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A question about travel agents


fyree39
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I've booked about 30 cruises with my current travel agent.  I used to call, leave a message, then she'd call back and I'd make the booking.  It never took long and we'd chat a bit about our kids or the weather where she lived and so forth while she completed the booking.

 

One time I booked a short cruise on Carnival, then emailed her to have the booking transferred to her.  It was easy peasy.  Then, I started just emailing her with all the booking information on a cruise we wanted and she'd magically send me a confirmation email. I didn't even have to pick up the phone.

 

I'm wondering if travel agents much prefer human contact over the ease of email.  If you book a lot of cruises, do you tend to call, drive to the brick and mortar location, or email/book online?  I'm having a slow morning, obviously. 

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I guess the reason for my post is whether a TA tends to give better service to the client who calls, emails or walks in. Or maybe there is no difference in quality of service.

 

I'm also bringing this up because my travel agent seems to be slower with responses now that I'm communicating with her mostly by email.  I'm not going to change agencies because I get mileage points for my preferred airline through this agency and end up with a free flight for two just about every year.

Edited by fyree39
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1 hour ago, fyree39 said:

I've booked about 30 cruises with my current travel agent.  I used to call, leave a message, then she'd call back and I'd make the booking.  It never took long and we'd chat a bit about our kids or the weather where she lived and so forth while she completed the booking.

 

I'm wondering if travel agents much prefer human contact over the ease of email.  If you book a lot of cruises, do you tend to call, drive to the brick and mortar location, or email/book online?  I'm having a slow morning, obviously. 

 

1 minute ago, fyree39 said:

I guess the reason for my post is whether a TA tends to give better service to the client who calls, emails or walks in. Or maybe there is no difference in quality of service.

 

I'm also bringing this up because my travel agent seems to be slower with responses now that I'm communicating with her mostly be email.  I'm not going to change agencies because I get mileage points for my preferred airline through this agency and end up with a free flight for two just about every year.

 

 

The (Ask A Cruise Question) section of the Cruise Critic website is located @:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/69-ask-a-cruise-question/

 

 

 

☺️

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I haven't used a TA in quite a while but if I were one, this is what I would do.  If a person walks in, I would take care of them first.  When no one is in the office,  I would call back the people that left voice mail messages.  After that, I would answer the e-mails.  During that time, if the phone rang, I would stop with the e-mails and take care of the person on the phone.  Then I would return to the e-mails.  I would always take care of the face to face customer first.

Edited by RWolver672
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20 hours ago, fyree39 said:

I guess the reason for my post is whether a TA tends to give better service to the client who calls, emails or walks in. Or maybe there is no difference in quality of service.

 

I'm also bringing this up because my travel agent seems to be slower with responses now that I'm communicating with her mostly by email.  I'm not going to change agencies because I get mileage points for my preferred airline through this agency and end up with a free flight for two just about every year.

You mean your TA actually puts miles in your account?? I thought the air miles came from the airline, how does this work??

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1 hour ago, rvsullivan said:

You mean your TA actually puts miles in your account?? I thought the air miles came from the airline, how does this work??

It's through a mileage credit card with a particular airline. The agent works for the airline's cruising travel agency.

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1 hour ago, AdGuyMG said:

With over 70,000 Travel Agents in the US their individual preferences may widely vary.

I was actually hoping some of the many, many travel agents that post here might answer. I think my current agent is just overwhelmed right now.

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On 8/9/2019 at 10:52 AM, fyree39 said:

I've booked about 30 cruises with my current travel agent.  I used to call, leave a message, then she'd call back and I'd make the booking.  It never took long and we'd chat a bit about our kids or the weather where she lived and so forth while she completed the booking.

 

One time I booked a short cruise on Carnival, then emailed her to have the booking transferred to her.  It was easy peasy.  Then, I started just emailing her with all the booking information on a cruise we wanted and she'd magically send me a confirmation email. I didn't even have to pick up the phone.

 

I'm wondering if travel agents much prefer human contact over the ease of email.  If you book a lot of cruises, do you tend to call, drive to the brick and mortar location, or email/book online?  I'm having a slow morning, obviously. 

It is really your preference, if all the details are easily done via email, then it works fine.   We find when there are q&a’s going back and forth a phone conversation is much easier for both sides.   I am a TA if it makes a difference.    

Edited by jimbo5544
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My PVP (I know- we were talking about TAs) actually annoys me because I will email her with a simple question and ask her to respond by email. Invariably she insists on calling and speaking to me in person. Even if I don't answer the phone she'll leave a msg saying 'I'll call you back'!

