Ring, ring, ring - Hello this is Michael with Cetc Travel Services!
M/M Client: "Michael do you have a deal for a cruise to Alaska"?
Me: We have some amazing values along with perks to enhance our clients cruise! Let's talk about your cruise experience along with what you're looking for.
M/M Client: We saw online we can get a ocean view cabin for $xxx.xx can you beat that price, we want the the best deal.
Me: Thank you for calling our agency, we'd love to be of service to you both, it might be best for you to grab that "deal" online. We're not in the bidding business, we're in the service business. We are dedicated to our clients in enhancing their vacation offering amazing values that online sites & deals can't provide. I wish you a wonderful cruise to Alaska, thank you for calling me. Good bye.
So why the turn down from me? You, our clients know what you want, leaving the plan in our hands to provide exceptional value and servicing of your vacation. You're investing hard earned money into your vacation, we believe your vacation dollars should work as hard for you as you did for them! If you call me to beat a price you're not interested in service or value, only the cheapest fares. That's fine for you; we're happy to be of service in the future.
A future blog posting will explain why you see these low price vacations on the web and what they actual offer and represent. Today let's answer some basic questions about travel professionals and our clients.
The cost of your vacation will not be higher than the websites or deals, we often offer from our suppliers, "should you find a lower price we'll refund the difference"! In my agency we always reprice your cruise vacation at final payment should an applicable promotion or the cabin fares dropped. I've surprised many clients on mass market lines with lower final payments. If the cruise won't reprice they'll pay what they had expected.
Agency fees, why and how can charging a fee result in lower or same pricing as online? Well in reality it's might result in what appears to be slightly higher fare, now calculate the time and energy you spent shopping the vacation. Did you accomplish all your goals, such as room locations at resorts, cabins on the ship or seating on your flights? How long does it take for you to put together your own vacation online? What happens when you arrive to the hotel in Paris only to find out the rooms are 10 x 10 with no room for luggage, no elevator to your floor and the continental breakfast is coffee, juice and muffins only. You've saved $100 dollars over your deal or maybe $500 dollars over a prepared trip. Now take into account the total cost of your trip. A $5,500.00 vacation to Europe for 10 days in Paris, we offered you a package with complimentary upgraded rooms, American Breakfast and when available early check in or late check out! Our price $5,900.00 plus our fee of $125.00 for same 10 days in Paris at a property in a great walk-able hotel in a neighborhood that fits your life style. The difference in this example is $525.00 higher price upfront. Now let's compare this to your research, you spent a couple of hours a day over 5 days to decide after viewing the thousands of web sites to book a cheap pre-paid non refundable room. You'll return from Paris with photos of sites of the city, but where are the Instagram postings of the hotel, lobby, room or views from your balcony? 5 hours or more of your own personal time vs $125.00 for us to do the work? Our hotels offer cancellations options, our package offers flexibility to change room types if you wish to upgrade at check in. All for a base increase of $400.00. What if the unthinkable happens, emergency, work issues or you missed your flight to Paris, the hotel is non refundable, no changes allowed how much did this cost you? A lot more than the extra $400.00 our package may have costs you. Being penny wise and dollar foolish can and will ruin a dream vacation. Then there's our service, texting within our app for questions or assistance while traveling, emergency 24 hour service in the event of flight issues or cancellations, as well as your advocate after the vacation should even our package not meet expectations? We will work on your behalf for any legitimate disruption or undervalued component during your trip. We won't be able to help fight traffic citations that might show up a year later, other than that we are your advocates.
"When you travel without a travel expert you're traveling alone"!
You're a professional and expert in your field as we are. A travel professional spends a good amount of time learning and updating his or her knowledge of the products and services they offer. We attend meetings, regional events, ship inspections and online excellence courses for almost all products. We travel in the mindset of our clients, we share the amazing results from our clients travel with other clients.
Your travel professional should be "all about you" not a heavy handed car salesperson type. It's not about closing the booking only, if so go online you get the same results. Our agency and IC agents don't work for suppliers nor are we influenced by perks from suppliers or brokers. We're not committed to any suppliers; we work the suppliers to be committed to our agency by exceeding our clients expectations! If suppliers want us to offer their properties or products along with others the only chance to be presented is loyalty to our clients.
Shop online if you want, remember you may not see a service fee - it could be hidden, the terms and conditions of your booking can ruin all good intentions of saving money on your part. Mostly if you ask a travel professional not comparing the actual items, apples to apples so to speak you're not being fare to yourself or the travel professional.