Com­ments

Travel Bulletin - - ISUES & TRENDS -

While the sta­tis­ti­cal re­sults are fas­ci­nat­ing, even more re­veal­ing were the com­ments made by travel agents about the air­lines, re­veal­ing the highly emo­tive na­ture of the re­la­tion­ship. While many pre­dictably be­moaned de­clin­ing lev­els of ser­vice, com­mis­sions and vis­its by air­line rep­re­sen­ta­tives, oth­ers were more re­gret­ful about how the land­scape has changed over the years. Sev­eral high­lighted the key role of travel agents in the event of dis­rup­tions. “When an emer­gency hap­pens air­lines can­not cope with pas­sen­gers tele­phon­ing them… agents save air­lines money, and when a prob­lem oc­curs they solve it for their clients,” one con­sul­tant re­sponded. A key is­sue was wait times at air­line call cen­tres, with agents say­ing they ac­tively try not to sell car­ri­ers which keep them on hold for ex­tended pe­ri­ods. One re­spon­dent even blamed the poor ser­vice from air­lines for driv­ing con­sul­tants out of the travel in­dus­try. “Ho­tels and tour op­er­a­tors are fine, but anx­ious to end your call… I don’t think any other in­dus­try gives such ap­palling ser­vice to the pro­fes­sion­als sell­ing them,” the agent com­mented. An­other said “they do not get that we are an im­por­tant part of the sell­ing chain and a cheap source of cus­tomer ser­vice”. The bot­tom line, ac­cord­ing to a fur­ther re­spon­dent, is that the re­la­tion­ship feels very one-sided. “The at­ti­tude from the air­lines is as if they want to cut out the agent and don’t re­quire our in­put or ex­per­tise… it’s a great shame, as it could be a fan­tas­tic sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ship to such mu­tual ben­e­fit”.

I don’t think any other in­dus­try gives such ap­palling ser­vice to the pro­fes­sion­als sell­ing for them...’

The full Travel Daily/trav­el­buletin air­line sur­vey re­port is avail­able for pur­chase – con­tact more in­for­ma­tion. for

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