Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
drcpa

Travel Agent Rebate

Recommended Posts

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

 

Technically, we cannot even ask that people e-mail us with recommendations. If a moderator sees the request or if it is otherwise reported, the post may be removed--or worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have gotten a rebate from our t.a. on every single cruise we have booked. The minimum has been 9%. Don't forget that large agencies who sell a lot of cruises get higher than normal commissions from the cruise line. One of these cruises was Viking and while I don't recall the exact amount of the rebate, it was at minimum 9%. The comes to us in check form with final docs. Once in a great while it shows as a deduction from the cruise fare.

 

The cruise lines can make whatever "rules" they want, but they cannot tell a business how to run their business. If a travel agency chooses to reward me that is their choice. The cruise lines need the agents to keep referring business, so this threat of "rules" is a bit meaningless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peregrina: Sorry I had to remove your informative post, but both your text and the link contained a Travel Agent name. Could you repost in a way that meets CC guidelines? Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Peregrina: Sorry I had to remove your informative post, but both your text and the link contained a Travel Agent name. Could you repost in a way that meets CC guidelines? Thanks!

 

Sorry, Jazz. I just wasn't thinking. Thanks for letting me know.

 

For those who didn't see the link already, it was a link to an article in Travel Weekly about Viking cutting ties with the travel agency of a popular warehouse club. The article was written by Tom Stieghorst and was published October 30, 2017. It starts:

 

Viking Cruises has stopped doing business with shopping club XXX because it doesn't comply with Viking's policy against rebating commissions.

In June, Viking adopted tighter restrictions on retailers. The policy says that "cash marketing incentives may not be offered or provided by or on behalf of travel agents to Viking guests/passengers as promotions or incentives to sell Viking products."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t get it. Why would Viking try to hobble TAs (and customers) by not allowing them to give discounts? Are they trying to shut out the retailers so customers will purchase directly from them? Seems misguided. I must be missing something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don’t get it. Why would Viking try to hobble TAs (and customers) by not allowing them to give discounts? Are they trying to shut out the retailers so customers will purchase directly from them? Seems misguided. I must be missing something.

 

It seems that because of the company's over all pricing policy, which it follows even in the travel portion of its business, they were able to undercut the other TAs on incentives (and the other TAs were not happy about that). I only quoted the first two paragraphs just to point out that Viking does control what its TAs may give in rebates and is willing to enforce its rules to the point of no longer allowing a particular agency to sell its cruises. However, I do not think that they are trying to cut out the retailers altogether, witnessed by how easy it is to transfer an on-board booking to a TA; our TA was on our booking from the get-go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please refer back to Post #7 in this thread. That is where it shows the policy of Viking and what travel agents are permitted to give you (OBC), only. The amount of OBC is clearly shown in my post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I understand that these are the current rules: (as of May 15, 2017)

 

Viking Cruises updated its travel agent advertising and commissions policy, 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 have 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 are close to booking our upcoming 15 night plus sailing. Our TA says: "I will add on $1000 onboard credit from my commission plus,

our exclusive sale is offering $200 onboard credit for a total of $1200 onboard credit."

In a TA, I'm looking for an advocate.

rhetorical question...

Will she/he still be available after receiving a deposit and or a commission?

Edited by $hip$hape

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I notice a lot of posters said that they prefer a rebate to OBC. If the OBC is less than or equal to the amount for gratuities, why would the OBC bee seen as less desirable? Can the gratuities be paid with the OBC?

 

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our case, we seldom drink, seldom pay for spa services, and don't do that many Viking excursions other than (often) the free ones. If we received OBC and could use it for gratuities, that might appeal to us. However, as of now, we prefer money to OBC. Besides, with the other cruise line we use, we now get OBC and free gratuities for having cruised with them a lot, so we often are not looking for more OBC.

 

We always book modest cabins, and fairly inexpensive cruises, so we seldom receive an offer like the $1200 (assume for 2 people) indicated by the previous poster. But each cruise price, TA, and experience is different, and I do agree that using a travel agent is worthwhile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I notice a lot of posters said that they prefer a rebate to OBC. If the OBC is less than or equal to the amount for gratuities, why would the OBC bee seen as less desirable? Can the gratuities be paid with the OBC?

 

Thank you!

 

Because if I pay the gratuities with a credit card I get 3% back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because if I pay the gratuities with a credit card I get 3% back.

 

Of course! I should have thought of that (since I also use credit cards for points earnings and/or cash back).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...