Originally Posted by GeorgeinTX
Thanks to Pete for providing some accurrate information.
One other correction... the change in Royal Caribbean's commission structure from 15% to 10% applies ONLY TO TRAVEL AGENTS IN THE UK... not in the US. The UK division has been and is a completely separate entity from Royal Caribbean USA. Royal Caribbean UK used to have a base commission of 15% and they have moved it to 10%. Base commission here in the US was always 10%. This ais a big difference and the writer of this article either missed it or should have pointed out that this change does not affect the US market.
You are correct, George, and I forgot to point that out, also. Thanks for bringing that up.
While the current change in commission only affects UK agents, it'll be interesting to see if they implement this here.
Carnival did something similar in the U.S. just a couple of weeks ago. They changed their commission process so it's no longer based on dollar amount sold and is now based on cabins sold. Plus, they raised the requirements so now agents have to sell more before they can move up to the next commission level.
Cruise lines are looking for ways to cut their expenses so they can keep their prices low. But cutting the pay of those working for a living is not the way to do it.
One other issue at hand. As I mentioned, the cruise price is based on two fares; the cruise fare and the port fees or NCF's. (Remember, commission is based only on the cruise fare.) One thing the cruise lines are very tight lipped about concerns how the NCF's (Non-commissionable Fare). They will not release the specific details on how exactly these are figured and what they include. We know that most of the NCF's are port fees, but the rest seems to be an industry secret that no one discusses. Recently, the NCF's have gone up, yet port fees have not gone up. Agents feel this is just another way for the cruise lines to charge the passengers more money while not increasing the cruise fare so they don't have to pay more in commissions. A sneaky way of screwing the agents.
It's sort of like the Fuel Supplement. When they feel they need more money because of high oil prices, they simply add a Fuel Supplement. Since this is also not added to the cruise fare, again, they get more money from the passengers without increasing the amount that commissions are based on. In no other industry where commissions are paid does such a thing occur. And if the cruise lines are allowed to do it for fuel, then what's stopping them from doing it in other areas; how about a food supplement? Or a labor surcharge? In any other business, if the price of doing business goes up, then they simply raise the price, they don't do it as a surcharge in order to avoid being financially responsible.
As you can see, this is a sore point for agents as it would be for anyone who's pay is being cut while they are expected to do much more work. In other words, under these new levels implemented in the UK, an agent has to sell alot more cruises just to make the same amount they made before.
The bottom line is this is like requiring the average worker to all of a sudden produce 50% more work this year in order to make the same wage they made last year.