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Interesting post on TWCrossroads, a travel agent forum

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Aug 22nd, 2002, 03:47 PM
  #1
Larry
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Interesting post on TWCrossroads, a travel agent forum

Yesterday I get a call from a client saying that she needs to go from DCA to ORD this weekend. I look it up on my GDS and low and behold the fare is $1300. Does not surprise me. I then say to her, "let me check with Orbitz". I go on their site and guess what the same exact flights are $159 plus their lousy $5 service fee. So guess what I book that and charge my client $25. I call United to make sure that the PNR is good and have a long discussion with the agent about how this is unfair and he totally agreed and said that he hopes that the agents win the lawsuit. He said that he can't pull up those webfares either. But the PNR was fine.
Sorry but I have no sympathy for an airline that gives something away. Yes maybe they want to fill up the seats but if they sell one ticket at $1300 and pay the GDS segments is cheaper than selling 9 1/2 seats at $159 on the web. Upkeep of the website and staffing it has got to cost more than that.Unless I am missing something.
Something is not right in this industry

The agent pretends to be the customer and makes the reservation with all kinds of complications.
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 04:00 PM
  #2
hanna
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What complications Larry? Why should the client be denied a good fare? Are they only for you. PS Fodor's requests that posts be original. You just want to start trouble, but of course, you don't have any original thoughts, or positive ones, that I can see.
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 04:12 PM
  #3
Larry
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I can imagine all manner of complications, but the basic problem is that when a travel agent makes a reservation he should have control over the entire PRN for entire trip. That's impossible if you make a reservation through Orbitz. If there is a problem, Obritz will contact the customer through his email. So his airplane reservation will be his responsibility and everything else will be the travel agents. It can only lead to trouble. One entity should be responsible for the whole thing.
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 07:18 PM
  #4
Geta
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Larry, the answer is simple. The agent will provide their agency e-mail address so any schedule change/miscellaneous is directed to the agent for follow up.

I find it ironic that you post incessantly about what you perceive as a travel agent’s lack of value, then you ridicule this agent’s effort to secure best pricing for her client. It would appear that the traveler either does not have internet access or has no desire to book air transportation for him/herself via the internet. If this traveler attempted to book without the assistance of the agent, he/she may have very well purchased the $1300.00 “published” fare. It would appear the agent’s $25.00 fee was an excellent value. I would say this agent provided a very good service.

Your ability to speak from both sides will serve you well if you decide to run for public office. However, I would suggest you brush up on your facts before you hit the campaign trail. (i.e. An airline’s reservation is referred to as a PNR, not PRN.)
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 07:44 PM
  #5
Vicky
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What is a PNR or a PRN?
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 08:18 PM
  #6
TA
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Vicky,

A PNR is a Passenger Name Record. Just a fancy name for your record, flight times, payment info, address, Frequent Flyer numbers, ect...

When an agent makes a booking on behalf of a client online, they do not have control and should problems arise, I believe the agent can do no more than the client could, because they do not have access to this record or PNR. As an agent, I could care less about air only reservations anyway, but I believe it is wrong to make such reservations online for clients because we would not be able to help as we would normally be able to do had we made the reservation.
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 08:28 PM
  #7
Geta
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PNR is the airline industry acronym for a Passenger Name Record - the reservation record.

I'm not sure what a PRN is. It might describe Larry, WillBill, Vic, et al - Petty Redundant Nonentity.
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 08:29 PM
  #8
lucille
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Larry - you are Vic and Wildbill and Fodor's moderator, all in one.

You flame travel agents with the idiotic notion that they don't have the lowest fares io their computer systems.

Then, when there is a post that explains that travel agents book the best value for their clients, whether it is on their computer systems OR the internet, you flame them for that.

Clearly, hostility and stupidity are the main focus of this forum, and I feel sorry for people looking here for information.

Fodor's is a low life red neck organization, and I wish it and you all the best of luck!
 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 08:35 PM
  #9
Geta
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TA - In which manner would you not be able to assist your client? If one of the online services advised you via e-mail that your client had a schedule change, would you not contact the traveler with the revised information as you would with a reservation booked through your GDS?

If a flight confirmed via the online site experienced a NOOP, would you not contact the carrier and/or online service to accomodate your client?

 
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Aug 22nd, 2002, 09:23 PM
  #10
ta
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I would of course, try. But when the record is not mine, it is never a guarantee. Most internet fares are non-refundable and non-changable. Even for a fee. While most of my bookings in my CRS can be changed with a fee. It is not worth the risk to me to not be able to help my client. And since I specialize in packages, it really won't ever become an issue.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2002, 06:22 AM
  #11
Larry
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A very few internet fares are more restrictive than restricted tickets available from travel agents. Generally, the restriction is that you can't get a refund but that you can make a change by paying $100. Very, very cheap web tickets may be use it or lose it, but the conditions are always spelled out in the terma and conditions which are avaialble before you buy.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2002, 07:18 AM
  #12
Imsorrytoo
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I am sorry for Larry Peter Wild bill and the like who don't have any friends who will listen to their constant diatribes against people who mean them no harm. This forum is going to the dogs. My apologies to all dogs. You are much nicer.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2002, 07:49 AM
  #13
George
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Hey TA's out there.

What's wrong with the strategy of calling travel agents getting their price including their fees then going on the web getting their best prices and buying.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2002, 09:04 AM
  #14
mercy
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Hey George! Is it okay if the agent finds the lower price to say no thanks and book the higher web fare? Happens all the time you know.
 
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Aug 23rd, 2002, 02:53 PM
  #15
Larry
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Well, if the total fare is lower on the web because of the agents fee, or the fares are close and the last place the customer looks is on the web, then why not book on the web?
 
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Aug 23rd, 2002, 02:57 PM
  #16
carrie
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Why not indeed? But what if the agents, including fee, is lower? Should people still book on the web? i got a great deal to Hawaii from an agent, about 200. less than the web fare. I bought from the agent because the price was better. Wouldn't you?
 
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Aug 24th, 2002, 10:47 AM
  #17
Ken
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Mercy,

Why would anyone buy from the web if it was more expensive.
 
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