Etihad to appease angry travel agents with new booking system

Travel agents are becoming disgruntled with Etihad Holidays because the operator’s phone lines are permanently jammed, according to general manager Nick Wood.

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By  Gemma Greenwood Published  October 2, 2006

Travel agents are becoming disgruntled with Etihad Holidays because the operator’s phone lines are permanently jammed, according to general manager Nick Wood. “We are getting complaints from agents that they can’t get through to us. We have taken on more staff, but we are still having problems because we are so busy,” he conceded. “It’s a nice position to be in I suppose, but we need to solve the issue.” Fortunately, Etihad Holidays is developing a new “fully integrated tour operator system” that will be able to process large volumes of bookings, Wood revealed. “It will transform the way we work with travel agents and direct our guests in terms of taking and administrating bookings,” he said. A launch date for the system is yet to be announced, but Wood assured ATN it would be implemented next year. In the meantime, he is looking to recruit additional staff to join the 20-strong workforce at Etihad Holidays’ call centre. Wood would not comment on whether he was looking to poach Emirates Holidays staff, but said: “We are taking on people with experience and who want to live in Abu Dhabi. We are not picking people from any particular source. Many recruits have worked for travel agencies for a number of years and so they have product knowledge and know the local market well.”

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