Travel consultants are an increasingly popular resource because most travelers don’t have trip planning experience or time to spare. When using a travel agent, clients benefit from receiving a full itinerary, accommodations, and transportation for their vacation without the extra effort on their part. If you’re a travel agent, never let your clients book their own airfare—especially when they’re paying additional costs for your services. If you aren’t already convinced, then read on to discover why travel agents should never let clients book their own airfare!
1. THE AGENT LOSES COMMISSION
Sky Bird uses 3 GDS (Global Distribution Systems) to give our agents access to discounted fares that aren’t available online. The travel consultant can increase their commission by quoting a ticket price higher than what was originally paid. At the same time, keep the price below other online rates to give your clients the impression of saving money! Plus, you can earn additional commission on hotels, car rentals, cruises, and customized tours with Sky Bird, your one-stop shop for all things travel!
2. THE AGENT IS SEEN AS “INCOMPLETE”
Travel agents are hired to bear the weight of trip planning and share their expertise in the travel industry. Leaving your clients responsible for their own airfare when you’re already managing the other details of their trip will create a noticeable gap in your service. You’ll also miss out on receiving business from the VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) market. VFR travelers are mainly in need of airline tickets, not tours and hotels, which you can provide and earn commission on!
3. THE CLIENT MIGHT MAKE AN ERROR
Modern travel consolidator websites are designed to book a vacation in the least amount of clicks possible (hoping they glaze over the fine print and conditions). When searching for flights online, your client is faced with an overwhelming number of options: departure times, arrival times, layovers, connecting flights, etc. This is a routine ticket booking for the travel agent, but to the customer, this could be a confusing place where they accidentally book the wrong date or time for their flight. Not to mention, misleading airport names could lead your clients hours away from their destination, like the Paris-Vatry Airport that’s 93 miles from France’s capital city.
4. CUSTOMERS SPEND MORE ON LAND PACKAGES
Every vacation has a budget for lodging, transportation, plane tickets, land activities, and, of course, the travel agent. The bulk of that money is consumed by airfare, which is typically the first vacation item booked. When your client spends more on airfare, the less their budget allows for land excursions and activities that you may rely on for commission. You don’t want to send your client on vacation without a complete itinerary, especially when they’re paying thousands of dollars to be there.
5. CLIENTS FIND A “BETTER” DEAL
When clients search for their own airfare, they could fall into the common trap of seeing an inexpensive offer and booking it. Without the guidance of a travel agent, the customer may not realize the final offer doesn’t include hidden fees like bag checks, travel insurance, or cancellation penalties. These extra costs can put your client in jeopardy if their vacation budget can’t accommodate additional unplanned expenses. Furthermore, travelers won’t have the opportunity to benefit from the value and straightforwardness that a travel agent provides!
If you’re a travel agent that doesn’t book airfare for your clients, then you’re missing out on a golden opportunity. Register for the WINGS Booking Engine for free! Clients will have a better experience and a better vacation, while the travel agent will earn a better commission! Once registered, you can also use the WINGS Booking Engine to book discounted hotels, car rentals, tours, travel insurance, and more. Your travel business and your clients will thank you!