Why Using a Travel Professional is a Must
August 13, 2020
In mid-March, I had just finished a great week of visiting resorts in Tahiti when suddenly it was time to return home to a global shutdown. Since then, the world has changed forever, and a new way of traveling is slowly starting to evolve.
How we travel will of course change, but the planning and preparation will also come with an entirely new approach. Consumers will be looking for true experts to help keep them informed on the constantly changing rules and procedures for travel post COVID, since websites won’t fulfill the human connections and timely discussions that need to take place.
Clients who engaged the service of a travel professional this year would have seen the incredible value of having someone to advocate for them. Travel professionals took excellent care of their clients and performed amazing feats. As borders closed, they scrambled to safely get clients back home, including working various times zones to grab the last available seats on a plane. When that was complete, they got to work canceling the many beautifully designed trips: retirement dream trips, honeymoons and anniversary celebrations and special family escapes that were planned years in advance.
As the weeks turned into months, agents have continued to monitor constantly evolving airline and vendor policies in order to refund air tickets and ensure the value of credits for future trips.
Many consumers understand that travel professionals are compensated by commissions from the suppliers they sell, but what may not be common knowledge is that once those trips were canceled and refunded, commissions had to be paid back to airlines and suppliers; hard-earned income to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. So, travel professionals across the globe have been working for free, not once but twice: once to book and prepare the vacation, and again to cancel.
Companies and professionals who have weathered the storm so far and have a strong plan to survive deserve some well-earned recognition and in the future will expect to be compensated for their in-depth knowledge and hard work. They have proven their value beyond words and we want them to be around for decades to come.
As the world begins traveling again, you will see agencies evolve to a fee-based model to ensure that professionals are compensated for their time and expertise at the time of engagement. It is fair and reasonable for them to also have some guaranteed compensation, as you would expect with any service-oriented industry. Most fees are quite modest and balanced with the time needed to provide excellent service.
One of my clients recently told me, “The three most important contacts you should have in your phone are a great lawyer, great accountant and a great travel agent. Once you find a professional and you understand their expertise and the lengths to which they will support you, you will no doubt agree that they are worth every penny!