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Asta Blast Delta As Hostile To Travel Agents  
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25056 posts, RR: 46
Posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2996 times:

Another step on the road to travel agent-airline relationships becoming even more distant.

Quote:
Association Blasts Delta As ‘Hostile’ To Travel Agents
Feb 18 2009

The largest travel agent association in the U.S. has declared the world’s largest airline, Delta, to be “hostile to improving industry relations with agents.”

The American Society of Travel Agents made the declaration Feb. 10 after Delta rebuffed its requests for discussions about debit memos the airline has been issuing to agents under a new booking policy it implemented in June.

“We understand the issues that Delta faces in this changing economic environment,” ASTA continued. “We also believe that a viable travel agency distribution channel is critical to getting consumers traveling again.”

Full story{subscription required)
http://www.aviationweek.com/publicat...ostile%26rsquo%3B+To+Travel+Agents


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJMBWEEBOY From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2923 times:

This kind of arrogance is just a natural by-product of becoming now the world's largest airline!

JMBWEEBOY


User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7545 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2891 times:

I would have to say that I agree full heartedly.

I work for a group of Travel Agencies (although Im not an agent myself) and Delta has the craziest and most regimented rules of all the carriers. You get debit memos for EVERYTHING under the sun.

Also their agents are extremely unhelpful compared to the other airlines when we call them. Most of the time they ask for the traveler to contact them. Our agencies only sell DL as a last resort.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineMysterzip From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2883 times:



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 2):
Most of the time they ask for the traveler to contact them.

And then only to tell the traveler, "Since the travel agent issued your tickets, you will have to talk to them."


User currently offlineJMBWEEBOY From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2839 times:

Related to the ASTA situation, DL now tracks bookings and if you for e.g. book a customer on day 1, he has a ticketing deadline on day 2, the customer fails to purchase the ticket on day 2, but then you re-book and he does indeed purchase on day 3, the agent will get debited for
booking fees because he cancelled and re-booked. The fact that the passenger did indeed purchase and traveled on DL in the end means nothing.

What the idiot's at DL's management fail to realize with such punitive policies in place, when that passenger does indeed fail to purchase (And the agent cancels out the HX segment so that DL is notg billed by the GDS vendor) the agent will now be booking the passenger on BRAND X to avoid these punitive fees

Suffice to say to the passenger "DL gives you one chance to book and purchase) and if you fail to do so, you are now flying another airline!

Unreal!

JMBWEEBOY


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17418 posts, RR: 46
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

That's interesting...I'd figure travel agents would like DL since they pay some of the highest commissions of the US carriers.


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineSkymiler From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 527 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2782 times:

From another perspective (and not taking a position or having an opinion either way, since I am not qualified to state either way, as you will note below) ....

I fly up to 48 weeks a year and have for ever (it seems) but the last time I used a travel agent was over 15 years ago -- and that means for anything -- air, car, hotel, etc!!!

Is there still a viable market for Travel agents who just issue air tickets, or are they really more organisers of leisure travel "bundles" (combined cruises, etc), win which case the issues raised in this thread are less likely to occur?

Just a Thought ..



I love to fly, and it shows!
User currently offlineTDubJFK From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2757 times:



Quoting JMBWEEBOY (Reply 4):
What the idiot's at DL's management fail to realize with such punitive policies in place, when that passenger does indeed fail to purchase (And the agent cancels out the HX segment so that DL is notg billed by the GDS vendor) the agent will now be booking the passenger on BRAND X to avoid these punitive fees

Suffice to say to the passenger "DL gives you one chance to book and purchase) and if you fail to do so, you are now flying another airline!

You make it sound as if the passenger (your customer) has no say in what carrier they fly. If the passenger says "no, I want that same Delta non-stop you told me about yesterday" or want to still stick with the DL flight for FF miles, and suddenly you're trying to stick them on another carrier with a connection, simply because you don't care for DL's policies, what would you do then?


User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 898 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2752 times:



Quoting Skymiler (Reply 6):
Is there still a viable market for Travel agents who just issue air tickets,

Oh, yes there is. My job requires me to make plenty of travel arrangements, not enough for an in house specialist, but, enough. When I need to book travel, it is always for someone outside the company traveling to us. A travel agent is well worth the $30 for extra fee so I can let our guest fly on the airline of their choice, time of day they want... etc.

It works very well, I put our guest in touch with the travel agent, our guests get the most out of their travel, the travel agent calls me and I pay for the ticket. Easy.

I am glad they are still around.



DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, F28, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, IL-62, L-1011, MD-82/83, YS-11, DHC-8, PA-28-161, ERJ 135/145, E-1
User currently offlineSkymiler From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 527 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2714 times:



Quoting FlyPIJets (Reply 8):
It works very well, I put our guest in touch with the travel agent, our guests get the most out of their travel, the travel agent calls me and I pay for the ticket. Easy

In your case, I can see the value of the travel agent ...

Is you case common, though? Our company certainly does not need an in-house specialist and we found that our employees would rather book their own (with common sense latitude given by managers) and we simply gave up on the travel agents and saved the fees!

We had 1 group pitch their services and we tried it for about 3 weeks. It was a total disaster -- we would independently beat their fares hands-down every time, and not worry about messed up upgrades (which they never ever could get right ..)



I love to fly, and it shows!
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2669 times:



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 5):
...I'd figure travel agents would like DL since they pay some of the highest commissions of the US carriers.

Ummm... I didn't think ANY US airline was still paying commissions on airfares. I think most do on the package deals but on straight airfare I thought the few that were left went out the window after 9/11



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineUSPIT10L From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 3295 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2600 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):

Exceptionally ironic considering DL once had a timetable cover about twenty years ago for "National Travel Agent Week." I got the impression back in the day DL was truly something special to work with. Just shows how times have changed.



It's a Great Day for Hockey!
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7545 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2570 times:



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 5):
I'd figure travel agents would like DL since they pay some of the highest commissions of the US carriers.

Since when?

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 10):
Ummm... I didn't think ANY US airline was still paying commissions on airfares.

Yes they do, but it varies. For example with our company, AA and CO pay commissions, but no one else does. If you look at the wholesalers, most have the same contracts. Domestically they are with just about everyone but US and DL. AA, UA, and NW tend to be the most giving with wholesalers and Travel Agents of the domestic carriers. Of the European Carriers, BA, KL, LX, and LH are all good with agents (especially BA).



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineNorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2542 times:
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Quoting Lincoln (Reply 10):
Ummm... I didn't think ANY US airline was still paying commissions on airfares. I think most do on the package deals but on straight airfare I thought the few that were left went out the window after 9/11

You would be right, no US carrier pays commission on airfare anymore. WN was the last hold out but even they eventually joined the no commission bandwagon. At the time the commission reductions started happening, ASTA wanted to fight the airlines on it, (they had done this once before with great success, back in the 70s i believe, Eastern started playing games with commission, reducing it from ten to eight percent, then five percent, then back to eight percent, ASTA got fed up and called for a boycott of Eastern and Eastern's bookings fell 75 percent practically overnight. Once Eastern understood how much power the travel agent community had over them, they reversed themselves rather immediately and reinstated the standard 10 percent commission) but in the case of the most recent commission cuts, the corporate travel managers told ASTA to back off and leave the issue alone. Instead, agencies across the board adopted some kind of management fee that compensated for the lack of commissions, the agency still gets their money, but now, instead of "working" for the airline, the travel agent "works" for the customer.

As much as i like flying Delta as a passenger, i've grown to loathe them as an agent. Almost invariably, when i call to have them reissue a ticket for me, i'm told they can't, and they suggest i have the passenger call direct. Well, excuse me, if i tell the passenger to call in then i'm not doing my job as the travel agent am i? No i'm not. My job as the travel agent is to make sure that the passenger doesn't have to call himself. DL doesn't seem to understand this. It's called basic customer service.

I really hope that when NW and DL merge their res operations, that DL will adopt NW's more friendly attitude towards the agency community and that DL will scrap it's very user unfriendly voice prompt driven call management system and go with NW's system, which, IIRC involves few or no voice prompts.



Why are people so against low yields?! If lower yields means more people can travel abroad, i'm all for it
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7545 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2428 times:



Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 13):
I really hope that when NW and DL merge their res operations, that DL will adopt NW's more friendly attitude towards the agency community and that DL will scrap it's very user unfriendly voice prompt driven call management system and go with NW's system, which, IIRC involves few or no voice prompts.

Absolutely. NW is very friendly towards agents.

I know our agencies only book DL as a very last resort because they are so hostile toward the agents at our company. A couple of days ago, they issued a debit memo for have a ghost booking that didnt exactly match the passengers actually booking. That is increadably pathetic and loathesome. Our agents hate Delta with a passion and we urge them never (unless the passengers request them) to book them.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17418 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2395 times:



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
Since when?



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
US and DL. AA, UA, and NW tend to be the most giving with wholesalers and Travel Agents of the domestic carriers.




E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7545 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2355 times:



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 15):

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
Since when?



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
US and DL. AA, UA, and NW tend to be the most giving with wholesalers and Travel Agents of the domestic carriers.

Maverick, you misquoted me.

