OK, so the headline is a bit extreme or perhaps misleading, and the answer is simple–you don’t! But this is a question that a “professional” asked on a public forum. After picking my jaw up from the floor, I realized that a reminder on the importance of upholding professionalism in this industry is paramount.
Here’s the question–verbatim. I have redacted the specific property and am not specifying the particular forum to maintain my own sense of professionalism.
[Name Redacted Resort] in Cabo – has anyone tried to sort of sneak on an extra person for part of the stay? Since it’s not AI, I wasn’t sure how strict they were. I have a client who’s MIL will come join them for like 2-3 nights, so just trying to figure out the best way for them to do that and I wasn’t sure how hard it was to get on site! 🙂
Yes, the smiley face was part of the question!
I find it beyond the pale of professionalism for an agent to commit fraud and be party to theft of services when planning a vacation for clients. As professionals we must uphold ourselves to the highest ethics in business. Agents who are not treated well by their partner suppliers are the first to complain about the supplier standards. If we want to be recognized by our trade as professionals we must act as such.
The other question begs to ask, why would you not want to add the extra person to the record? After all, this is a commissionable product. What agent wants to cheat themselves out of their due earnings? We work very hard on our clients’ behalf to provide the best services and for that we should be properly compensated. This agent is allowing the client to also steal from her.
Not only is this agent abetting theft of services, but also teaching her client that cheating a resort may even be possible. If this were to happen, and the extra guest discovered by the resort…best case a change of rate to full rack rate for the entirety of the stay. Worst case… thrown off of the property. You know as well as I, the client will be outraged and probably tell management the agent said it was perfectly fine to add another guest. Not only will the agent stand to lose the commission, but if the client refuses to pay the additional charges, the agent will be charged back. So now, not only has the agent committed fraud, but also stands to lose money.
This is a situation where the client needed to be told upfront that this is a a request that the travel agency cannot consider. Theft is theft! Plain and simple. Would you try to sneak someone into the theater or other venue?
Since I have begun writing this column, I went back to see comments by other agents. Happily, not one agent has replied to support this scheme. All have voiced the opinion this is a poor decision on the part of the agent.
Let’s keep our ethical standards to the highest degree of professionalism. Cheating, discounting and other poor practices just make the travel industry as a whole look unprofessional.
Adrienne Sasson, with Rubinsohn Travel in Jenkintown, PA, has been creating travel memories for clients for over 16 years as a travel professional. She has been successful in brand creation and is well versed in sound marketing, continuing education, and creating strong relationships. Adrienne has been asked to speak at the NY Times Travel Show and contributes to industry magazines both for agents and consumers.