I have been in the industry since 1990. Many mark that time period in airline years: deregulation, commission cuts, commission elimination, airline bankruptcies and mergers.
I see dead companies: Club America, Far and Wide, Happy Vacations. Those were the days.
Travel agencies are not liable for the acts, errors or failures of tour operators; unless, of course, they make themselves so. It’s a fact of life: tour operators go out of business. Here is how to protect yourself when they do. Read the rest of this entry »
No travel agent should ever allow any client to travel without having first advised the client of the availability and advisability of travel insurance. Clients, looking to save a few dollars, may opt not to purchase coverage, but the smart travel counselor will always recommend insurance. Travel agent forums like TRO’s Community are filled with stories of clients traveling to distant lands and then falling ill, becoming injured or otherwise experiencing some hardship that a good insurance policy might have covered.
Clients will often ask about issues with which the travel agent is not immediately familiar. Such questions range from entry requirements for other countries to laws governing marriage and divorce abroad. Indeed, the business of travel planning sometimes impinges on some areas where the travel counselor is not at all expert. Some issues are of particular importance to a client’s decision to go to a given destination. For example, clients will often inquire about the safety of a destination, medical tourism, traveler health issues or even typical weather and climate.
In most instances, travel agents are best served first by common sense, and secondly by a good set of standard operating procedures that ensures all information provided the client is documented. While no travel agent is a guarantor of the safety or health of a client, travel counselors can inadvertently take additional risks upon themselves by providing guarantees or by providing incorrect information. Read the rest of this entry »