Mouse World Vacations – A market shift

Posted on by in Travel Agent Diaries

There used to be a time when travel agents were partners with airlines. There used to be a time, when we could work together for our mutual benefit. There used to be a time when I was not spitting mad at Delta.

It all started with an innocent mistake. A client was getting married and was busy planning all aspects of the big event. They turned to me for their honeymoon.  I booked them into a nice cruise to the Mexican Rivera with flights that they had requested.  After I sent out the packet from my agency with all the information, confirmations, and extras, I got that dreaded call from the client.

“Those dates are wrong

When the panic attack subsided I went back and checked all the emails we had exchanged and found that I indeed had missed something. A little note at the bottom of one email thread did specify a final choice for the date and I simply missed it.

Since the customer is always right (and they really were in this casa),and it was in writing, I had to get this corrected and fast. Royal Caribbean was great they were able to find me a cabin on the correct sailing and re-arrange the dining to meet my clients’ desires. There was a nominal fee and I was happy to pay for it.

And then I had to deal with Delta.

The change in airfare was over $300 per ticket plus the  $150 change fee. I explained the situation to no avail. I asked for a supervisor. The supervisor, of course, did nothing to help and I explained that I was a travel agent who booked over $40,000 worth of Delta flights last year. “Oh you’re a travel agent. That will be an extra $50 per ticket because we did not run it.” It took all the will in my body to not lay down a thick carpet of obscenities..

In utter disbelief, I reaffirmed, “You’re adding $50 more per ticket because I’m a travel agent?”

“Yes the total change price for those tickets is now $1000.”

“But the original price of the tickets was less than $500 for both,” I stammered.

“Those are our policies, sorry”

I called Southwest Airlines and booked two new tickets for less then half of just the change fee Delta wanted.

It’s bad enough that the Airlines took away all commissions and induce consumers to bypass travel agents and book directly with them, but now they add additional fees because we did their work. And to boot, they were willing to give up $40,000 in revenue to stick to their guns.

After that fiasco, you can bet that I have not booked any more Delta/Northwest flights. Being in Salt Lake City (a Delta hub) makes it difficult, but I still have found my way to more consumer and agent friendly airlines–Southwest first and foremost. And so far, my clients are loving the free bags, better service and lower pricing.

And me? Well, I get the satisfaction of diverting over $22,000 of market share (so far in 2010) away from Delta/Northwest.

Graig Wilkins (odd spelling and all) is a home based travel agent specializing in Disney destinations worldwide. He is the Owner /Manger of Mouse World Vacations and can be reached at Graig@MouseWorldVacations.com or www.MouseWorldVactions.com

  4 thoughts on “Mouse World Vacations – A market shift

  1. 1Pete says:

    It’s no wonder the airlines all went broke….

  2. 1Arlene says:

    Good for you. Can’t the airlines see a good thing when they have it? We work for free, at least help us out when an honest mistake is made. Maybe give us 3 strikes before we are out of luck!

  3. 1Reid says:

    At this rate they will all go out of business and then we will get the train system that are available to travelers in both Europe and Asia!!

    Reid

  4. 1Christine says:

    Soutwest are the smart ones and they have great customer service. I really try to avoid all those other air lines. I have the same issue with Carnival Cruise line with their new Early Saver program, they have lower the prices all right, you receive no extral points if you use those prices there is no refund for the client if they have to cancel long before the penalty period starts. The base price has lowered and they have raised the port charges and taxes, less they have to pay an agent, and now we have to print their documents, many of my clients feel they do not want an e-mail sent to them. They have paid a lot of money and now all they get is a stinking E-mail, so many times I print my clients doucments for them and place it in a nice folder. Presentation does count…! Now they have our clients e-mail addresses and they are contacting them to book directly with them. I have had clients come back and tell me. I use Carnival only if I really have too and I make sure that my client understands if they need to change a name or someone can not go they loose that money, if they book with Royal Caribbean, Norwwgian or just about any other cruise line you will not have that problem. After my last group with them, 64 people I had, they stuck it to me big time. I sent them a letter they did not even have the courtsey to respond, even the sale rep states he does not have control over the policy. Now my groups are with other cruise lines. They have great customer service and are so willing to work with agents. Please beware…see the hand writing on the wall…!

Share your thoughts on “Mouse World Vacations – A market shift”

You must be logged in to post a comment.