Concierge requests can typically be predictable at times: bouquet of flowers in the room, affordable chauffeur services, two twin beds instead of a double – and these days even a chauffeur in-car wifi is no longer frowned upon. But some guests can make truly outlandish hotel requests, explains entertainment and production specialists at Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT), Elizabeth Estment and Simon Clayton.
The duo shares with NOWinSA their fair share of wacky and weird demands they’ve had to deal with over the years.
- A custom-built airport lounge
Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of special attention after a long flight? One client insisted on having a 45-metre red carpet welcome at the airport as well as her own private, custom-built lounge. Even the immigration officials played their part in making her feel special, and she was allowed to have her passport controlled in her special lounge.
- A chauffeur who can also act as a travel guide
Suffering from a slight case of agoraphobia, one client insisted she didn’t want to have too many people in her entourage. She requested a black SUV to take her around South Africa, and asked for a chauffeur who could double as a tour guide as she didn’t want to have to interact with two different people in the car.
- A hotel room with exactly the right ‘chi’
“Don’t mess with my chi,” was the warning of one client, who believed strongly in staying in a room with exactly the right energy channels which would fuel his creative processes.
The client changed rooms seven times before settling on a room with the right ‘chi’. However, he did request seven additional lamps in his room for more ambient lighting. His bed also needed to be moved to the right side of the room to allow the energy to flow freely.
- An animatronic baby elephant
Imagine crossing a busy airport terminal with a baby elephant at your side.
One client decided to travel with what looked like a live baby elephant. His appearance with the elephant caused quite a lot of upheaval around the airport and the hotel. The live elephant was in fact, a very beautifully-made animatronic baby elephant, which the client needed for a movie shoot.
- Only green fruit, please!
There’s nothing lovelier than arriving at your hotel room and finding a colourful fruit basket. Not for this client however. She insisted that there would only be green fruit in her welcome basket.
FCBT (Flight Centre Business Travel) has recognised the unique travel requirements and logistics that groups and incentives, sports, film and production industries specifically require – which is why it has a division solely focused on managing various clients’ travel needs.
Named one of Deloitte’s Best Companies to Work For in 2017, the company offers insights and dedicated service needed to maximise budgets and deliver value to any travel requirements.