This review was written a decade ago, an unfortunate experience with a previously lauded local travel firm which we all know for their student discounts, and somewhat coordinated corporate image; GTS International Travel Agency. Hopefully they’ve changed their attitude, but this warning still stands.
I booked a ticket to the States on August 8th, 1999. The ticket must be paid for by the end of September at a cost of 14.000 CZK. On the 28th of September I arrive with the cash in hand at their office. "Your flight has been cancelled," they inform me.
I wonder, how this could be?
"It’s not our fault, British Airways cancelled the flight," the stern and defensive representative went on. I had felt like I was dealing with GTS and here I should have been calling the airline; I thought that this was their job! So I enquired about the timing of the cancellation.
"August 12th," was the reply.
I was shocked. It was the biggest holiday travelling season in world history and I lost six weeks of time where I could have been searching for an alternative.
"You are going to sit down," they warned me, if I was going to get any help in rebooking something at substantially higher cost. I had a meeting, I had things to do, and I was in a panic. I had worked with this company for years and I wondered why they didn’t feel the need to call me, since they had my number right there on the screen where the flight was cancelled? I have a mobile phone.
"We called you…" the nasty supervisor lied baldfacedly.
"I didn’t even receive a message…" I thought, wondering what they’d do, try once and give up?
"We couldn’t reach you." she lied again, as if she remembered, or cared. They then offered me a ticket that was 4.000 CZK more than my previous ticket, and they would only hold it for one day. I explained that I booked my ticket early because I wanted the best price and I won’t have the time to come in tomorrow.
"You’re American, you can use your credit card." was the presumptuous reply. The contempt for me as a customer led me to walkout, but I still felt panic about the reservations at this late date. So off I went to the main office of GTS to find out how they feel about their customers and this situation. Although slightly more polite, they were barely more helpful, arguing about the price of the original ticket, and offering only a thousand crown discount on the new one. I don’t have the computer with all the information about prices, so I was at a decided disadvantage in the argument, which I didn’t really want to have at all.
I wasted most of my day and energy on them, and still I felt pretty shitty, so I couldn’t really justify paying them anything, and figured better service is worth the extra thousand. This company feels so smug because they have their little logo, and think that they have a monopoly on student travel; they don’t, there are other travel agencies who might be more customer oriented and take the ISIC, GO26, and other student cards. I was promptly woken at 7:30 in the morning two days later, with a message that since I didn’t pay, they cancelled.