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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 22nd, 2001, 04:30 PM
LinecoachARHS
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Default What is average TA's commission on cruise bookings

We've got a bit of a moral dillema. We are booked on a cruise departing within the next 90 days and have just learned that this same cruise, with the same cat., can be booked through another travel agency for a WHOLE lot less money. Being a reasonable sort of fellow, I hate to stiff my first TA for the commission they would have earned. If the average is, say 6%, then I could book with TA #2 and pay TA#1 a personal commission out of the savings and STILL be way ahead of the game. Can anyone give me the average % that commission a TA would make? Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 22nd, 2001, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

10% on cruise fare - 4% on air fare
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 22nd, 2001, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Well that is kinda confidential.

And it depends on both the cruiseline and the agency involved.

And there may have been some other kind of bonus being offerred to the TA.

The best bet would be to see if you current TA can get the lower fare for you and convert your booking. Otherwise you might be looking at some kind of cancellation penalty from either the agency or the cruiseline or both.

Much depends on you indivicula circumstance.
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Old February 22nd, 2001, 07:47 PM
jcpc
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

As Jeff said, I believe the info is confidential and it does depend on the cruise line and the amount of business the agency gives the cruise line. General rule of thumb is between 10% and 15% on cruise (excluding port taxes). I would ask my original TA if he or she can get a cheaper fare. Be honest and upfront and explain that another agency is selling the exact same trip for a much cheaper rate.
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Old February 22nd, 2001, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Yup- agree too! I am a former travel agent. It is a killer to work hard for a booking, and then have a client cancel because another agency has cut a better deal with a cruise line. But that's the breaks and agents are sadly quite used to it. Most agents will try to work with you to match the fare if at all possible but sometimes it just can't be done, and preserve the agency a small profit for their efforts. Every agency/company has an individual agreement with each cruise line however, mostly based on productivity. Commissions are in the 10-15% range, sometimes slightly higher, but on average about 12% (no commission on taxes and cruise- inclusive air) Please give your agent a call and see if the agency can match the fare. I sure hope so- and happy cruising. (What got you looking for a better deal?)
nancy
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Old February 22nd, 2001, 10:53 PM
gogetter
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Hello,

I am curious about a statement you made Nancy. As a former travel agent. 'It is killer to work hard for a booking'

I am curious what you mean ? Lets say i am a client and i call you up.I decide that i want xyz ship to the eastern carribbean on such and such a date. You call the cruise line and they tell you a price......Now correct me if i am wrong, but what is so hard about that ?

I am not a travel agent so i don't know what you mean.....please explain..
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Old February 23rd, 2001, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Well... the case you cite is one scenario and it does happen often. Just as often, though, the potential client walks in and says "I want to take a cruise". A good agent will spend a bit of time qualifying the client, understanding his/her life style, likes/dislikes, previous cruise history, etc. Then the agent may research several sailing dates on several ships and try to find the best VALUE for the client. Only then, in this case, does the agent quote a price.

Here can be the problem. Agent #1 does all of the above and invests some time in it (the idea is to give the client a good value and enjoyable cruise experience so he/she will come back for another cruise and recommend the agent to others... the only way an agent can be successful. You cannot survive selling one cruise, once, to a client.) as well. Now... the client can call agent #2 and simply say... "I want a quote on Ship X, sailing on (date), OceanView cabin, Category Y". Frequently, the client will also tell Agent #2 that he/she has a quote of $xxxx and ask if the agent can beat it. Agent 2's job and cost of sales is quite different from Agent #1's. One would think that Agent #1 might be entitled to something for the professional advice given to the client, enabling the client to seek out the quote from Agent #2 in the first place.

Well... it surely can get complicated.

Ernie
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Old February 23rd, 2001, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Eriemcc teels it like it very often is. And I agree, agent one does derserve some professional consideration, and at the very least a chance to save his or her own booking by matching the price.
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Old February 23rd, 2001, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Jeff and Ernie express it perfectly. Nancy
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old February 23rd, 2001, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

I had a similar situation with a cruise I have booked for later this year on the Millennium. I had originally gone to a cruise travel agency that I had used the last time I went on a cruise. I was familiar with them, they were very reputable, and the prices they quoted me for the Millie seemed pretty reasonable. I did do a little bit of shopping around, and found a cruise wholesaler who I was not familiar with, but who was able to quote me additional savings on the same cruise and cabin category for almost $300 less than agency #1. They were able to do this because of the volume business they do, as well as passing on to passengers a portion of their commissions in order to offer more discounts. I ended going with the lesser price. Agency # 2 has been a nightmare since then regarding customer service and handling all the little details a travel agent would normally handle. They don't know what the word means. Outside of booking the cruise and taking payments, they have done nothing else. I was originally booked on the 4/1 sailing that was cancelled. I happened to read about it here on the CruiseCritic boards, and called my agency. They knew nothing about it, but did call Celebrity. All they did was to get the special help desk phone number and give it to me. Instead of calling Celebrity to get all the details and let me know what was going on, how they were going to handle refunds, the future cruise discounts, and most importantly to them, rebooking my cruise (!), they told me I could call them myself to find out about compensation etc.

The is quite a bit more to this story, but needless to say, when I decided to rebook for November, I went back to agency # 1 because I trusted that they know what customer service is all about, and will handle all the little details for me. So the bottom line is, if all that is important is the amount of money you will save, go with the agency that is offering the best price. But just make sure that you don't fall into the trap of "you get what you pay for"!
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Old February 23rd, 2001, 12:32 PM
LinecoachARHS
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Everyone -

Thank you for your input. I now have a good idea of what would be "fair" to compensate TA #1 in the event we do make a change. BTW, we just happened to see an advertisement in the newspaper for the cheaper fare on the same cruise from TA #2. Again, thanks everyone.
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Old February 23rd, 2001, 12:55 PM
BEAV
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

I'm pretty much with Katie. I've used Internet TA's who rebated back part of their commission, however received louzy service. Now I'm with an Agent who doesn't practice rebating, but I'm satisfied to pay the additional amount due to the tremendous service he provides. He is the ownner/manager of the Agency, quickly returns ALL phone calls, takes his time with me, and makes me feel as if I am his only customer. On my last cruise, he took it upon himself to make a call to his Sales Rep and I received an 8-category upgrade!

Linecoach, I think your idea to pass off some of your savings to TA #1 for their effort is a good idea. Everyone wins with this scenario.

See you soon!
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old February 23rd, 2001, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Good for you! It is the "value" you get that counts... and the service a good agent, whomever he/she is, can be worth its weight in gold.
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Old February 23rd, 2001, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Beav... one day soon, this guy is gonna call you with a super super deal... one that he gives only to his "A" list... those who are his regulars. The folks who switch and switch and switch to save 2 bucks NEVER get those deals!
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Old February 23rd, 2001, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

Well... nice and interesting story. The key word remains "value"... and that includes all the ancilary services you did not receive from the other agent... it can really add up.

Ernie
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Old April 14th, 2001, 08:42 PM
dom
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Default Re: What is average TA's commission on cruise book

its not the travel agents fault the cruise lowered the price and your travel agent does not know it. call your travel agent and ask him or her to call celebrity to see if the price is lower if it is your agent can ask celebrity to change it to the lower price you must do this right away. commission can range from 10-15 percent depending on the agencies revenue. no commission is paid on taxes and port charges. if you need my help email me at eliadominic@netscape.net. thx dominic
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