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vhtje
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Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:35 am

Boeing74741R wrote:
JannEejit wrote:
vhtje wrote:
When I walked past Trailfinders yesterday, I noticed that of the 8 or so desks in the shopfront, only two were occupied by agents. Of those desks, only one had a customer. And this was at lunchtime.

How long can high street travel agents last?


Time will tell how long they can last, I've seen similar scenes walking past the rebranded Hays branches in recent days, but then again I don't know too many people looking to book holidays in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas.


There's still a role for a traditional travel agent, but the stores need to have something to entice people in and do more with their floorspace than just have various desks lined up with brochures on the racks and a bureaux de change desk at the back.

Take for example Virgin Holidays, who are currently opening stores in various towns and cities in the UK. In their Trafford Centre branch, there is a bar by the door to entice you in and you will be served a complementary drink whilst waiting to be seen by an agent. In the back of the store, there are VS Premium Economy and Upper Class seats to try, which I think is a great idea as it shows people what they can get by upgrading and could swing it for those thinking about it (though note to Virgin Holidays: they need to be changed for the new seats that are in the A350's before they completely replace the 747's). How often do you see airline seats on display somewhere for people to try without getting on a plane? In another room, you have what looks like a virtual reality room so you can "try out" the destination you want to go to. As an aside, it's also on the ground floor next to one of the car park entrances by Debenhams, so it's in a prime position to capture the attention of any thoroughfare heading in and out from that side or passing by - key if you're trying to capture potential impulsive buyers who may not go out of their way to locate a store.

I appreciate this will be tricky for independent travel agents to replicate, but by having parts of the product to try it's bringing products to people and a reason for people to use stores.


Bars... free drinks... virtual reality equipment - lovely for the customer, but those frills are not sustainable in an industry running on razor-sharp margins. My implied point in my original post about the lessening in quality of paper in the Trailfinders brochure, is that Trailfinders are obviously cutting costs. They closed their owned resort in Bloomfield in North Queensland a couple of years ago, and it has been on the market ever since.

One wonders if travel agents shouldn’t consider changing their business model. Rather than earning a commission from vendors on items sold, perhaps they could charge the traveller a fee for locating that perfect deal? Arguably, that would better serve the traveller, since under that model they are not being sold hotel A because it earns the agent a bigger commission than hotel B, even though hotel B better fits the customer’s need.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
bananaboy
Posts: 1673
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:58 am

Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:12 am

vhtje wrote:
Boeing74741R wrote:
JannEejit wrote:

Time will tell how long they can last, I've seen similar scenes walking past the rebranded Hays branches in recent days, but then again I don't know too many people looking to book holidays in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas.


There's still a role for a traditional travel agent, but the stores need to have something to entice people in and do more with their floorspace than just have various desks lined up with brochures on the racks and a bureaux de change desk at the back.

Take for example Virgin Holidays, who are currently opening stores in various towns and cities in the UK. In their Trafford Centre branch, there is a bar by the door to entice you in and you will be served a complementary drink whilst waiting to be seen by an agent. In the back of the store, there are VS Premium Economy and Upper Class seats to try, which I think is a great idea as it shows people what they can get by upgrading and could swing it for those thinking about it (though note to Virgin Holidays: they need to be changed for the new seats that are in the A350's before they completely replace the 747's). How often do you see airline seats on display somewhere for people to try without getting on a plane? In another room, you have what looks like a virtual reality room so you can "try out" the destination you want to go to. As an aside, it's also on the ground floor next to one of the car park entrances by Debenhams, so it's in a prime position to capture the attention of any thoroughfare heading in and out from that side or passing by - key if you're trying to capture potential impulsive buyers who may not go out of their way to locate a store.

I appreciate this will be tricky for independent travel agents to replicate, but by having parts of the product to try it's bringing products to people and a reason for people to use stores.


One wonders if travel agents shouldn’t consider changing their business model. Rather than earning a commission from vendors on items sold, perhaps they could charge the traveller a fee for locating that perfect deal? Arguably, that would better serve the traveller, since under that model they are not being sold hotel A because it earns the agent a bigger commission than hotel B, even though hotel B better fits the customer’s need.


