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Travel Agent Rebate

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Like many people on this forum I use a travel agent to help plan flights and cruises.

I see where more and more people are discussing that the TA receives a commission from the travel companies and in turn the traveler receives part of those commissions in the form of discounts and rebates, often discounts off the price of the cruise or in the form of cruise credits.

Is this a thing?

My TA will always supply something in the room, normally a bottle of wine, and will also offer occasional onboard credits.

But, I have never thought of this (or expected it or asked for it) as a formal transaction.

Do people actually have that form of relationship with their TAs? My cruise costs X, I know you receive Y% of that, and I expect a share of what you receive.

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Like many people on this forum I use a travel agent to help plan flights and cruises.

I see where more and more people are discussing that the TA receives a commission from the travel companies and in turn the traveler receives part of those commissions in the form of discounts and rebates, often discounts off the price of the cruise or in the form of cruise credits.

Is this a thing?

My TA will always supply something in the room, normally a bottle of wine, and will also offer occasional onboard credits.

But, I have never thought of this (or expected it or asked for it) as a formal transaction.

Do people actually have that form of relationship with their TAs? My cruise costs X, I know you receive Y% of that, and I expect a share of what you receive.

 

Discounted fares are usually rooms booked with cruise line by a TA or consolidator. Other perks like wine , OBC , free gratuities or free specialty dinner come from the TA's commission.

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Like many people on this forum I use a travel agent to help plan flights and cruises.

I see where more and more people are discussing that the TA receives a commission from the travel companies and in turn the traveler receives part of those commissions in the form of discounts and rebates, often discounts off the price of the cruise or in the form of cruise credits.

Is this a thing?

My TA will always supply something in the room, normally a bottle of wine, and will also offer occasional onboard credits.

But, I have never thought of this (or expected it or asked for it) as a formal transaction.

Do people actually have that form of relationship with their TAs? My cruise costs X, I know you receive Y% of that, and I expect a share of what you receive.

 

I do not have that type of relatioship with any TA I have used.

I have used a big online TA for many of my cruises. They advertise exactly what OBC and other perks they will give beyond the cruise line perks. The actual cruise price is the same from cruise web site or the online TA. I know this online agency does reserve a lot of staterooms before hand.

I have also used two individaul TA's with their own agency. One time it was for addtional help post cruise stay. Hotel and guides and transporation in Istanbul. She was great ,but no perks given.

Current TA has helped with navigating Viking airfare program. He responds quickly to my emals or texts. He has sent us a couple of lovely books about viking , luggage tag and a beautiful small crystal caving of a Viking ship.

I think Viking Ocean has a different business plan about working with Travel Agents and Agencies. I have not seen any consolidators advertising Viking Ocean ships . I am on two email lists from these type of TA.

I do know that some of the regualr posters on the various luxury CC forums have posted they are travel agents . They seem to know all the regular passengers for these ships, so who knows what they give their repeat customers.

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This has been discussed in other threads in this forum. Regardless of what other cruise lines do, those TAs that deal with Viking are no longer permitted to offer cash rebates/discounts to clients.

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This has been discussed in other threads in this forum. Regardless of what other cruise lines do, those TAs that deal with Viking are no longer permitted to offer cash rebates/discounts to clients.

 

I use a big online travel company that gives us a "courtesy refund" after we complete a cruise. We just got one for our Dec. cruise, which we booked in 2016. Since the cost of the cruise itself was not discounted, I've always assumed that the TA was giving us a refund out of company funds to keep us coming back to him. Peregrina, are you saying that Viking won't allow any discounts by a travel agent that they deal with? I'm just wondering if what you mentioned means I might not get a courtesy refund from my TA on future Viking cruises. I think we're talking about something different, but I'm not sure!

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We received a discount of 15% on our Viking Ocean fare through our TA. It was reduced to 12% last year, which was still good...it was discounted off of the fare that Viking advertised (ie the 2 for 1). .and it was in addition to past traveler discounts, etc. However, I understand that these are the current rules: (as of May 15, 2017)

 

Viking Cruises updated its travel agent advertising and commissions policy on Friday, giving travel agents a full and complete list of its acceptable practices for advertising, marketing, booking and rebating.

The changes were made “in an effort to protect the interests of all of the travel trade and the Viking brand.”

Some of its updated guidelines include:

  • Travel agents will only be allowed to advertise Viking’s published rate, found on its website and in the GDS. Any other prices need to be approved by Viking in writing.
  • Group rates secured through Viking’s group reservation system cannot be advertised to the general public.
  • Agents will only be allowed to offer non-cash marketing incentives if the incentives are able to be redeemed and used onboard or if the retail value of the incentive does not exceed $100. For the onboard gifts, the incentive can’t exceed: $150 per guest for seven-night sailings, $300 per guest for eight to 14-night sailings on a Viking vessel and $500 per guest for 15-night plus sailings $500 per guest.
  • Points and miles can only be offered by an agent as a non-cash marketing incentive and hae to be offered only through a credential membership program. Agents can only offer points and miles if the value does not exceed 25% of its published price and if agents has secured Viking’s written approval prior to advertising or offering it in any media.
  • Agents also will have to include the full commissionable portion of a cruise fare in the rate shown or communicated. Other fees — fuel supplements, cruise taxes, fees and port expenses — have to be advertised separate from the commissionable portion.
  • Agents must advertise in the currency of their clients — U.S. residents should see the price in U.S. dollars and Canadian residents should see it in Canadian dollars.

