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"We owe this to the travel agents": Celebrity


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“We owe this to the travel agents”: Celebrity Cruises - Travelweek

 

2. How has Celebrity handled refunds throughout this crisis and, more importantly for travel agents, how has it handled commissions?

“We have been leading the way in this very important area since day 1 of the pause. We came out with the ‘Cruise With Confidence’ in March to ensure we were and are protecting our guests and ultimately our travel partners. We have strategically waited to announce further pauses to our fleet to protect our travel partners and guests. The bookings have been protected and we are even paying commission on the rebooked cruises when using the cruise credits. We owe this to the travel agents as they have been on the front lines throughout and have been amazing partners.”

3. Why are travel agents so important to Celebrity?

“Our travel partners have remained by our side throughout this event and it shows how strong our bond has become. We have stayed in close contact with updates and used this time to train and realign. We have also learned how to better support, communicate and also created more user friendly tools to support and empower our travel partners. Now more than ever Travel Agents are crucial when booking travel, they will have an arsenal of up-to-date information and will be ready to represent our industry and brand with ease.”

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It is my understanding that travel agents haven't really gotten any commissions since the industry shut down.  Is this correct?  How are TAs getting compensated?

 

I know that my TA is very busy in cancelling and rebooking cruises--but I don't think that she is receiving any commissions??

 

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45 minutes ago, basenji56 said:

It is my understanding that travel agents haven't really gotten any commissions since the industry shut down.  Is this correct?  How are TAs getting compensated?

 

I know that my TA is very busy in cancelling and rebooking cruises--but I don't think that she is receiving any commissions??

 

 

I understand that they have been paid a commission on all bookings once paid in full.  This is what my TA explained to me, anyway.  I was reluctant to cancel one ahead of time that I knew the cruiseline was going to cancel and she told me that shouldn't be my concern.  Well, the cruiseline ended up canceling it nonetheless and just before final payment .... so, I don't think my TA got anything for it.  

 

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Sadly the travel industry from the large corporations to those individuals that service us have been financially hurt through the pandemic  Debt continues to be incurred  with no income to offset it. Looking forward to a recovery for the world in 2021. 

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I've been paid commission from cancelled cruises.  Plus we'll get the commission for the future cruise they booked.  Win/Win for us, lose/lose for the cruise lines.  Well maybe not lose/lose, they are getting another cruise booked.

 

My guess is the rebook rate for cruises that are booked through a travel agent are way higher than booking direct or through an online agency.

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Here is the verbiage from CWC

 

 Q. #37: Will Travel Partner commissions be protected for guests who choose to cancel their existing reservation?

 

A: Yes, travel partner base commission will be protected on the cancelled booking and travel partners will have the opportunity to earn commission on the future reservation where the Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credit is applied. Please note that commission will be paid on cancelled reservations only if: (i) it is paid in full; (ii) it is subject to 100% cancellation charges; and (iii) the guest has opted to cancel and take the Cruise with Confidence FCC. If the booking is paid in full and the guest misses the cancellation deadline of 48-hours prior to the sail date and requests cancellation, full penalties will be assessed and commission will be protected. Please note that FCC commission earnings are payable only on sailed reservations.

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I don’t think any large cruise TA or full time independent TA could have stayed in business if they cruise lines were not providing some commissions.
 

 I know our TA has had to reduce staff significantly but have always encouraged us to do what is best for us and have not charged us the cancellation fee they could have charged.    Celebrity has cancelled 6  of our cruises well before final payment and  I hope the TA got something for making the booking, changing our pricing, cabin, and  issuing FCCs, and requesting our refunds.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a few things to add....I think it varies with the cruise line, but I read recently that about 80% of cruises were booked through TAs pre-pandemic.  The better lines recognize this and realize that good TAs provide more service than a phone/internet reservation system and at lower cost to the cruise line.  Celebrity was one of the better ones as it paid commissions for the fully paid trips, as someone indicated above.

 

Another point is that many TAs spent hundreds of hours on the phone processing cancellations and making sure their clients were taken care of.  No extra pay to TA for this!  Most lines did not pay TAs commission if the trip had not been paid for.

 

The TAs struggling the most were the ones who were relying on TA income as their full-time work--which requires a steady stream of new bookings. Obviously that has dried up for the time being. Many independent TAs are believed to be out of the business as a result. One plus was the stimulus package that temporarily allowed independent contractors to collect unemployment.

 

When things recover, and they will, it is predicted that more people will use TAs because TAs know which lines treated their clients well and which did not.  People will want more high quality advice on cancellation policies and such. And they don't want to spend hours and hours trying to get through on swamped phone lines if calamity hits again.

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