The Travel Factory Blog
Travel Agency Issues....That Impacts Clients
Someone ask me the other day it we were still selling airline tickets. I answered, yes we certainly are. However since about 2000, we have been charging a service fee, but the airlines are doing the same thing. Of course the airlines discontinued paying commissions to us for serving their (our) clients for over the past twenty years. They're so kind!!!
It was reported recently by the Airlines Reporting Corporation that the value of tickets sold by travel agents in May 2019 increased 4.77% over May 2018. Now, listen to this: total sales that month was $9,223,498,331 compared to $8.8 billion in May 2018!!
The domestic fares sold were over $3.5 billion; international fares sold were $3.7 billion. Interestingly the average domestic round-trip ticket price was $511 verses $498 in '18.
The United States Department of Commerce reported that the number of Americans traveling outside the United States has more than doubled over the past decade, from around 40 million in 2008 to more than 90 million in 2018.
Recent reports of the scary media reports from the Dominican Republic over the past few weeks has certainly put the brakes on that destination. Yes, we have had some folks who had reservations going there who got their destination rearranged.....thanks to having cancel-for-any-reason insurance. That is why we push that feature; you just never know what might happen.
The State Department recently put out public advisories regarding destinations, and they had them categorized in 4 levels; Level 1 was “exercise normal caution”; Level 2 was “exercise increased caution; Level 3 was “reconsider travel”, and Level 4 was “do not travel”. Naturally these advisories impact travel decisions.
The advisors at The Travel Factory agree with their determination of countries in Level 3 and 4: El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua,Venezuela, and Haiti (although we are going to Labadee, Haiti on a cruise ship at the end of next month!!) We don't totally agree that among others, Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, and Turks & Caicos should be in Category 2. The reason is that we have had clients in those countries for the past several months and none have come back and reported scary or unnerving experiences.
Our advice to all our clients, where ever they might be going, even to New York City or DisneyWorld, to use caution, and stay alert be aware of your surroundings. It's even a good idea to practice that attitude right here in Abilene, Texas.
Then last week Carnival Cruise Line had problems with propulsion on their ship, the Vista, that plies the waters of the Caribbean from Galveston, and they canceled 3 weeks of cruising in July on that ship for repairs. We had 12 families impacted by that decision. Carnival made it right, but it ruined vacation plans that had been in the works for 8-10 months.
One client said they were really glad they had a travel agent to take care of all this for them; of course we stayed on hold for hours trying to get answers and re-accommodation. Anyway...that's the life of a travel advisor.....like a bowl of cherries!!! We'd love to visit with you and help you manufacture the vacation dream of a life time, so call on us at 4150 Southwest Drive, or call at (325) 698-1421. Website presence is at: www.thetravelfactoryabilene.com.