first explain. ¬†Regent Seven Seas Cruises is a small luxury cruise line which is totally all inclusive and that means the airfare too. ¬†The flight itinerary is assigned by the cruise line based on their contracts and usually is advised between 90 – 120 days prior to departure. ¬†However if you have a specific airline you like you can do an air deviation for a fee ($175 pp) and for this you phone through to that specific department. ¬†Which I did….

First of all although I did have a bit of a hold I got a living, breathing travel agent who understood about code shared airlines and all that other secret industry stuff.

Secondly when I gave her my request she started working on it right away. ¬†WOW. ¬†How did I know? ¬†I heard her keyboard clacking away while she looked up the flights. ¬†I can’t tell you how comforting it was to hear that sound…. and I was on hold for a long time while she clattered away at her keyboard – occasionally punctuated by mutterings signalling frustration and success while she worked her way through the various airlines’ archaic booking systems.

I thought about it for a while after I put down the phone.  What was the difference between being on hold and listening to breezy bright music and being on hold listening to breathing and keyboard clacking.  The difference was that I knew something was being done Рsomeone was working on my request.  That gave me more comfort that anything else.