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soontobemrsdow

Travel Agent Rant

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Why is it that I'm seriously contemplating going onto my third travel agent to help us book this wedding? You would think that being gift wrapped 20+ customers would motivate these people to do their job efficently.

 

With my first travel agent I understand it was too early to book but she flat out lied to my face. Twice. Ya see you in another life lady.

 

My new travel agent is so nice and was waaay more organized than the first so I thought I was set. Not quite.

I met her over a month ago and everytime I contact her now she'll have the quotes by the end of the week "I promise, you'll have the info in your hands Friday"

Yup pretty sure it's been about 5 Fridays now.

 

And here I was thinking a destination wedding was going to be less stressful

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Have you considered using a BDW TA? They are very experienced at handling DWs and should be able to help guide you along the way. In fact, many had DW as well.

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I really have but I would like someone who lives close to me that we could meet. I'm sure everyone on here are complete pros but to possibly have a TA from another province or even another country seems weird to me. plus who knows what my mother would say about that! lol

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I think one of the BDW TAs is in Toronto.

 

Just remind your mother that you are getting married out of country so having a TA out of country is actually a lesser deal. :) At least in my opinon. wink.gif

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Agreed -- I don't thikn it really matters if they get the job done!

Mine has been a nightmare -- until today!! She pulled through for us, and I'm ecstatic. I went through the same thing though, waiting until Friday and then knowing I would hear nothing over the weekend....and then though the next.

It's painfully frustrating, but truthfully you do still have lots of time and they will get it done! They just aren't on the same schedule as us panicky brides lol.

I planned this in 6 months and it's JUST coming together now lol.

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I would ask her what the issue is- it may be that she is being told by her suppliers that the rates are going to be available by next Friday and then the next friday and so on and then the supplier(s) isn't coming through! Been there-done that!

 

In the USA our suppliers are just finishing up with the January 2011 rates & contracts- took a bit longer this year because of all the craziness over the last year and a half! There are still some resorts/destinations that are not finished and loaded into the reservation systems and therefor we can not yet quote/book!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soontobemrsdow View Post
Why is it that I'm seriously contemplating going onto my third travel agent to help us book this wedding? You would think that being gift wrapped 20+ customers would motivate these people to do their job efficently.

 

With my first travel agent I understand it was too early to book but she flat out lied to my face. Twice. Ya see you in another life lady.

 

My new travel agent is so nice and was waaay more organized than the first so I thought I was set. Not quite.

I met her over a month ago and everytime I contact her now she'll have the quotes by the end of the week "I promise, you'll have the info in your hands Friday"

Yup pretty sure it's been about 5 Fridays now.

 

And here I was thinking a destination wedding was going to be less stressful

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i started with a local TA and got nowhere. My TA (jill from BDW) is awesome, has answered all my questions, and keeps me updated on lower airfair, hotel promos, etc...and we live hundreds of miles away!!

 

i think its better to have a TA that is knows how to handle a DW (and has even experienced one herself), than someone who you can see face to face. emails and phone calls work wonders!! good luck!

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I agree with the ladies. It doesn't really matter where your TA is based, what matters is that s/he knows how to manage groups well, and particularly how to put jittery brides at ease. I lucked out in that a friend of a friend in town managed the travel arrangements for us. If I didn't have that option available to me, I would have booked one of the BDW TAs. Actually, I shared a photographer with another bride and we booked the photographer's travel through TA Dina, and she was great!!!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soontobemrsdow View Post
You would think that being gift wrapped 20+ customers would motivate these people to do their job efficently.
Ugh, I hear you on that! I think I tried contacting at least 4 different travel agents before I found one who was actually interested in helping me. I asked myself the same question, like is this not how you make money, by booking holidays for people? And I'm offering to hand you 50 people who all want to go to the same place, basically a lay down sale, and you're not interested? I didn't get it either. Very frustrating.

I finally did find a TA (recommended by my photog actually!) who is very responsive and excited to work with me, so thank goodness for that. All I can say about those other TAs is that it is their loss!

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I know many, many TA's that will not work with destination weddings - even under threat of torture!

 

A couple of factors-

Not only do we book the travel arrangements and assist with choosing a destination and resort which is what we are trained for, but we also must know the wedding packages, wedding locations, destinations legal requirements and residency periods, wedding options and assist with the WC's plus keeping up with the spreadsheets on who has booked, arrival & departure dates and flights- with no extra compensation.

 

It takes just as much effort and customer service to assist a guest with a 3/4 night stay as it does a client who is perhaps on their honeymoon and staying for 7-8 nights- but as we are paid on commission so we get paid less.

 

Quite often there are several guests who are extremly confrontational and/or passive aggressive. They do not want the couple to have a destination wedding, they are pissed and it is all the travel agents fault! And believe me -we hear it just as much as the bride & groom!

 

Then there are the guests who do not want to use a travel agent - and are ticked because they have to if there is a group in place.

 

Then there are guests that want us to quote every possible date, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 nights within a 10 day or so period. Usually looks like this "We're not sure is how long we want to go and what dates so quote us all dates and option from 3-7 days from February 3-12th - all with airfare. We can go out of 3 different airports. We're also not sure which room category so provide rates on them all"

They contact us every week for 6 months and then don't end up booking! Or, worse yet book online- thanking us for helping them find the perfect deal and answer all of their questions, as the price was the same!

 

Of course then we have family issues to assist with- Aunt Joan does not speak to Aunt May so they need to stay on opposite sides of the resort (that's usually an easy one!) or tell so & so if they call that the resort is sold out! Also to be on the look out for ex boyfriends or girlfriends! ohhhh the stories we could tell.....

 

That's just SOME of what a TA assists with for a destination wedding- it really takes a love & passion to specialize in destination weddings and a thick skin! Honestly I've had some guests that have had me in tears- thankfully I've had amazing brides & grooms!!

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