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Travel Agent Commissions on Cancelled Cruises


plettza
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My November cruise that I booked through an online travel agent was cancelled by Carnival.  In this instance, I elected to take a full refund.  The travel agent has stated that from that refund, they'll deduct somethin like $110AUD per person for their part in the booking process.

 

I read somewhere that Princess was honouring their commissions to travel agents on cancelled Princess cruises.  Is this that same for Carnival?  Is the travel agent being compensated twice by Carnival and then garnishing my refund?  Can I call Carnival and switch the refund over to FCC + bonus OBC?

 

Whilst the terms and conditions did state they would be take a chunk of my refund even if Carnival cancelled, the terms and conditions aren't available until the booking is completed and the paperwork is emailed.  That means in my case, I had laid down a deposit.

 

This was the first time I used a travel agent for my cruise booking and was done earlier in the year.

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9 minutes ago, plettza said:

My November cruise that I booked through an online travel agent was cancelled by Carnival.  In this instance, I elected to take a full refund.  The travel agent has stated that from that refund, they'll deduct somethin like $110AUD per person for their part in the booking process.

 

I read somewhere that Princess was honouring their commissions to travel agents on cancelled Princess cruises.  Is this that same for Carnival?  Is the travel agent being compensated twice by Carnival and then garnishing my refund?  Can I call Carnival and switch the refund over to FCC + bonus OBC?

 

Whilst the terms and conditions did state they would be take a chunk of my refund even if Carnival cancelled, the terms and conditions aren't available until the booking is completed and the paperwork is emailed.  That means in my case, I had laid down a deposit.

 

This was the first time I used a travel agent for my cruise booking and was done earlier in the year.

There are some online TAs who state upfront on their site and on your booking there will be a fee.

 

Unless its stated on their site or your booking they shouldn't be able to collect any money from you. 

 

Doesnt matter if they collect or not here, depends on terms you agreed to. I believe my TA got paid initially but not if the rebook also was cancelled. He posted when or if they get paid elsewhere, just going by that, but shouldn't matter unless you agreed to the charge. Look at your original booking terms to see if it's a authorized charge.

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The terms and conditions aren't very clear at all.  There is a section that lists the costs for amendments and cancellations/rebooking of bookings but it doesn't mention that it applies to a cancellation brought about by CCL.  Another section called "Cancellations by Supplier" just deals with the method of refund, i.e. FCC or cash, etc.  It doesn't mention an obligatory admin fee.

 

After my booking was made, the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) said that as these cancellations are due to force majeure, they are allowed to charge admin fees.  This condition isn't stipluated in the terms and conditions.

 

I don't have a problem with admin fees as such, but not if the travel agents are getting recompensed by CCL AND still dipping into my refund.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

Sounds like a travel agent who does not care about your repeat business. Is there the equivalent in Australia to the Better Business Bureau in the US? If so, I would report them. And I would NEVER use that agency again.

Don't be so harsh.  The TA did work and should be paid for that.  OP just doesn't want to pay if TA is double dipping (being paid by Carnival plus his fee).

 

I think, and it's only think, that if you paid final payment the TA is compensated.  But then again, things may be different in Australia.

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3 minutes ago, MsTabbyKats said:

Don't be so harsh.  The TA did work and should be paid for that.  OP just doesn't want to pay if TA is double dipping (being paid by Carnival plus his fee).

 

I think, and it's only think, that if you paid final payment the TA is compensated.  But then again, things may be different in Australia.

People who work on commission don't get paid if the sale is not final. Or how about a lawyer working on contingency? If he or she does not get a favorable verdict, no pay despite doing the work. No cruise, no commission from the non-passenger. If the cruise line wants to pay to keep the good will of the TA or even to keep him or her in business, fine. But that should not impact the TA's client.

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1 minute ago, ontheweb said:

People who work on commission don't get paid if the sale is not final. Or how about a lawyer working on contingency? If he or she does not get a favorable verdict, no pay despite doing the work. No cruise, no commission from the non-passenger. If the cruise line wants to pay to keep the good will of the TA or even to keep him or her in business, fine. But that should not impact the TA's client.

I was told this by several people when "I felt bad" for my TA because of cancelled cruises.

Are you a TA?  If not, maybe a TA could clarify?

 

You are referring to "personal injury lawyers" and that's standard for that field.  When I needed a lawyer for something financial I paid $600/hour...which could be divided into 10 minute increments.  So, if I e-mailed him...it was $60 just for him to open my e-mail.

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18 minutes ago, MsTabbyKats said:

I was told this by several people when "I felt bad" for my TA because of cancelled cruises.

Are you a TA?  If not, maybe a TA could clarify?

 

You are referring to "personal injury lawyers" and that's standard for that field.  When I needed a lawyer for something financial I paid $600/hour...which could be divided into 10 minute increments.  So, if I e-mailed him...it was $60 just for him to open my e-mail.

Carnival paid some commissions on cruises that were past final payment, not all though or even most. Many agencies charge admin fees specifically because of cancellations- their agents do hours and hours of work for zero pay. They should be disclose up front though.

