Mystery shopper: New York in winter

Mystery shopper: New York in winter

Location:Wimbledon, London
Wanted: Two friends want to visit New York in December for at least four nights. They would like a three or four-star hotel and to see a Broadway show and the Empire State Building.
Budget: £3,000

Flight Centre
13 The Broadway
95%

The marketing in the shop windows was displayed with clarity and all of the employees were neatly dressed in business suits. I was acknowledged and welcomed as soon as I walked in. The agent was very friendly, detailed and extremely knowledgeable, and personalised the interaction. She spent a lot of time researching and speaking to an operator. I was offered a stay at the Gild Hall hotel or the Lexington Hotel for £2,568 including transfers and flights with United Airlines. There was also an option to visit five attractions for £32. Overall, the process was efficient, enthusiastic and easy, and I would highly recommend this service.

Thomas Cook
8 Wimbledon Hill Road
90%

The shop was clean and spacious, and I was acknowledged almost immediately by the agent as I entered the shop. I was offered the four-star Hilton Manhattan East hotel for £2,482 or the three-star DoubleTree by Hilton for £2,376, plus excursions through Attraction World. The hotels were both ideally locatedand the service was good but I thoughtthe agent could have done moreto paint a picture of the trip.

Sovereign Travel
74 High Street
74%

This agent was quite knowledgeable and also called an operator for more information. She was very thorough in terms of fact‑finding about my hotel and flights and I was quoted £2,716 to stay at The Lexington in a two-bedroom suite. However, no excursions were talked about and no itinerary planned, as the agent suggested it was best to book online elsewhere. I left with the essentials but would have liked more city information.


Winning agent: Aisling Martin, assistant manager

"I have worked at Flight Centre for two years and really enjoy finding holidays for people. Looking up new and exciting places is one of the best parts and if I have been somewhere I will always give advice from my own experience."


Verdict

The winner combined enthusiasm with excellent product knowledge and offered the best advice about attractions in New York.

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