What I said was. AA, UA, and NW are the most giving of the US carriers to Travel Agents. DL and US are NOT. You cut my quote out midsentence.

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
If you look at the wholesalers, most have the same contracts. Domestically they are with just about everyone but US and DL. AA, UA, and NW tend to be the most giving with wholesalers and Travel Agents of the domestic carriers.

They have contracts with just about everyone BUT DL and US.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2346 times:



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 15):


Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
US and DL. AA, UA, and NW tend to be the most giving with wholesalers and Travel Agents of the domestic carriers.

I think you missed the period after DL. In LAXdude's original post:

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
Domestically they are with just about everyone but US and DL.

Followed by (new sentance):

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 12):
AA, UA, and NW tend to be the most giving with wholesalers and Travel Agents of the domestic carriers.

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17418 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2266 times:



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 16):
What I said was. AA, UA, and NW are the most giving of the US carriers to Travel Agents. DL and US are NOT.

Sorry...didn't see the period. I keep hearing about AA and DL's astronomical commissions particularly in Latin America and in the Pacific but I don't hear much from other US carriers.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineXjramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2460 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2231 times:



Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 19):
Look, DL is a great carrier. No argument there. But for Travel Agents they SUCK to work with. That doesnt mean they arent great towards their passengers. Im not talking about their service, management, expansion, ATL, or any of that. Im talking about their hostileness towards agents. And they are hostile towards agents. Unless you are or have been an agent, you wont get it.

You are right, most people on here won't get it. Most people aren't on the receiving end of a travel agents screw up, either and I get them daily, yes daily, as a CSA. From baggage agreements, to wrong date of travel, to incorrect ticketing, it really is frustrating on our end. So, is the "hostility" on Delta's end necessary? Probably.

You want my advice, talk to the airlines directly for airfare and information. Anything else a travel agent, if necessary, would be good (hotels, driving directions, etc).

xjr  Smile



Look ma' no hands!
User currently offlineJMBWEEBOY From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2153 times:



Quoting Xjramper (Reply 23):
You are right, most people on here won't get it. Most people aren't on the receiving end of a travel agents screw up, either and I get them daily, yes daily, as a CSA. From baggage agreements, to wrong date of travel, to incorrect ticketing, it really is frustrating on our end. So, is the "hostility" on Delta's end necessary? Probably.

You want my advice, talk to the airlines directly for airfare and information. Anything else a travel agent, if necessary, would be good (hotels, driving directions, etc).

Well this thread has surely brought out the travel agent haters big time! A few points need to be made.

Some are saying travel agents make mistakes. Sure, like any human beings. But airlines do and one of the reasons agents are suprisingly handling more of the business travel market today than 10 years ago are because of those airline screwups which business customers count on agents to sort out for them.

Lets not forget Delta was the first to cut agent commissions in February 1995 and delivered the final blow in February 2002 by eleminating all commissions in the post Sept 11th period. But in the end, Delta did agents like myself a favor in that we are no longer victims of a percentage off "Kamikaze, get airline X for entering our market" pricing schemes and wars. My firm gets $50-70 per ticket and my business customer base if all to happy to pay that in lieu of dealing with airlines like Delta or even the internet.

Delta also has policies for e.g., re groups that are impossible. E.g. Book a group 6 months out on Delta and you are required to have all names and full payment within 30 days of booking. Book most other airlines and after an initial deposit, full payment is not due along with names until 30 days prior to departure. I book a number of collegiate athletic teams out of the NYC area on a regular basis and they always end up on Jet Blue or American for this very reason. Nobody wants to put out the full fare now for a September 2009 group booking no less a final name list when it can be done as with AA or B6 in August 2009. Great way to drive business to your competitors Delta!

Finally there is the question of the "quality of product." I am sure some will strongly disagree but while Delta might be better than some US carriers, they are far inferior to most foreign flag carriers. I just returned from a business class leg on DL from DXB to ATL and
while the flight attendants were surely friendly, the rest of the product was far inferior to the C class product of almost every foreign flag carrier I've ever traveled on. As such a "win-win"
for me is booking my clients on foreign flag carriers whenever possible. First and foremost, my customer gets a much better experience and I can, in my own little way, make my feelings known about hostile and belligerent carriers like Delta. Airline frequent flyer programs do not run as deeply as senior airline execs might think. Again, for a "win-win" I let my fingers do the walking on the keyboard.

Many agents like myself did not run away from air travel during the last decade and we still sell a heck of a lot of it. Despite what senior airline execs might think, we are not order takers based on "market share." . We are human beings and while we don't expect airlines to be our best buddies, we don't appreciate them (like Delta) being so hostile

JMBWEEBOY


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