One of the more frustrating aspects of being a travel professional is that so many people are unaware of what our job actually entails. You know what is involved. I know what is involved. And anyone that reads the Travel Agent Diary series knows what is involved. But often it seems no one else understands.
Most of our clients don’t get it. They think that we just push a few buttons on some website and—presto there’s a trip. Many times, even our own partners—our travel suppliers don’t understand.
As strange as that seems, it is true. Aren’t we all in the same industry? The issue is not the industry, but the different goals of the two segments. Agents are poised to please the client—period. And while suppliers also want to please a client, their main goal is to sell berths, beds, or seats. The process we use to engage and please our clients is usually of little concern.
But on occasion, they listen. And when they do it is very refreshing! Take Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruise and Royal Caribbean International. Last week, they stepped up to the plate and proved they were listening.
In the past, we notified you via email or fax on the day of cancellation. That may have made it difficult, at times, to reach your clients in order to receive authorization for final payment.
Based on the feedback from our valued Travel Partners, that you wanted additional notification prior to final payment, we have now enhanced our ability to notify you of bookings with a balance due.
As we all know, clients have a way of disappearing just as final payments become due. With most agents juggling many bookings, sometimes a final payment date can be missed. In days gone by, the suppliers would readily give you an extension, but today? Not so much.
While this announcement is not game changing, it does offer the agent a bit of breathing room. And it really has not added any additional burden to the supplier. Now, regardless of our internal alarms and reminders, the cruise line will proactively remind us in advance which truly helps us do our jobs more effectively. And for that, I say thank you!
Does this little change help you? Are there other policies that suppliers sound consider changing? Let’s talk about it!