As part of its policies, Viking will continue to pay commission 29 days prior to departure date for cruise, air, extensions and insurance. For its onboard purchases — shore excursions, gifts and beverage packages — will be paid at their completion.

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We received a discount of 15% on our Viking Ocean fare through our TA. It was reduced to 12% last year, which was still good...it was discounted off of the fare that Viking advertised (ie the 2 for 1). .and it was in addition to past traveler discounts, etc. However, I understand that these are the current rules: (as of May 15, 2017)

 

Viking Cruises updated its travel agent advertising and commissions policy on Friday, giving travel agents a full and complete list of its acceptable practices for advertising, marketing, booking and rebating.

The changes were made “in an effort to protect the interests of all of the travel trade and the Viking brand.”

Some of its updated guidelines include:

  • Travel agents will only be allowed to advertise Viking’s published rate, found on its website and in the GDS. Any other prices need to be approved by Viking in writing.
  • Group rates secured through Viking’s group reservation system cannot be advertised to the general public.
  • Agents will only be allowed to offer non-cash marketing incentives if the incentives are able to be redeemed and used onboard or if the retail value of the incentive does not exceed $100. For the onboard gifts, the incentive can’t exceed: $150 per guest for seven-night sailings, $300 per guest for eight to 14-night sailings on a Viking vessel and $500 per guest for 15-night plus sailings $500 per guest.
  • Points and miles can only be offered by an agent as a non-cash marketing incentive and hae to be offered only through a credential membership program. Agents can only offer points and miles if the value does not exceed 25% of its published price and if agents has secured Viking’s written approval prior to advertising or offering it in any media.
  • Agents also will have to include the full commissionable portion of a cruise fare in the rate shown or communicated. Other fees — fuel supplements, cruise taxes, fees and port expenses — have to be advertised separate from the commissionable portion.
  • Agents must advertise in the currency of their clients — U.S. residents should see the price in U.S. dollars and Canadian residents should see it in Canadian dollars.

As part of its policies, Viking will continue to pay commission 29 days prior to departure date for cruise, air, extensions and insurance. For its onboard purchases — shore excursions, gifts and beverage packages — will be paid at their completion.

 

We used to get 15% off Viking from our TA but then Viking stopped allowing travel agents to give any discounts. This happened last May. We do get rebates on most of the other cruise lines. Travel agents are allowed to give OBC as this poster has mentioned. They can give $150 pp for 7 night sailings, $300 pp for 8 to 14 night sailings, and $500 pp for 15+ night sailings. We still like to use our TA to get the OBC.

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Shop for the right TA . Rbates have not changed for Viking and are the same as other lines in our experience for which we are happy.

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Shop for the right TA . Rbates have not changed for Viking and are the same as other lines in our experience for which we are happy.

 

Thanks. Rebates are better than OBC for us.

 

And thanks to the others who posted.

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Silly naive question here... how do you "shop for a TA" ? We've never used one, but I see that a lot of folks on CC do. I don't even know where to begin. Pick a certain vacation and then ask several to price it out? How do you even choose who to look at?:o

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I realize this has been discussed here on a previous but now closed thread but I need some insight please...

 

We recently returned from our Italian Sojourn cruise and had an awesome time! This was our first Viking Ocean (or any Viking) experience & it exceeded our expectations!

While onboard we booked another cruise (1 cabin, 2 people) & know we have 60 days to transfer it to a TA.

>This is where some confusion has set in as we have received incentive offers from a few TA's but with a wide $$ difference. I thought I had read somewhere Viking restricted what a TA can offer - is this accurate? This is an 11 day cruise in 2020 (so far away..) & the offers range from a $600 OBC which would seem to fall under the revised or updated Viking policies - but we've also received an offer of $1,200 which they say can be all OBC, a post-cruise rebate or any combination we want.

Does this sound reasonable/legitimate given all the discussion about Viking's policies?

Thanks in advance for any insight offered!

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I would make sure what those offers include. Some cruise lines like Oceania often include airfare in their cruise price, but take off some if you aren't using their air. Before I found a wonderful travel agent (and sorry, not sure how you really DO shop for one!) travel agents would quote me a low price. Then I found out that there was no air, so the price was not so great. So if you haven't already, you should make sure what what agents are quoting is exactly what you'd want to purchase - same cabin category, air or no air, what airports, etc.

