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TA question?

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What is the difference between choosing a TA that specializes in DW and just your regular TA? What more can a DW/TA do that my usual agent won't? My aunt is actually a TA and if there is more, than at least I know what to tell her what to ask for. Any help would be great! Thanks!

 

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GREAT question! I'm by no means an expert but from what I've experienced so far, I would only use a TA that specializes in DW's. There is a lot more to a DW than just picking the resort. (which is mainly all a TA will do) DW TA's will be familiar with all the wedding staff at your resort. They know how the process works and can recommend things you would have never thought of. They should also create a wedding website for you so your guests can easily book their trip as well. It's just nice to have someone that knows what's going on. It's essentially having a wedding planner for free- or a lot less!

 

Hope this helps-

I'd love to hear what other brides think. (and if they have a great DW TA)

 

Congrats!!!

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My TA does specialize in weddings/honeymoons and hasn't been very helpful so far. The only thing she has done is tell me my wedding coordinator at Azul is Fabio - who has never gotten back to me. I would use a regular TA if they can get you a better deal or group discount. Using a Wedding TA we have been charged full price for everything, no discounts, no deals, and have had very little help. We just found out that booking online through the vendor is about $300/person cheaper. I did my research and she had come very highly recommended - so I don't know what has happened. We even had to ask her to send our guests reminders that full payment was due less than a week prior. Didn't think this should be our job. I guess it comes down to hiring a competent TA - wedding specialty or not. Good Luck!!!

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this is a post from TA Jennifer that really explains the pros and cons of a DW specialist:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TA Jennifer View Post
When looking for a TA there are a few things that you should keep in mind-

 

Have they booked DW's before and how much experience they have with DW's ? Dw's are so much different than booking a vacation or a honeymoon- most TA's do not realize the amount of time & effort that goes into booking DW's- this is definately one time that it pays to go with a specialist!

 

What are their hours? If you have guests coming from all over the country you will need a TA that they can get ahold of when it is convienant for them. A local TA may be great but if the office hours are 8-5 M-F and your guests are in another time zone it may not work out!

 

What exactly will the TA do ? There are post on hear where a TA will not collect payment nor provide a list of whom has booked.

 

A little trivia-

 

Apple Vacations is a TO not a TA. A tour operator generally contracts with airlines,hotels and transfer companies to sell packages. The turn over rate can be higher with a TO as they are in call centers. You may work with one agent or whomever you get when you call in. You can run into some issues because of not having one person always or with turn over.

 

A TA is a travel agent whose obligation is to the consumer and they work with many different TO's (a TA has different reservation agents to work that are usually dedicated to assisting just travel agents ) A Travel agent also has access to our district Sales managers who will assist with any issues on the consumers behalf.

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I was working with a TA (non DW) and was getting better rates not going through her so I decided to go on my own. Right now I wish I had someone here on my side since I am having a problem with my resort but I don't know if a TA or DW/TA would make a difference.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erica053009 View Post
I was working with a TA (non DW) and was getting better rates not going through her so I decided to go on my own. Right now I wish I had someone here on my side since I am having a problem with my resort but I don't know if a TA or DW/TA would make a difference.
this is usually not the case. your TA will work as your advocate if a problem occurs. i have had incidents happen such as the hotel over-billing a client thousands of dollars for her reception. when the bride tried to resolve the issue on her own she had little success until she got me involved.

another bride was served the wrong entree at her wedding. i was able to get them a large monetary amount to make up for the mistake
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erica053009 View Post
Oh I also got my room for the week plus a room for my DF the noght before the wedding free if booked directly through the resort
alot of resorts will say you only get perks if booked directly through the resort but i just finalized 2 group contracts that have the same perks.

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Thanks for the help, especially for re-posting the pro's and con's from TA Jennifer. Since my TA is my aunt, she will be dealing mostly with family and working outside of business hours including different time zones should not be a problem. And now I know if she will be able to help out if anything should occur during the wedding! smile03.gif But of course, crossing my fingers that that doesn't happen!

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I just wanted to address the issue of finding the price of a package less online.

 

What I've run into several times are the following scenarios-

 

1. Pricing is not compared at the same time. A quote is provided from a TA and a week or two later a consumer is online and finds the price is lower-travel pricing is extremely fluid and changes often. I have seen prices go up by a couple of hundred dollars in one day and I've also seen them go down a couple of hundred dollars in the same day. There may be specials or promotions that weren't available when you received your quote from the TA that now is. Bring it to the TA-allow them to price match and provide the services that a TA does!

 

2. Not comparing the same packages- I've quoted people a full package (flights, transfers and all taxes). They go online and find one that is less. Well they didn't realize that key components were not included (this could be local goverment fees, transfers ect).

 

3. Not comparing the same flights- boy this can be a real biggie! A good TA will look at the flights and offer the best value!

-We look at connection times - the airlines and by extension the online travel agencies- have no problem booking connection times that the chance you have very little chance of making that connection. It may be that you'll need to change terminals or go through customs.

-We also look at layover cities, do you really want to travel north to then go west and then south ? Is your time worth $50 more to travel for 4 hrs as opposed to 7 hrs?

-The most often mistake I see is when guests book flights that will make them arrive at the resort after 9pm or have to leave the resort at 5am to get to the airport in time to catch their flight! I call this one penny wise & pound foolish. They book an all inclusive vacation- the flight arrives at 5pm (because it's less expensive) depending on location it can take an hour to 2 to get through customs, collect luggage and get to the transfer. Then if it's a standard transfer it may take an additional hour or so to get to the resort- then check in may take 10-30 minutes. By the time they are settled dinner may be over, they've missed out on enjoying the resort that they paid for ! Then on the way home they book an early flight (as again it's less expensive ) and the process is repeated on the way home but now they need to purchase breakfast as they left to early to get it at the hotel and most often they need to get to bed early to catch their early transfer missing out on a full evenings worth of fun & entertainment!

- Then I've had clients that booked an a package with an airline that charged for everything-including seat assignments! They ended up paying about $50 more person than if they had booked with me the package that I had offered. I saw the flights when I was researching, did the figuring already and had determined that those flights would overall cost more!

 

A couple of other notes- when you book with a good destination wedding TA you & your guests pay a deposit, not paying in full. This allows everyone to book early and know excatly what to budget for the trip.

 

You have an advocate- some of the hotels are trying to cut a TA out of the picture by offering a slightly lower rate or additional amenities. Have you ever wondered why? One of the reasons is that a TA WILL advocate for our clients! We want you to be happy and come back to us for future vacations, we want your business for life! A resort is perfectly aware that the chances of you coming back to the same property year after year is slim- people want to explore, try new things and destinations!

 

TA's also have an extensive amount of pull-if a resort doesn't make good on a legitimate complaint and it's an issue we see repeatedly we can and will pull our clients out. There are properties that I have sent hundreds of clients to, they do not want me to pull my business. They do not want me going to my suppliers who send thousands of clients to them yearly and complain.

 

Our clients also do not get walked (when a hotel/resort overbooks they will send clients to a different property)- can you guess which clients do get walked ? Yup, it's typically the online agencies as no one will advocate on their behalf.

 

Sorry to have rambled on so much!

 

TA Jennifer

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