This past week, the American Society of Travel Agents had their annual conference in Miami and one of the sessions was a panel discussion among some of the cruising executives. One of the men on the panel was the Chairman of Viking River Cruises, Torstein Hagen. He was very specific about who would have a good time on his cruise line.
The Travel Factory Blog
The Travel Factory employs 4 full time agents with 100 years total experience in the travel industry. Our agents specialize in cruise, tour and resort vacations as well as corporate incentive and school groups. Our mission is to provide the best, most courteous, most detailed, most informative service. Our slogan, "Building vacations to your specifications" says it all.
The title to this blog is a question we are always asked when someone has designated a destination for us to research. Our typical response is, are you talking about “best weather” or “best price” or “best entertainment and activity time”?
Last week we listed the Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights that all the cruise lines subscribe to, so that prompted the thought that some folks might not know about the role of a travel agent as it relates to selling the cruise product.
Back in March, Senator Charles Schumer proposed a bill of rights be adopted by Cruise Lines International Association, and within a couple of months, that association of cruise lines did adopt a Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights.
One of the responsibilities of a travel agent is to answer the question, and promote the sale of travel insurance. Most of us are pretty good at selling a travel product, air, hotel, cruise, tour, etc., but often times selling travel insurance is a challenge. We should sell insurance every time we make as sale, but for some folks, it might not be a wise choice for their situation. On the other hand, if there is a sizeable travel investment, then it is foolhardy not to purchase it.
If you are a travel agent, after the customary hello, nice to see you, etc. exchange, this is a very common greeting, “where you going next?”. Of course, most of us in this business don’t mind it at all, because this gives us the opportunity to visit with folks about our next trips. So, if you asked me this morning that question, here’s what I would tell you. . .and by the way, invite you, to go with us.
Not everyone reads “Women’s Day” magazine, thank goodness, but one of the contributors to that publication really raised a verbal firestorm among travel agents. Anne Roderique-Jones article was titled “Ten Things Travel Agents Won’t Tell You”, and after some serious conversations it was changed to “Nine Things. . .”. Still after that, there have been over 1500 comments posted to that article and the overwhelming majority of the comments were written by travel agents, travel agents organizations, or clients correcting some of the misconceptions in the article.
One of the most favorite destinations in the United States for vacationers is the adult entertainment capital of the nation, Las Vegas. Eat your heart out New York City, New Orleans, and San Francisco!!!
Remember back in the 70’s and 80’s and even before, when you wanted to fly somewhere, you just paid for your ticket, went to the airport, checked in at the counter, went to the gate and left when the plane did.
Now, the security lines are horrendous in most airports and a 30-45 minutes wait is customary, then you have to almost undress, get randomly checked and patted, and finally get to your gate all out of sorts.
For the past year or so, understandably there has been much in the public media regarding the negative plight of some of the cruise lines. . .and it seems almost no one has been exempt. The recent report by Carnival Cruise Lines on their second-quarter financial results indicate that they are having difficulties in filling their ships. Their bookings are behind last year and what bookings they have are at lower prices.
If you are traveling by air this summer, you need to be aware that the airlines are flying at full capacity on almost every flight, so it is imperative that you arrive at the gate early. When that plane gets full, they are taking off because it helps their on-time performance.
Our task on this show is to give you some travel tips and information on the current travel scene, but probably not often enough I don’t give out the very best tip in my quiver, which is if you want to travel, contact an experienced travel agent.
Our family just returned from one of the most memorable and fantastic family vacations you could ever have. . . .especially if your wife, children, and grandchildren are happy!!
Since the title of this 3-5 minute interlude of travel talk with you each Thursday at 8:30AM is Thursday Morning Travel Tips From Russell Berry At The Travel Factory, I thought I’d give you a buckshot of tips today.
Recently the website, Travel Advisor, released the results of a poll from their subscribers that asked for their favorite destinations around the world. I’m not certain how many folks responded, but the results were very interesting, and challenging to those who like to travel. Twenty-five cities were cited, but I’ll just hit on the top 15.
My goodness, it seems every time we take a breath, another airline finds some other way to make a buck off of their guests. Even though you might have purchased your tickets several months ago, just keep your wallet out when you arrive at the airport. . .you’re not through paying!!
The most successful river cruise company ever, Viking River Cruise, made the announcement last week that they were planning to get into ocean cruising in 2015.. . .but it will be different, very different. This was reported by travel writer Tom Stieghorst.
In a news story from the Seattle Times, they note that the airlines started charging for checked luggage in 2008 and fees have climbed steadily since. In fact the report came out yesterday that the U.S. airlines collected more than $6 billion in baggage and reservation change fees from passengers last year.
If I have that question once a day, I would be willing to say it averages 3-4 a day. Everybody wants a free trip!!! That’s what makes the traveling public so gullible to some shady travel deals. The information I’ll talk about today comes directly from the Aviation Consumer Protection Page.