 

I recently booked a Viking cruise, during the time my travel agent was out for 2 weeks. I asked the Viking agent if I could have my agent take over the reservation and was told I could, within 60 days. I then emailed my travel agent and asked if there was any advantage to him taking over the booking. When he returned from his time away, he said yes, and that he could do something for us. I haven't gotten back to him to see what that was (thanks for reminding me, been very busy!) but if nothing else, he usually give us a little bit of a rebate after we complete a cruise. It's not really discounting, which I know Viking doesn't approve of, but it's still a little something better than what I get from Viking. Of course, once your agent is your agent, all calls must go from him/her to the cruise line, which some people may not like.

 

I do have to say that we love our travel agent, although the previous one retired and now we're starting to use a new one. We aren't allowed to mention name or company, but all I would say is that you NOT be afraid to use one of the big companies that specialize in cruises. I once got a quote from one agent who said she'd get a quote for me from the cruise line, then asked if I preferred late or early seating. On the cruise line I was interested in (like Viking) there were no seatings, so it seemed likely to me that she wasn't booking a lot of people on that cruise line!

 

In the end, to me the choice of agent boils down a lot to how available and responsive the person is when you call him/her (which for us isn't that often, but for some may be) and what they're willing to give you in goodies, rebates, etc. We are experienced cruisers, and loyal to two cruise lines, so we don't need a lot of advice on cabin or cruise choices. Quite honestly, we mostly just want $ and/or goodies - as long as the agent also gets us info we request in a reasonable amount of time.With Viking, the goodies our agent gives us seem more sparse compared to our other favorite line, but maybe, just maybe, that will change some day.

 

Are agents now allowed to give onboard/shipboard credit on Viking? I'm not sure, and would like to know. And I agree, rebates are better than onboard credits!

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I realize this has been discussed here on a previous but now closed thread but I need some insight please...

 

We recently returned from our Italian Sojourn cruise and had an awesome time! This was our first Viking Ocean (or any Viking) experience & it exceeded our expectations!

While onboard we booked another cruise (1 cabin, 2 people) & know we have 60 days to transfer it to a TA.

>This is where some confusion has set in as we have received incentive offers from a few TA's but with a wide $$ difference. I thought I had read somewhere Viking restricted what a TA can offer - is this accurate? This is an 11 day cruise in 2020 (so far away..) & the offers range from a $600 OBC which would seem to fall under the revised or updated Viking policies - but we've also received an offer of $1,200 which they say can be all OBC, a post-cruise rebate or any combination we want.

Does this sound reasonable/legitimate given all the discussion about Viking's policies?

Thanks in advance for any insight offered!

 

Yes it sounds reasonable. The TA cannot discount the fare you pay to Viking but can offer you an OBC or rebate or combination. We received $1500 and $2000, respectively, on two upcoming cruises on the Orion and Jupiter.

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Just booked the 2020 WC and our TA provided us the max OBC, as per Viking policy - $500 pp

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Just booked the 2020 WC and our TA provided us the max OBC, as per Viking policy - $500 pp

 

That’s really good per the “rules” but how about the big rebate a WC should be entitled to??

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This month Viking have some extensive promotions for the 2020 WC - free gratuities & drinks package, business air, Visa, etc and our total OBC is about 8K.

 

Yes, we have already paid for them, but the current promotions are rebating a significant portion of the base fare. The small OBC from the TA is icing on the cake.

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The Viking WC promotions would have no bearing on a t.a. rebate -- you should get at least approx 9% of what you paid (not including port charges) as a rebate.

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The Viking WC promotions would have no bearing on a t.a. rebate -- you should get at least approx 9% of what you paid (not including port charges) as a rebate.

 

 

 

Not from Viking !

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Re: Shopping for a good TA. We happened to see a great offer on a cruise we were interested in on another line about 3 years ago. The TA was part of a group that specializes in cruises. She got us many perks we never got before and was able to get us good prices and a hotel for a pre-cruise land visit. We left our old rebate TA who did not specialize in cruises and have been happy with this one ever since. There is something to be said for using cruise specialists if you cruise a lot (we like land as well as sea travel so were late to find out about this). Within cruise specialists you probably do have consult more than one to see who suits you best. Our rebate specialist only had a working relationship with one cruise line and it was not the one we wanted to cruise on.

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Silly naive question here... how do you "shop for a TA" ? We've never used one, but I see that a lot of folks on CC do. I don't even know where to begin. Pick a certain vacation and then ask several to price it out? How do you even choose who to look at?:o

 

 

 

I would ask your friends that travel who they use.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Silly naive question here... how do you "shop for a TA" ? We've never used one, but I see that a lot of folks on CC do. I don't even know where to begin. Pick a certain vacation and then ask several to price it out? How do you even choose who to look at?:o

 

 

 

I don’t think you can ask for recommendations directly on here, I believe you can post for people to email you with recommendations or websites

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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The Viking WC promotions would have no bearing on a t.a. rebate -- you should get at least approx 9% of what you paid (not including port charges) as a rebate.

 

Totally agree with Eaches, you might want to check the Viking TA Policy. For cruises > 15 days, Viking only permit up to $500. Our TA was prepared to provide US $500, but as we pay in CAN $, they were limited to CAN $500 pp.

 

Viking also do not charge extra for port fees/taxes, it is all inclusive in the fare.

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