Some businesses do charge a consultation fee,.often refundable if a booking is made.

I can only speak from my experience but in an independent agency, we would never recommended anything that didn't best suit the customer. Particularly now, it's so easy to share opinions and reviews. Reputation is everything and, ultimately, you have to spend a lot of marketing money to acquire a customer and work hard to keep them; advising a purchase that you know isn't best suited to them is short sighted and not worth a few quid extra.

Go into a Tui store and you'll be directed towards an in-house product but again, I'd be confident they'd be trying to find something best suited for you..no one wants an angry customer.

Hotel comparison sites are now under scrutiny about their directional selling so no guarantee of impartiality there.

Anyway, I'll leave it here before we go further off topic.

Mark
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
 
Boeing74741R
Posts: 1383
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:44 am

Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:28 am

vhtje wrote:
Bars... free drinks... virtual reality equipment - lovely for the customer, but those frills are not sustainable in an industry running on razor-sharp margins. My implied point in my original post about the lessening in quality of paper in the Trailfinders brochure, is that Trailfinders are obviously cutting costs. They closed their owned resort in Bloomfield in North Queensland a couple of years ago, and it has been on the market ever since.

One wonders if travel agents shouldn’t consider changing their business model. Rather than earning a commission from vendors on items sold, perhaps they could charge the traveller a fee for locating that perfect deal? Arguably, that would better serve the traveller, since under that model they are not being sold hotel A because it earns the agent a bigger commission than hotel B, even though hotel B better fits the customer’s need.


I suppose only Virgin Holidays knows if their stores are profitable for it or if it's as waste of money. As they don't sell their holidays via third party travel agents anymore, they have an incentive to bring people into their stores if not to do it online or over the phone. My feeling is that they must be making enough money from in-store sales to make it worthwhile including in their various new stores they're opening up.

As for fees, that's what some corporate travel agents do already by charging their fee on top of the total cost of the booking. As business passengers are busy and agents can dedicate the time to both putting together complex itineraries and sometimes able to find fares you can't get online, it's a small price to pay for convenience and their service is also available to them during the trip if needed. The flaw with that as far as the leisure traveller is concerned is that some people will see that fee as an extra cost of booking it with an agent and if they think they can book the exact same trip online without paying that fee, they will go and do it. Rightly or wrongly, some people will take one look at the total cost and book it with whichever is the cheapest. For that reason, I think it's a cost not worth charging and would be counterproductive.
 
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readytotaxi
Posts: 7318
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Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:38 am

With the likes of Virgin Holidays I wonder why they don't do something along the line of a travelling holiday road show. Get a couple of kitted out display trucks and target large towns or city centres where they have no presence. Set up for 2 or 3 days over a weekend in a supermarket car park or similar and give people a chance to be hands on with their product. No big out lay for one site and then move on to the next opportunity. Just my :twocents:
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
jomur
Posts: 343
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:36 pm

Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:33 pm

Most Virgin Holiday shops I go past have hardly anyone in them. Most of VH customers book online anyway.
 
danipawa
Posts: 426
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Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:56 am

Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics declares insolvency

Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics (H5, Palma de Mallorca) has declared insolvency after a search for new investors, launched in October 2019, did not yield any positive outcome for the Spanish production carrier, travel industry news website Preferente has reported.

The Spanish airline launched formal insolvency proceedings on December 20.

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news ... insolvency
 
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OA260
Posts: 24260
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:42 pm

JannEejit wrote:
vhtje wrote:
When I walked past Trailfinders yesterday, I noticed that of the 8 or so desks in the shopfront, only two were occupied by agents. Of those desks, only one had a customer. And this was at lunchtime.

How long can high street travel agents last?


Time will tell how long they can last, I've seen similar scenes walking past the rebranded Hays branches in recent days, but then again I don't know too many people looking to book holidays in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas.


