Last week, AAA (the American Automobile Association) announced plans to hire hundreds of work-from-home travel agents — real humans — in 22 cities across the country.
AAA is mostly known for their roadside assistance (AKA, the disgruntled guy named “Bill” who shows up in a tow truck, hocks a loogie, and fixes your flat tire).
But, as it turns out, they’re also one of the largest (and oldest) travel agencies in the US — and they’re going up against a self-empowered generation of internet bookers.
If you haven’t noticed, travel’s changed
It used to be that if you wanted to book a trip, you’d hop on down to a physical travel agency office, and have a human help you out.
Now, in the age of the internet, anyone can be their own travel agent: It’s easy enough to find an Airbnb or hotel, plan a road trip with Google Maps, or scope potential destinations from Instagram. But, that comes with the burden of sifting through an overwhelming amount of information.
AAA want to bring back simpler times via a human touch
Over the years, AAA has garnered a reputation for its customer service and strong agent-customer relationships. But, if their travel agency reviews are any indication, they’ll have some work to do.
“AAA works for car breakdowns,” writes one customer, “but beyond that, nah.”