Going above and beyond: Suppliers stepping up during the pandemic

e countless challenges caused by the pandemic. Here, Aspire agents say thank you to the suppliers who have stepped up to help them during the crisis 

Thank you to... Kirker holidays

To name just one company or person that has gone over and above during Covid-19 is so hard, but my biggest 'thank you' has to go to Kirker Holidays. The majority of Haslemere Travel bookings that were affected were with Kirker and without exception they have been extremely flexible, timely, reliable and compassionate to the client's requirements. They have always worked to find the best outcome for the client. For those who chose to take credit vouchers, they offered an extra 10% and they have even refunded deposits, when really the Ts&Cs have said the clients should forfeit these, due to disinclination to travel. It has always felt like working with friends and for that, they have my unwavering gratitude and support for the future. 

- Gemma Antrobus, managing director of Haslemere Travel

Thank you to... Sally Stileman

Throughout this pandemic, Sally at Eden LU>iury Travel has been a pleasure to work with. Ashdown Travel has had a few bookings affected by cancellations and Sally has been outstandinH. Nothing has ever been too much trouble and she has done everything with a smile despite having been under enormous pressure. She has assisted in moving booking to future dates with no additional costs as well as negotiating refunds and credit notes as needed. Sally is a true professional. 

- Nick Samuels, managing director, Ashdown Travel 

Thank you to... Jamie Taylor

I want to say a massive thank you to Africa & Beyond and particularly Jamie Taylor. Right from the start of this crisis we had bookings either due to leave imminently or travelling in the future who wanted to change or cancel. We spent many hours talking through each booking to work out the best solutions for those individual clients (I am sure I drove him mad!), but at all times Jamie remained super professional, efficient and completely honest about everything. I have always loved working with Africa & Beyond - as a fellow Aito member we share the same ethos on service and ensuring we do what's right for each client. I look forward to growing our business together 1?ven more so in the future.

- Bianca Wassell, co-owner of The Travel Concept 

Thank you to... Deb Matthews

Deb Matthews at Carrier has gone above and beyond, working out of hours to help with my clients throughout this pandemic and offering a service that is second to none. Whether its 11 pm or a weekend, she's still happy to help! A huge shout out to all the team at Carrier. I have heard many horror stories of how certain operators have been over the last few months, however, Carrier has been exceptional in how it has dealt with my bookings; dealing with changes quickly and efficiently and giving refunds within 14 days, which is incredible! Carrier makes my job much easier, and keeps my clients happy, so a massive thanks to all. I would also like to thank Ben Murtagh at Elegant Resorts for working all hours and taking on a high number of enquiries - he's also been very flexible with those who have unfortunately cancelled. 

- Dan Salmon, owner of Never A Wasted Journey 

Thank you to... Katherine Terry

I'd love to say thank you to Katherine at Knighton Reeve for being a complete star through all of thi,s. Whether it's been an amendment, cancellation or ne,w booking (woo hoc!), she has been so on it for me throughout. 

- Charlotte Craig, founder of Paper Plane Travel 

Thank you to... Chris Hamlin

Can I give a shout out to Chris Hamlin who is an Africa specialist at Abercrombie & Kent. He has helped me with the postponement of two holidays to Africa for some very important clients of mine. Despite their numerous demands he was always helpful and full of ideas, even though he himself is under huge pressure at the moment. We were even able to upsell one of them by an extra £30,000, which made all the hassle worthwhile. 

- Richard Frampton, travel manager at Hurlingham Travel Services 

Thank you to... Farzana and Neil Dobbs

I would like to say a huge thank you to Farzana and Neil Dobbs at the Travel Gallery. Their passion, positivity and hard work has been outstanding. They have provided great support during the crisis. Recently we had a booking with a tough budget, and Neil and Farzana worked tirelessly to get the client exactly what they wanted and we managed to secure it. Their negotiation skills are second to none! In addition, they've also been a great support for us to bounce ideas off and discuss how best to manage our businesses during this tough time. We look forward to a long, lasting relationship and working together more in the future. 

- Mark Swords, owner of Swords Travel

Thank you to... Julie Barker

I want to thank Julie Barker, sales and ops manager at Carrier. Julie helped me with a client who returned early from a trip and then had a tough time with his insurance. She worked tirelessly and we got a great result and a happy client.

- Clare Levy, owner of Different Planet Travel 

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