I have my doubts about some of the Hays Travel branches that were rebranded from TC. A lot of people still link the locations to TC and are wary. Obviously a totally different company but the public think a different way. Also some locations were not performing well under TC due to various factors including local competition. A number of Hays Travel shops I passed in recent weeks have been empty and at peak times too. I do wonder how long it will be before the honeymoon period ends and we sadly see some Regional UK shops fall victim.
 
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usxguy
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Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 26, 2019 7:55 pm

Any updates on Condor?
xx
 
mxaxai
Posts: 1807
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:07 pm

usxguy wrote:
Any updates on Condor?

Reports in November were that there are "many" interested parties.

Come December and at least 3 bidders submitted a preliminary offer. Among them is Apollo, an investment group from the USA, who would likely cooperate with a local German travel agency like DER Touristik and Schauinsland Reisen to provide passengers. Ryanair is supposedly not interested. Lufthansa may or may not have submitted an offer, there hasn't been any information on that end.
https://boerse.ard.de/aktien/mehrere-in ... or100.html
 
juliuswong
Posts: 2021
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Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:08 am

Noticed some ex-TC aircraft movement recently, its collapse has allowed many airlines to add additional capacity without having to wait for Boeing for Airbus to churn out their new aircraft. Jet2 and Vietjet have added few A321, one of its older A321 has arrived in Singapore for P2F conversion, I would expect more of the recent A321 to be picked up soon. Their A321 fleet has brigther future compared to A320 fleet which are comparatively much more older.
- Life is a journey, travel it well -
 
CWL757
Posts: 114
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Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:11 am

juliuswong wrote:
Noticed some ex-TC aircraft movement recently, its collapse has allowed many airlines to add additional capacity without having to wait for Boeing for Airbus to churn out their new aircraft. Jet2 and Vietjet have added few A321, one of its older A321 has arrived in Singapore for P2F conversion, I would expect more of the recent A321 to be picked up soon. Their A321 fleet has brigther future compared to A320 fleet which are comparatively much more older.

A second A321 (DHJH and NIKO) are both rumoured for P2F conversation. Anyone know what airline they are going to? I know Qantas was taking one.
A319, A320, 738, 743, 744, 752, 772, 788, C150, E175, E190, F70, R22
 
716131
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Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:31 am

Some A321s already solded to Vietjet. At least 10 A321s will go to Jet2. 2 or 3 A321s will be converted for freighter. The remaining will go to Delta?
If it's not Boeing, I'm not going!
 
danipawa
Posts: 426
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:18 am

Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:00 am

Airbus A321 -211 6526 VN-A532 VietJet Air delivery 24-25dec19 ZAG-AZI-SGN ex OE-IKL
Airbus A321 -211 7048 VN-A542 VietJet Air delivery 30-31dec19 ZAG-AZI-SGN ex OE-IKP

source: https://www.skyliner-aviation.de/regdb. ... av4&page=2
 
juliuswong
Posts: 2021
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:22 am

Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:55 am

A321-231 G-TCDZ 21 years old vintage from Air 2000, is unlucky, heading to CDT to meet her maker. Source: https://www.skyliner-aviation.de/regdb. ... av4&page=1

https://www.planespotters.net/airframe/ ... nes/3v1093
- Life is a journey, travel it well -
 
davidjohnson6
Posts: 798
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Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:56 pm

Thomas Cook Aviation in Germany has filed for bankruptcy after Condor cancelled the flying contract for summer 2020
https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/thom ... ankruptcy/
 
sandyb123
Posts: 964
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:29 pm

Re: Thomas Cook Bankruptcy Discussion Thread

Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:17 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
Thomas Cook Aviation in Germany has filed for bankruptcy after Condor cancelled the flying contract for summer 2020
https://www.aviation24.be/airlines/thom ... ankruptcy/


That's a real shame but hardly surprising. If you'd said 3 months ago that a global virus pandemic was going to cause multiple more airlines to fold, you'd have been laughed out of town.

Sadly this is going to be the tip of the iceberg and I wish all individuals effected the best of luck.

Sandyb123
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