 

If I indicate my preferred means of communication with a TA I'd expect that to be followed at least most of the time. Which is why I'm thinking of going with a friend who's a TA- I know she'll respond the way I want- for future cruises. If the questions are more in depth then a phone call might be better, but if it's a quick answer, then just respond the way I ask, please?

 

I think many TAs I've met/spoken to/encountered have moved away from having a brick & mortar facility, so phone and email are more prevalent than they used to be.

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I use a big box travel agency... I've had great interactions with them both on the phone, and on their site's on-line dialog conversation box -- which is really in-between email and talking in person.  Email would allow a TA to get to you when they find time.  A phone conversation is immediate.  

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For me it depends on how involved the question or problem is.  If it only requires a simple answer that can wait, email.  Otherwise I call.  I've met my TA in person, so I think that can also make a difference.

 

Roz

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When I have used a TA through my credit card company (extra benefits), I like to initially engage them over the phone.  When I call, I have a specific ship in mind, and a particular time frame in mind and the general idea of the expected cost.  The final detail is the cabin.  I have a general deck in mind and cabin location, that is where having the TA on the phone looking at all available inventory  makes the process easier.   We can narrow down the cabin that is acceptable in regards to location and costs.

 

I do the same when booking for B2B cruises either through a TA or directly with a cruise line.  Makes it easier to find a cabin that we can have both legs.

 

For follow-ups playing telephone tag or email is equally okay.

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On 8/10/2019 at 10:21 AM, fyree39 said:

I was actually hoping some of the many, many travel agents that post here might answer. I think my current agent is just overwhelmed right now.

 

Not a TA, but if yours is overwhelmed the communication method might not matter.  Since you've used her frequently it might be best to ask her.

 

On 8/10/2019 at 12:11 PM, Shaded Lady said:

My PVP (I know- we were talking about TAs) actually annoys me because I will email her with a simple question and ask her to respond by email. Invariably she insists on calling and speaking to me in person. Even if I don't answer the phone she'll leave a msg saying 'I'll call you back'!

 

If I indicate my preferred means of communication with a TA I'd expect that to be followed at least most of the time. Which is why I'm thinking of going with a friend who's a TA- I know she'll respond the way I want- for future cruises. If the questions are more in depth then a phone call might be better, but if it's a quick answer, then just respond the way I ask, please?

 

I think many TAs I've met/spoken to/encountered have moved away from having a brick & mortar facility, so phone and email are more prevalent than they used to be.

 

This drives me nuts with my current PVP (who we will only use for this cruise).  E-mail is my preferred method (both parties have something in writing, can respond when it is convenient).  I asked a specific question, and her reply was "Call me!"  When I called she still had to call me back as she was dealing with someone else, plus I had to reexplain the e-mail as if she had never read it - maybe they don't🤷‍♀️

 

On 8/10/2019 at 4:48 PM, Cushing985 said:

I like using email because then there is a record in case of any disagreements.

 Or a record in case of my poor memory 😉 

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5 minutes ago, pacruise804 said:

This drives me nuts with my current PVP (who we will only use for this cruise).  E-mail is my preferred method (both parties have something in writing, can respond when it is convenient).  I asked a specific question, and her reply was "Call me!"  When I called she still had to call me back as she was dealing with someone else, plus I had to reexplain the e-mail as if she had never read it - maybe they don't🤷‍♀️

 

 Or a record in case of my poor memory 😉 

 

I know, right? If I specify a preferred means of communication, why do you always ignore it?

 

On our Vista Cruise in June, I emailed her at the beginning of the cruise, told her I'd be out of pocket for the next 8 days (You know? ON THE CRUISE YOU BOOKED FOR ME????) and to please respond only by email. Never heard from her (we had internet service and I was checking my email daily).

 

We got off the ship and I had 3 (yes THREE) voice mails from her asking me to call her back to discuss my email! I'm done. Just booked our next cruise ourselves on the Carnival site.

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1 hour ago, pacruise804 said:

@Shaded Lady, I know we can't name names but does yours refer to you as "hun" and say how "amazing" or "unbelievable" your cruise will be? Maybe we have the same one 😉 

 

 

Could be! 

 

Bottom line, she did nothing for me that I could not have easily done for myself. The one time she could have gone the extra mile for me she couldn’t be bothered. So now I’ll do it myself online.

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