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12 hours ago, MsTabbyKats said:

I was told this by several people when "I felt bad" for my TA because of cancelled cruises.

Are you a TA?  If not maybe a TA could clarify?

 

You are referring to "personal injury lawyers" and that's standard for that field.  When I needed a lawyer for something financial I paid $600/hour...which could be divided into 10 minute increments.  So, if I e-mailed him...it was $60 just for him to open my e-mail.

No, I am not a TA.

 

If you do not like the lawyer analogy, how about a real estate agent. I sold a house I inherited form my Mother. We had it sold then it fell through because Covid affected the family that was going to buy it. The real estate agent got no money at that time despite all the work she did. Later when it was sold, she collected her commission.

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48 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

No, I am not a TA.

 

If you do not like the lawyer analogy, how about a real estate agent. I sold a house I inherited form my Mother. We had it sold then it fell through because Covid affected the family that was going to buy it. The real estate agent got no money at that time despite all the work she did. Later when it was sold, she collected her commission.

Every business charges differently....and every person in the business charges differently.

 

When I had a tax prep business...if I prepared a return...and then the client didn't want me to file that return...I charged a "consultation fee".  My time was valuable.

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28 minutes ago, firefly333 said:

I wouldnt want to pay for a cruise commission I didnt get to take due to no fault of my own. I wouldnt use that TA again if they charged me.

 

I understand it's hard on TAs and many lost jobs, covid has been hard on a lot of us.

If the TA doesn't charge that's nice of him....but the TA still put in the time and work (and is probably making $0 and still has expenses).  You are free to not use that TA, but I feel people should be compensated for work done, especially if that compensation is minimal.

 

In times of crisis, like this, I'm happy that I can afford to pay a few $$$ and not complain.

 

Back to OP...he does not mind paying TA....but only if TA is not getting additional money from Carnival.

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According to my TA, she doesn't get paid by Carnival for cancelled cruises that are not paid-in-full.  She does if they are paid.  She's a top agent for Carnival and has had to rebook many people multiple times and, for most, she hasn't received a dime.

 

I'm pretty sure that HAL is doing things differently, but I can't put my finger on how exactly they are handling commissions.  Although I expect my January HAL B2Bs to be cancelled, she should get paid on those since I had to pay my cheapo casino fare at the time I booked.

 

No idea how it works in other countries.

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2 hours ago, MsTabbyKats said:

If the TA doesn't charge that's nice of him....but the TA still put in the time and work (and is probably making $0 and still has expenses).  You are free to not use that TA, but I feel people should be compensated for work done, especially if that compensation is minimal.

 

In times of crisis, like this, I'm happy that I can afford to pay a few $$$ and not complain.

 

Back to OP...he does not mind paying TA....but only if TA is not getting additional money from Carnival.

 

If a TA discloses administrative fees ahead of time that is one thing. However, I don't think that a TA should create a new fee after booking was made due to the circumstances. That sounds like what happened here. The TA did would not usually have charged a fee for a cruise cancelled by Carnival but due to the circumstances the government has allowed them to. I don't think it's right to enter into a contract with a client and then when things go badly, change the terms without their consent. 

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3 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

According to my TA, she doesn't get paid by Carnival for cancelled cruises that are not paid-in-full.  She does if they are paid.  She's a top agent for Carnival and has had to rebook many people multiple times and, for most, she hasn't received a dime.

 

I'm pretty sure that HAL is doing things differently, but I can't put my finger on how exactly they are handling commissions.  Although I expect my January HAL B2Bs to be cancelled, she should get paid on those since I had to pay my cheapo casino fare at the time I booked.

 

No idea how it works in other countries.

Idk about carnival but my ta posted that they didnt used to get paid to book casino rates for rcl, but now they get a flat rate, something like $75. .. assuming it isnt cancelled.

 

So they may or may not get paid by ccl on casino rates. Without a ta chiming in no one knows. My ta said he used to just book them for guests as a courtesy. 

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I've never gotten a comped casino cruise from Carnival, but I do book under Casino fares often (>30 Carnival cruises and only 3 HAL but HAL gives me much better casino offers - go figure).  In fact, just changed my Med/TA on Legend for next October to casino fares.  She gets commission on those.  No idea about freebies.  My HAL cruises were "free" except not really.  Still had to pay $200 plus taxes and fees for OV but got $250 casino cash plus DOU.  So I booked B2B.  Unfortunately, being they're in early January, I'm expecting them to be cancelled.  When they are, I'll double-check to see if she rec'd any commission on those.  If not, in the future, if I get another offer like that, I'll book direct.  I'm not going to ask her to do the work if she doesn't get any benefit!

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2 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

I've never gotten a comped casino cruise from Carnival, but I do book under Casino fares often (>30 Carnival cruises and only 3 HAL but HAL gives me much better casino offers - go figure).  In fact, just changed my Med/TA on Legend for next October to casino fares.  She gets commission on those.  No idea about freebies.  My HAL cruises were "free" except not really.  Still had to pay $200 plus taxes and fees for OV but got $250 casino cash plus DOU.  So I booked B2B.  Unfortunately, being they're in early January, I'm expecting them to be cancelled.  When they are, I'll double-check to see if she rec'd any commission on those.  If not, in the future, if I get another offer like that, I'll book direct.  I'm not going to ask her to do the work if she doesn't get any benefit!

