Negotiating Rates and Fares With Travel Agents

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It seems that a whole generation of travelers is so conditioned to use the Internet for booking travel that they do not even know how a travel agent works. These travelers use the search and selection method to find the best rates and rates online. And if this method does not reveal an affordable price, they might start wondering if a travel agent – a real, living person – could get a price cut. Many agents have received an anonymous call from a prospective traveler wishing to negotiate tariffs.

Although agents have access to unpublished discounts and pre-negotiated travel fares, most do not have the ability to negotiate prices. Agents do not set travel rates; they quote them. When they find a better price, this is not usually the case because they have lowered the rate to attract your customers. it's because they've literally found a lower price.

There are exceptions, of course. Each agency has different policies, and some allow their agents to offer discounted rates in certain situations. For the lowest rates to be approved, the agent would likely have to offer a lower competing bid and convincingly demonstrate why the rate should be updated. To be clear, this type of reduction comes from the commission of the agent and the agency. So, the agent and the agency would need a very good reason to even think about it. At a minimum, the standard commission on the vacation in question must be important and the client must be of strategic importance.

In other words, a $ 29 hotel rate is not negotiable.

When you ask an agent to negotiate, you basically ask him to subsidize your vacation – in the same way that a newly hired couple could ask the groom's father to finance part of the honeymoon. Many agents will respond to these requests by saying, "I'll see what I can do." Then, the agent will look for, often successfully, a lower fare.

Real stories of trenches

Each agent has his own series of stories involving clients who misunderstand the operation of travel agents. Here are a few:

  1. The customer finds a lower price than the market for a hotel room during an event weekend through our online travel agency. The customer reserves the room online, but does not select the right type of room. The client calls the week before the event and asks to spend the reservation in a larger room at the same rate. Unfortunately, the hotel did not have larger rooms. We could not remedy the lack of rooms in the first hotel, but we located another room in another hotel.
  2. The customer calls and requests a reduced rate on a hotel in Cabo. The dates and choice of the hotel were not flexible. We find the reduced rate at a prepaid rate. The customer says very well, he will take the rate, but not an advance payment basis. Hotels, like airlines, offer discounted rates for customers who pay in advance. As a general rule, an agent can not book a prepaid rate for payment on arrival.
  3. The client calls and says that she has found a travel agent rate in a resort and that she wants us to book her vacation at this rate. Travel agent rates apply to travel agents; Anyone making a reservation with such a rate will have to present a piece of ID at the hotel or resort when checking in. An agent can not book a travel agent fee under another person's name, nor can an agent buy the room at that rate and resell it to a customer.

The bottom line is this: Agents can save you money on your vacation and your business trips, but there are sometimes limits to what they can accomplish.


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