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What Is a TA's Role for a DW?

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I've actually voluntarily been a part of the process with mine because my TA is taking too long to get back to people while airfares meanwhile are going up. So I have to call her and push her since my guests are wondering what the heck?

Also, she is a little spacey, forgetting that people already gave her information that they gave her.

And finally, I had to urge her to call the airlines about group rates and it wasn't until then that she realized you could get 5-10% discounts on rates on some of the major airlines. I was the one who found the cheapest rate for the hotel too.

And she told me there were no direct flights on a certain day and thus booked me for a different day, after which I checked and realized there were direct flights and so now my plans are not ideal.

However, although she does work for destinationweddings.com, I'm working with her independently with her own company, and I feel like it is probably too late to change as I didn't have a contract with the parent company. I did write her an email expressing my concern, and she seems to have motivated to work a bit harder and more thoroughly after the email.

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I think I got a bum deal. I was referred to a TA ... but that TA directed me to the one I am dealing with now, because she has been to the DR and speaks fluent Spanish, which can help with negotiating with the resort.

 

However, Spanish is more her first language so there is a bit of a language barrier with some of my guests. I have gotten past it and we communicate just fine, but I think it's just easier for guests to ask me b/c she can be a bit difficult to understand at times.

 

I am probably a little too blame b/c I have let her put some of this one me, not knowing what I should and should not be responsible for -- but she is a Leisure Travel Agent and has done DW before, so I would think things would run a little more smoothly.

 

She called not long ago to say that our honeymoon resort was oversold so we would have to book elsewhere. So, I called the 1-800 # and booked us into the room we wanted (at a bit of a higher price than expected and after a lot of question asking b/c initially they "didn't have any rooms left").

 

I am glad that I am doing all of the negotiataions with our WC for the ceremony and reception.

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I have a question...

 

Can a travel agent charge a fee for not only booking the flights, resort, gathering deposits and payments from the guests, etc. but also if she plans on handling your requests for the wedding coordinator (she had previously booked weddings at the same resort and knew important contact people), room upgrades, tours...? What would be an acceptable fee for the TA if this is done? Is it like a consultation fee? Is it based on the number of people booking?

 

Thank you!

Cherie

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
I have a question...

Can a travel agent charge a fee for not only booking the flights, resort, gathering deposits and payments from the guests, etc. but also if she plans on handling your requests for the wedding coordinator (she had previously booked weddings at the same resort and knew important contact people), room upgrades, tours...? What would be an acceptable fee for the TA if this is done? Is it like a consultation fee? Is it based on the number of people booking?

Thank you!
Cherie
Hopefully Tammy (host) or one of the other TA members will jump in on this one. I didn't think a TA charged for services??

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
I have a question...

Can a travel agent charge a fee for not only booking the flights, resort, gathering deposits and payments from the guests, etc. but also if she plans on handling your requests for the wedding coordinator (she had previously booked weddings at the same resort and knew important contact people), room upgrades, tours...? What would be an acceptable fee for the TA if this is done? Is it like a consultation fee? Is it based on the number of people booking?

Thank you!
Cherie
i personally don't but have thought of charging a retainer that goes back towards bride and grooms trip...so many people contact me looking for information then disappear once they get the inforamtion they are looking for. it is a big waste of time and they dont even respond with a thank you or a explanation. the worst was the bride that had me book the wedding date, negotiate the group rate then had her sister get the commission...umm thanks....

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Originally Posted by host View Post
i personally don't but have thought of charging a retainer that goes back towards bride and grooms trip...so many people contact me looking for information then disappear once they get the inforamtion they are looking for. it is a big waste of time and they dont even respond with a thank you or a explanation. the worst was the bride that had me book the wedding date, negotiate the group rate then had her sister get the commission...umm thanks....
I can't believe someone did that to you...maybe you should charge a consultation fee!
I'm definitely fine with paying the fee...especially after everything she did for us. I couldn't believe how quickly the WC responded to my TA than myself. The tours she booked were cheaper than we could find, and everything we wanted during our stay...she worked her magic and miraculously got for us! I was just wondering if the fee is a standard fee...or based on how many people are being booked. If you were to charge a fee for your services...what would it be? I would like to confirm a ballpark amount before we pay our TA. We had 57 people at our wedding.
Thank you for your input!
Cherie

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Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
I can't believe someone did that to you...maybe you should charge a consultation fee!
I'm definitely fine with paying the fee...especially after everything she did for us. I couldn't believe how quickly the WC responded to my TA than myself. The tours she booked were cheaper than we could find, and everything we wanted during our stay...she worked her magic and miraculously got for us! I was just wondering if the fee is a standard fee...or based on how many people are being booked. If you were to charge a fee for your services...what would it be? I would like to confirm a ballpark amount before we pay our TA. We had 57 people at our wedding.
Thank you for your input!
Cherie
well, we do get paid a commission...if i charged a retainer it would be credited back to the bride and groom when they booked their trip and would probably be like $100-200.

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I think as long as the retainer goes back to the rbide and groom, then that is no problem. When wouyld it be asked for, I wonder ... b/c I wish I had 'shopped' TA's a little better b/c I am sure I would have found one who would do a better job than mine is.

 

Price-wise, I can't complain, but the service is leaving a little to be desired.

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Originally Posted by host View Post
i answered below...i make information sheets when my clients ask for it but usually they have websites with information on the resort, area, etc.
I was just going to respond that I am using Tammy and she has been great! She has been handling everyone on their own unless I involve myself and then that't my fault! :)

Tami I think your travel agent is having you do too much....maybe you can mention it to her??

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Originally Posted by michelle08 View Post
I was just going to respond that I am using Tammy and she has been great! She has been handling everyone on their own unless I involve myself and then that't my fault! :)

Tami I think your travel agent is having you do too much....maybe you can mention it to her??
I agree, Michelle! Luckily, we are just about done. I went in to make our final payment Saturday but ti turns out 1 couple STILL hasn't paid up -- even though the deadline we gave was January 15. So, she will just let me know our final amount once she gets them squared away.

The good thing is she worked out a room upgrade for us -- and a $30 discount per person, which she passed along to us. So, our room actually costs $1822.00 (not counting whatever the upgrade cost would have been). We put down an initial $300 deposit -- and as it stands we owe only $544 after the discounts. And since we had about 7 rooms cancel (but did not go under our contracted number of rooms) she is trying to get some of the deposit money back and apply it to our room and give us any extra for our honeymoon.

ANOTHER TA QUESTION -- Is it normal for the deposits to be non-refundable? It was a $300 deposit per room. I never questioned this but just want to make sure that is typical resort policy -- b/c it would be nice to give our guests who had to cancel some of their $$ back or have it applied to us so we could use it to help our our bridal party/parents/etc.

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