I've had so many issues (they cancel, I cancel) during the past months....and I don't want the TA to do the work also without getting paid......I'll be booking directly also.  It's just easier.

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Some of the lines are offering a bonus commission for the TA.  I assure you they don’t have much work right now and would appreciate any calls they get.   If I was more conga out cruising starting I would book more so my TA could capture the extra commission.     Give them a call, they need the work. 

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8 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

According to my TA, she doesn't get paid by Carnival for cancelled cruises that are not paid-in-full.  She does if they are paid.  She's a top agent for Carnival and has had to rebook many people multiple times and, for most, she hasn't received a dime.

That is how it is with my TA.  I paid our upcoming Princess cruise in full a few weeks prior to final payment using gift cards to make sure that my TA was going to get his cut.  Once Princess cancels our January cruise, we'll take whatever bonus they will offer and flip it to another cruise, possibly in May or if not, next year.

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1 hour ago, MsTabbyKats said:

I've had so many issues (they cancel, I cancel) during the past months....and I don't want the TA to do the work also without getting paid......I'll be booking directly also.  It's just easier.

And if everyone did that, the TA would have no business at all. That would not work out well for the TA income wise.

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The site is full of TA’S often posting.. surprised they haven’t weighed in ? 
I just assumed they were like any other commission sales job .. 

You sell you a commission , the sale gets canceled you get a claw back .. if paid previously .

I also assumed different agents / ‘org might even have different commission rates.. and certain kickers for different class of sales ..

it’s that way in the IT industry and in financial services .. which mostly rely on commission sales .. 

interesting thread ..

 

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Last October I booked a cruise with a large internet TA because I was seduced by the large amount of OBC they were giving.  I did see that they had a charge of $50 pp if the cruise got cancelled but waived if you rebooked another cruise.   Never in a million years did I think it would get cancelled.   Well my cruise did get cancelled but now their charge is $100 pp for a cancellation.  I will not book again with them.  My regular TA states right on their website that there are no cancellation fees now.

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22 hours ago, MsTabbyKats said:

Every business charges differently....and every person in the business charges differently.

 

When I had a tax prep business...if I prepared a return...and then the client didn't want me to file that return...I charged a "consultation fee".  My time was valuable.

Bad analogy. When as a tax preparer you prepared the tax return, the expectation was that the client would pay you for their services, not the federal or state governments.

 

If you were a TA and booked a cruise for your client, your compensation would be expected from the cruise line, not your client. Any money you were paid by the client was just a pass through, hopefully directly to the cruise line if done by credit card, not in any way compensation for you.

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@ontheweb

 

No matter who pays....people should be paid for the time put in.

In the past several months, I've changed, canceled, booked, changed cabins etc so many times...that I feel bad for the TA "not getting paid".  

 

On my "hopeful B2B 9/21 Magic cruise"...as it is now, I canceled the 2nd part.  TA charge a fee, but I can apply it to a future "anything" with him.  On the first part, I downgraded and he said he's making just a few dollars, so no OBC for me.   I'm not going to argue because as we get closer to sail date...if things look good I'll upgrade and add Part 2 back.  And if things don't look good...I'll cancel (or CCL will cancel) the whole trip.

 

Here's the bottom line.  TAs do not make a lot of money....especially on "low cost cruises".  But, they chose to become TAs.  They really don't do anything I couldn't do myself and it's just so much easier for me to do it myself.  And that's why I don't want to use TAs....and if I don't use them, I won't feel bad about them not getting paid.  

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MsTabbyKats said:

@ontheweb

 

No matter who pays....people should be paid for the time put in.

In the past several months, I've changed, canceled, booked, changed cabins etc so many times...that I feel bad for the TA "not getting paid".  

 

On my "hopeful B2B 9/21 Magic cruise"...as it is now, I canceled the 2nd part.  TA charge a fee, but I can apply it to a future "anything" with him.  On the first part, I downgraded and he said he's making just a few dollars, so no OBC for me.   I'm not going to argue because as we get closer to sail date...if things look good I'll upgrade and add Part 2 back.  And if things don't look good...I'll cancel (or CCL will cancel) the whole trip.

Here's the bottom line.  TAs do not make a lot of money....especially on "low cost cruises".  But, they chose to become TAs.  They really don't do anything I couldn't do myself and it's just so much easier for me to do it myself.  And that's why I don't want to use TAs....and if I don't use them, I won't feel bad about them not getting paid.  

 

 

 

 

Here's the bottom line. TAs get paid by the cruise line, not the passengers.

 

I once had a cruise where the price dropped twice and we got an upgrade. The TA when we first booked said he would send us a check for X$ after the cruise. I told him after the price dropped twice that I did not think he was making much at all on the cruise and to not bother sending a check. I do feel for them, but the bottom line again is we as the passengers are not the ones they collect from. And also if everyone had your attitude of now I won't feel bad for them, I will just not use them, then I guess they will all go out of business.

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