The Booking.com Travel Agency

Photo: Yonghyun Lee / Unsplash

A man enters the booking.com travel agency.

“Good morning there! Welcome to the booking.com travel agency. How can I help you?”

“Hi. My wife and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary. I want to surprise her with a romantic weekend in Paris.”

“Lovely. Where are you going and when?”

“Well, Paris. Next weekend.”

“Excellent, the historic city centre of Paris, next weekend.”

The employee types and looks at the computer screen.

“You want to go to Paris during a very popular period. There’s a 76% increase of people looking for a place to stay there. I recommend booking soon.”

“Well, I’m here now? What’s on offer?”

“’Chez Madrigal’, a ten-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, excellent for two people, free wifi and it’s heated.”

“Are you offering any unheated hotels? Well, that sounds splendid, let’s go ahead and book…”

“Sorry. It’s gone.”

“Excuse me?”

“You just missed it. Very popular dates apparently. The last room just sold out.”

“Then why are you proposing this hotel?”

“It’s wonderful and gets a 9.7 on average for the location.”

The man sighs.

“Alright. Anything else on offer?”

“’Le Méridien Etoile’, a typical residence in the rustic style from the 17th century with antique furniture.”

“Ah, my wife is very keen on antique furni…”

“This place is in high demand, there’s only 1 room left on this site. It has been booked 12 times in the last 6 hours.”

“Please, could you calm down for a bit?”

“Somebody from Belgium booked a room in this hotel 32 minutes ago.”

“So what? What are the rates?”

“250 euros per night.”

“Jeez! Don’t you have anything more affordable?”

“’Royal Saint Honore’ is available for only 100 euros per night. That’s a rare find, usually it’s booked months in advance. You’re very lucky! I would make a reservation right now before it’s sold out.”

“Please, could you be a little less agitated? This is a nice place to stay?”

“Visitors rate it with an 8.9 on average. Veronica from the Czech Republic calls it ‘magical’, it felt like home.”

“Well, that sounds excellent.”

“I like to give you the full picture. Maura from Israel disliked it heavily and rated it 3.8. Mugur from Romania was awake all night because of mosquitos. Jacqueline from England was disgusted by the mold in the bathroom.”

“Wait a second. Are we talking about the same place?”

“Bruno from Germany compares the interior to a fairytale. Chris from Australia was really satisfied with the modern clean bathroom. Jeanine from the USA was startled by the beauty of the room.”

“I’m confused.”

“96% of all guests rated this hotel as good or better than their expectations.”

“You know what?”

“Yes?”

“We’ll stay at home. I’m going to make a reservation at a restaurant.”

“Oh, but we’ve also added that to our services. I could make a reservation for you”

“I would prefer that you don’t.”

“84% of all restaurants have a reservation already, but there’s this lovely Thai that has a single unreserved table. Kelly from Austria writes that it saved her marriage. Bob from Norway found cockroaches in his food. Somebody from Poland made a reservation 12 minutes ago.”

“Goodbye.”

This post originally appeared in Dutch in the 73th edition of De Circulaire, my biweekly newsletter.

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