Online travel agents and robots have been selling point-to-point travel and return fares for years, but when it comes to complex round-the-world (RTW) fare constructions, travel agents are light years ahead.
TravelManagers’ fares and ticketing guru Luke Vaughan proved that at the weekend when, in a workshop at TravelManagers’ Annual National Conference in Adelaide, he produced two RTW fares of astonishing value, both originating in Melbourne and coming in at under AUD 2000.
The first, on Swiss International Air Lines, is routed Melbourne-Dubai on Qantas, Dubai-Zurich on Swiss, Zurich-Barcelona on Swiss, Madrid-Zurich on Swiss, Zurich-Sao Paulo on Swiss, Sao Paulo-Santiago de Chile on TAM, Santiago-Sydney on Qantas and finally Sydney-Melbourne on Qantas. The fare: AUD 1914.62.
Another Vaughan construction, ticketed on Lufthansa, headed from Melbourne through Singapore, Frankfurt, London, Milan, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Auckland and back to Melbourne. It used Lufthansa and Air New Zealand and come in at AUD 1995.02.
“Pretty bloody cheap!” was how Vaughan described the fares.
In another session at the conference, TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Ric Pattaro, from Sydney, gave a few tips on the sort of service that has seen him recently named Best Travel Consultant – Corporate by the National Travel Industry Awards, for the second consecutive year.
Fill out your client’s outbound passenger form for them when you give them their documents, Pattaro said. That way, all they have to do is sign it. They remember the gesture – and it can be quite a timesaver for families.
More generally, Pattaro said it’s important to remember your customers’ likes and dislikes.
“Do what you do 200%,” Pattaro advised. Your customers will talk about it. Referrals will follow.
“Don’t take anything for granted. What you put in is what you get out.”
Written by Peter Needham