These secrets were revealed to us by a travel agent, who requested us not to reveal his name! Read on, with eyes wide open.
Most Tickets are Refundable
The moment you decide to finalise your travel plan and call your travel agent to issue your flight tickets, he will start explaining the complete flight timings and fare information to you. You will not realise that suddenly and softly, he has told you that the ticket is a non-refundable ticket. In a hurry, you are likely to approve. Now the truth is, most of these tickets are refundable and a travel agent can get the refund from the airlines without any approval or authority from you. So, do check the refund policy of the ticket with your airline’s website before getting the ticket issued.
Your ticket can be refunded for a long time
This is very important for you to know. As per IATA regulations, most of the tickets are valid for a refund between one to three years. But your travel agent will never let on that the refund is valid for more than three to six months.
Target Price by Client
Travellers often search fares with online travel sites before they call their travel agents to get an offer. Normally we feel quite satisfied with the comparisons we make, and mistakenly assume we have got the best deal. Guess what: all this searching and surfing gives your target price to the travel agent. He now knows how much you are ready to pay! So, he will offer you a little lower than that price, and tell you that he is not making any money on this trip.
They can’t sell/book all airlines
They will try to book you on scheduled airlines rather than low-cost carriers. The reason: most agents use the CRS (Computerised Reservation System) of Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre etc who charge heavy transaction fees from the airlines for booking any flight through their system. Low-cost carriers can’t afford to pay this and they sell their tickets directly through their own website to avoid this fee.
In addition to their ticket commission, all travel agents get a share of the fee which these companies charge from the airlines. This gives them a dual advantage: they can sell the airlines that are coming through these CRS systems. So, insist on a low-cost carrier to save your hard-earned money.
Where they make big money
While booking a vacation, we always fight with travel agents about the airline ticket price. Once we feel that he has offered us the lowest price—better than what we are getting online—we tend to relax.
The truth is, now is when your agent really starts making his money. He will begin to offer you the rates for hotels, cruises, transfers and insurance—this is where he gets more commission than for flight tickets. This is also a major part of the total spend on your vacation, and sometimes your agent makes up to 25% on this. So choose a travel agent who will help your holiday at a low cost, without compromising on quality. These are some travel agent secrets for you!