Thumbs Down to Resort Fees! | TravelResearchOnline


Thumbs Down to Resort Fees!

If you send a client to a hotel property, should the supplier charge a non-commissionable “resort fee” to the client? Where have we heard that tactic before? NCF’s anyone? And she’s a little cranked out by BDMs who don’t return calls for weeks! Hey, let’s take care of business! If you want to report something well done by a supplier, a res agent, or rep, we are happy to give them some coverage in TRO’s Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down. If you have a problem with airlines, tour companies, etc. or getting commissions, maybe we can assist. Contact Les-Lee at

Picture Gate 1, I don’t know what they’re doing out there, but all of a sudden, clients are asking about this company.  Could it be more intensive online marketing?  Hey it’s a THUMBS UP for working with travel agents.  They may advertise what appears to be low rates, but they are up front on the optionals for tours and the additional costs. Often they are commissionable.Here’s where good travel agents can take the time to put pen to paper and make comparisons between suppliers for their clients.  They can then explain who is offering what, and book the tour that best fills their clients’ needs, and budget. The last thing an agent wants to hear is,  a client complaining  that their trip cost more for the options they had to sign up for on the tour and why didn’t the agent warn them?

Picture I guess I am on an escalator with Viking River Cruises.  One month I praise them and another month, well, it’s a different story.THUMBS DOWN for their recent promo that offered 2 for 1 on an air promotion.  On July 29th, an agent called for info on booking clients 14 months in advance, she was told that full payment had to be made by July 31st – no exceptions.  The clients felt that paying that far ahead, with penalties for cancellations, was something they didn’t want to do.Viking’s res person kept calling the travel agent for payment and said, since they were past passengers, if the travel agent didn’t close the deal, maybe she could.  Did that mean she was going to call the client’s directly???The agent had to make a separate booking and decided to work with someone else at Viking.  Sure enough, the new res person, said the promo had been extended through Sept, and notification to travel agents hadn’t been sent out yet.  When she asked why the first res agent didn’t mention that, she was told that the res agents get their own “spiff” and earnings to collect in advance. Hey, aren’t we supposed to work together??

Picture THUMBS DOWN for Princess and a mattress experience. The client went to lay down on her bed for an afternoon nap, and was practically impaled by a spring that broke through the mattress.  She called housekeeping and was told she would have a new one soon.  Well, soon meant about 2am, since it took that long to find another mattress from goodness knows where. The maintenance men told the client she would have to make the bed herself, no one from housekeeping was available.The client lost a night’s sleep, but she did get the customary bottle of wine for her inconvenience.  But she couldn’t’t take it to the dining room without paying a corkage fee!Luckily, she took pictures of the protruding weapon, and sent them to her travel agent to forward to Princess.  

Picture How long should an agent wait for a BDM to return a call for a group request.  Is three weeks too long?  I think so, especially when the sailing date is only 4 months away!  The Holland America BDM said she could not get an answer from headquarters for that period of time, since everyone in charge was in Europe for the inaugural for the New Amsterdam. The agent couldn’t wait for the answer, so she booked the group with a host agency in a different territory with a different BDM who already had the necessary info in place.  THUMBS DOWN for the first BDM who lost a chunk of business!

Picture This is strange, a THUMBS UP for Alamo car rentals!  All the car companies offer a gas pre-pay program, bring the car back empty and pay a certain amount for the gas.  If you don’t sign up for the program, the gas may cost over $4 a gallon.  Agents have reported that Alamo is charging less for their pre-pay than the gas stations in the area are charging. I personally checked out a couple of areas, and found it to be true.  Also, I found the closest stations to the airport were BP, and they weren’t very busy.

Picture Speaking of pre-pay, more and more of the hotels are now going that way.  I’m not talking about the wholesalers, I mean hotels booked through a GDS.  Used to be a lot of Holiday Inns  offered pre-pay savings.  Now, most of the international hotels, and plenty of the domestic ones have special rates.  Some don’t even call it pre-pay , but use AP (payment in advance).  Agents have to check to see what is commissionable. It’s been reported that some of the usual 10% is now 8% for these properties. Thumbs Up.

Picture Continuing with hotels and resorts, we are not savvy to the “resort fees” added to the cost of some properties.  These can include the phone service, mini refrigerator, safe, fitness center, internet, and maybe the infamous chocolate mints on the pillows.  Who knows?  All we did know was that the resort fees were a way for the property to get revenue and not include it in the commissions paid to us, the agents   THUMBS DOWN to those resorts!Recently, some properties, notably in Las Vegas,  have been removing the resort fee and adding it to the total.  THUMBS UP for their honesty and working with agents.

 Picture   A THUMBS UP for the lucky agents who have mentioned they are getting great personal rates for sailings that are not booked up.  And they are finding deals using frequent flier mileage. Last minute! Also, a THUMBS UP for nostalgia.  How many agents are listening to Golden Oldies stations?  How about the Malt Shop Cruise- a full ship charter with entertainers like Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Doo Wop groups, etc. How about a supplier that welcomes travel agents and pays a decent commission.  Not the $25 referral fee that some companies offer.  Sixthman is one of the few. How many of you are humming a favorite song right now??

  3 thoughts on “Thumbs Down to Resort Fees!

  1. Julie says:

    I’m confused on the thumls up for the pre-pay hotels in the GDS… “Agents have to check to see what is commissionable. It’s been reported that some of the usual 10% is now 8% for these properties. Thumbs Up.” If the commission dropped two percent, why the thumbs up?

  2. Les Lee Roland says:

    It’s Thumbs Up for the companies who have added the resort charges to the commishionable rates.

  3. Margie says:

    I am so missing your thumbs up/thumbs down……..where r u?

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