Location: Aberdeen
Wanted: A family of four – mum, dad, and two kids aged six and eight – want a summer holiday in Turkey. They want lots of activities for the kids, and a kids’ club. They have never been to Turkey before so would like plenty of advice about airports, airlines and which resorts would suit them, as well as guidance about details such as visas, security and their passports.
Budget: £3,500

Barrhead Travel
Union Square Shopping Centre, Guild Street
 85%

Impressions: The shop looked very inviting with modern décor and staff had smart uniforms.

Service: A smiling agent politely offered to help immediately. She was familiar with Turkey and asked for my budget and who was travelling with me.

We talked about resorts and hotels as well as the possibility of booking an airport hotel in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

She was very knowledgeable about family holidays in Turkey and told me about the visas we would need, which would be US$20 each.

The agent said she likes Turkey a great deal and gave me her undivided attention – spending a lot of time to find the best hotel that would match my requirements.

Quotes: Both quotes were for seven nights, flying from Glasgow to Dalaman airport in July, staying at the Grand Yazici Club Marmaris Palace on an all-inclusive basis.

The first was with Thomas Cook and would cost £3,008, with the option of a sea view or bigger rooms for extra payments.

The second was at the same hotel, with easyJet flights, for £3,000.

The hotel was family-friendly and offered a mini club, playground, children’s pool and sporting facilities, including various water sports. There was also a spa, and several restaurants and bars. (asked Sam for name of hotel)

I got two quotations for the same hotel as I preferred that property to the others we considered.

Overall: The service was great, the agent enthusiastic and the shopper really liked the hotel.

Thomas Cook
335-337 Union Street
84%

Impression: The decoration and lighting seemed rather dated but the staff were in uniform and it was easy to find the brochures needed from the shelf displays.

Service: There were only two staff members of staff – one was busy with a customer and the other was behind the foreign currency counter, so I asked the latter for help.

I was asked about who was travelling, our budget and preferred airport.

The first thing I was told about was the cost of visas and the application process.

We looked at four different options from a range of airports.

Extras such as insurance and airport hotels were mentioned but I did not get quotes for those.

Quotes: Both quotes were for all-inclusive seven-night Thomas Cook holidays, at Thomas Cook hotel brands, flying from Edinburgh with easyJet in July.

The first was at SunConnect Grand Ideal Premium for £2,366. It had a kids’ club and outdoor pool with a waterslide.

If I paid extra for the flights, I could book seats with more leg room and choose seats for each family member.

The second was at Sentido Orka Lotus Beach for £3,176.

The agent told me the sea view is stunning and I can pay extra to upgrade.

Overall: Good service and quotations but let down by the dated shop décor.

Ramsay World Travel
23 Crown Street
80%

Impression: The windows were full of promotions and special offers, and the atmosphere in the store was friendly.

Service: It wasn’t busy so I was greeted and offered help immediately by a polite, enthusiastic agent.

The agent tried very hard to find the best package to suit my budget and offer facilities for the kids such as water parks and beaches.

The agent said the destinations were popular and offered great value for money.

However, the quotes I received were written out by hand and I would have preferred a printout.

I was advised to think about the quotes and told the shop would be open on the following day if I wanted to make a booking.

There was no mention of extras such as travel insurance or airport hotels, despite there being room in the budget for them.

Quotes: Both quotes were for seven-night all-inclusive Thomas Cook holidays in July.

The first was flying from Edinburgh with easyJet, staying at Grand Cettia, Marmaris, for £2,329.

The second would be flying from Glasgow with Thomas Cook, staying at the Paloma Oceana Resort, Side, for £2,839. Both had kids’ clubs and pools with waterslides.

Overall: Excellent customer service but hand-written quotes seemed out-dated and they could have done more with the budget.


Winning agent

Linda Archibald, sales consultant

“I have been on holiday every year to Turkey with my family for 14 years, so I knew what would offer the best value for the customer. Turkey is becoming more popular again. It is safe for families to visit – and it’s really good value too.”


Verdict

The shopper would have been happy to book any of the hotels suggested but Barrhead tipped the balance as the property it suggested had the ‘wow’ factor.

The service from all the agents was praised – but Thomas Cook’s agency looked rather outdated and Ramsay World Travel is behind the times with its hand-written quotes. There was room in the budget to offer quotes for extras.


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The top-scoring agent each weeks bags a £25 Amazon or Love2Shop voucher, courtesy of Elite Island Resorts.

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