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travel agent consulting fee

Southampton
8 posts
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travel agent consulting fee

I am planning my first all inclusive vacation to the Cancun/Mayan area and am seeking info from a recommended travel agent in the Med Hat area.

I have posed the usual questions like what's included in the package, prices for resorts and different flight availabilities. So far the agent has provided me with quotes on about 8 different resorts and their flight times. My fiance and I have decided that there is a particular flight that we want to take so I've now asked which resorts have space available according to this one flight.

She has come back to me saying that due to the 'extensive' research she has already done for me and in addition to what I Have now asked for, it's 'company policy' to charge a $50/person non-refundable fee to provide further information. Upon booking this fee will be applied to our final payment.

Has anyone ever heard of this 'consulting fee' line before? It's also interesting to point out that the reason I have gone to this agent is due to my fiance's job status, he offered a discount from her office. I have asked however, she's never said exactly how much this discount is; I have sourced her quotes against another agent and sounds to be extremely minimal if at all.

Any advice/thoughts would be helpful.

Thanks

Level Contributor
2,033 posts
134 reviews
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1. Re: travel agent consulting fee

I know agents have fees; I don't use them.

Here's an article that, although from 1997 and American, provides some insight www.chaffey.com/hffo9805/may98_4.htm

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
70 posts
48 reviews
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2. Re: travel agent consulting fee

Generally speaking, this is becoming more and more common. Reason being - more and more travel services (including airlines, hotels, tour operators etc) no longer pay commissions to travel agents to save costs. Travel agents need to make their money somewhere so they charge their customers these fees.

Places like AMA (where we book travel through) doesn't charge these surcharges because they make it up through member fees but almost all independent travel agents will charge commissions on just about everything.

Hope this helps.

halifax
2 posts
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3. Re: travel agent consulting fee

I've been a full-time travel agent since 1989. The industry has had many changes since I began working and most importantly Tour Operators and Airlines trying to cut out the middle man. Please keep in mind that travel agents are still paid a commission on the holiday that you describe, but due to the fact that the internet is becoming an increasingly popular booking source our jobs are becoming more and more time consuming. The reason that you were asked for a deposit is to ensure that if the agent takes more time to "research" and provide you with information that you don't go elsewhere to make your booking. As for the commission it is not a great deal so any discount you may receive comes out of this money.

Travel Agents are professionals who can provide destination information and assist you through the booking process. There are many things you can purchase on your own like a house but if the basement leaks where do you go for help. The same applies for your vacation. Based on what you've said in your message if you are serious and your getting a discount and the agent is helpful. Pay the fee which by the way is part of the cost of the vacation and get all the advice you can as a first time traveller.

mmackenzie

halifax
2 posts
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4. Re: travel agent consulting fee

I have been a travel agent since 1989 and have been around for all the many changes that have occured. Airlines and in some cases Tour Operators have been trying to remove the middle man and have customers book direct mainly on the internet. Your agent has asked for the fee but really it is part of the cost of your holiday so if you are travelling it won't cost you anything. For the most part Tour Operators are still paying commissions to travel agents so if you are getting any discount at all then that comes out of the small percentage that an agent makes. You can buy many things on your own...houses are one good example but if the basement leaks who do you go to for help. The same can be said for a good travel agent, most of dedicated professionals who have a good if not excellent knowledge of the products they sell. The bottom line is the travel agent wants you to make a commitment that you will purchase from them. How happy would your fiance be if you still wanted to date around until you got married?

mmackenzie