How Seabourn's 5% Onboard Booking Discount Works
Apparently there are some travel agents who are misinforming their clients about how Seabourn's 5% onboard booking discount works and this has now filtered out onto the internet. In an effort to clarify things I offer the following.
Seabourn has recently expanded the program in two ways:
1. If you make a refundable deposit onboard or if you book a cruise within 30 days of disembarkation you receive a 5% discount on the cruise fare (but not the taxes).
2. The standard deposit is $1,000, but on certain cruises Seabourn is accepting a reduced $500 deposit.
Contrary to what has been posted out in the interwebs, that 5% is not deducted from the travel agent's commission. What happens is the cruise fare is reduced by 5% and, obviously, the travel agent does not receive a commission on that 5%, but does received a full commission on the resulting 95%.
For example, if a cruise was selling for $6,000 + $50 in taxes, the 5% discount would result in a fare of $5,700 + $50 in taxes...a nice $300 savings. The only supposed loss to the travel agent would be whatever his/her commission rate is on $300. (The travel agent still gets a commission on the $5,700 less that portion which is called the Non-Commissionable Fare - NCF - which is a thorn in the side of every travel agent placed there by most, but not all, cruise lines. BTW, Regent doesn't have NCFs.)
Why is that important to know? Because some travel agents are telling people that they cannot discount, provide onboard credits or give other added value because Seabourn has taken a large amount of their commission away from them. That is simply a ruse or utter ignorance.
I hope this clears things up.
When a travel agent intentionally misinforms a client about anything - especially discounts on cruises, that is a solid indication they only care about one thing - making as much money as possible off of you.
It reminds me of the class warfare we are seeing in this country now - agents who figure "if you have the money you might as well share it with me."
The problem is that the agent/customer relationship has to be based on trust. If you have an agent you cannot trust then you have the wrong agent.
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