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jafa39
Topic Author
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Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:00 pm

My organisation always books my NZ domestic flights from the Air NZ website, we pay anything from $85NZ-$220 AKL-WLG or Vice Versa.

If you were booking WLG-AKL NZ 414 on 27/07/06 and AKL-WLG NZ457 on the same day you would pay $335NZ for the round trip on the website.

A govt dept just sent me an e-ticket for this journey, booked via a travel agent i shall refrain from mentioning......they charged $939NZ!!!!!!!!! a rake-off of $604NZ!!!!!!

Is this legal???????
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:14 pm

Check the fare classes. Looks like you got nicked for full Y, instead of WSAVER outbound and GSMART return.
International Homo of Mystery
 
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hawaiian717
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:26 pm

I don't know how the NZ government works, but in the US, the government doesn't usually buy normal restricted fare tickets. They usually buy unrestricted tickets that can be changed or cancelled without penalties. They're not always the full Y fare though, often a lower fare is negotiated that guarantees that airline will get nearly all government travel business between those cities.
 
gigneil
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:52 pm

The volume purchase could also average fares in a certain way where this particular routing seems high, but it works out everywhere else.

For example, at my company we frequently pay quite a bit for even short routes like DCA-RDU, but I can almost always get IAD-SFO for practically nothing.

N
 
jafa39
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:28 pm

Quoting Hawaiian717 (Reply 2):
They usually buy unrestricted tickets that can be changed or cancelled without penalties

We buy restricted and the few times we have to lose the ticket or pay for changes works out at considerably less than $600 a year, it don't seem right to me but there you go, we're an NGO and the Govt is......the Govt!

[Edited 2006-06-26 08:29:18]
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:36 pm

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 4):
the Govt is......the Govt!

You never did say what the fare code was on the ticket. As mentioned above, it could also be the way the ticket prints out. The first time I bought a ticket from a bucket shop, I paid about 20% of what the ticket said, and got a supplemental invoice for the "real" price, but the ticket had an endorsement that it was only refundable through the travel agent.
International Homo of Mystery
 
jafa39
Topic Author
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:39 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
You never did say what the fare code was on the ticket.

Its an e-ticket from the travel agent, just says "Economy", Air NZ domestic is effectively ticketless although their own e-tickets have more info on them.

I have told the govt to cancel the ticket, I'll re-book on my Visa and they can reimburse me, I think its a scandalous waste of money.
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
melpax
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:45 pm

Quoting Hawaiian717 (Reply 2):
I don't know how the NZ government works, but in the US, the government doesn't usually buy normal restricted fare tickets. They usually buy unrestricted tickets that can be changed or cancelled without penalties. They're not always the full Y fare though, often a lower fare is negotiated that guarantees that airline will get nearly all government travel business between those cities.

This is pretty much the same with the OZ Federal govt & for good reason. I've been in meetings that have run over time & there was a mad rush to call QF to change flights!
Essendon - Whatever it takes......
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:58 pm

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 6):
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
You never did say what the fare code was on the ticket.

Its an e-ticket from the travel agent, just says "Economy", Air NZ domestic is effectively ticketless although their own e-tickets have more info on them.

 sarcastic 

You know its people like your good self, who with respect, THINK they know everything about corporate travel management, but who quite clearly doesn't. There could be any reason for this, and the most likely is what Aerowesty has said. A mix up. Nothing more nothing less.

Find your eticket receipt, look at the flight number, and immediately after it, there should be a letter. This should correspond to your fare class. Given the value of the ticket, it's probably gonna say 'Y'.

Quite simply, contact the agent, apply for a full refund, and request the lowest possible fare on the journey, which I see as NZD368.00.

To imply your agent is 'ripping you off' is frankly, incredible. If it's a major TMC, then the likelihood is the ticket value would be sent directly to NZ via the IATA BSP. Your agent sees little of the ticket value. (IIRC 1% commission on domestic flights?)

7L
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
BigOrange
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:58 pm

It's not the travel agent that's ripping you off, it's the government purchasing dept. and the airline that are the ones ripping you off.

In my opinion, all government travel iin any country should be done on the cheapest tickets possible, most of which are changeable for a fee and would still work out cheaper than a fully flexible ticket.

There was a case in the US last year where it was revealed that government employees were not returning tickets for refund, and the government was losing thousands of dollars a year.

I have also heard recently that a US travel agency which books government travel has told their employees to book any government employee on the agency's preferred airlines, and book cars and hotels with the agency's preferred vendors. If they don't follow these guidelines, then the staff member faces disciplinary procedures.

Now that is a case of the travel agent ripping government employees off!
 
FURUREFA
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:02 pm

It is no ones fault and no one is ripping anyone off. Jafa39: Do you understand that this is a FLEXIBLE ticket and it wull cost more? Maybe the govt. wanted/needed this flexibility. When you book a cheaper ticket, you will not be able to change it. If a meeting runs late or gets cancelled, you wasted the cost of the ticket.

Matt
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:09 pm

Quoting Jafa39 (Thread starter):
Rip Off Travel Agent!

This is WHY I book my flights DIRECTLY with the carrier online.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:14 pm

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 9):
I have also heard recently that a US travel agency which books government travel has told their employees to book any government employee on the agency's preferred airlines, and book cars and hotels with the agency's preferred vendors. If they don't follow these guidelines, then the staff member faces disciplinary procedures

Whoa? If true, then that's simply shocking. Why any agency, large or small, would jeopardise the financial worth of Government business, is beyond me. Our company has just won a large chunk of the UK governments business, and I I'm fairly certain that under no circumstance would it be jeopardised to boos the figures of a few preferred suppliers.

What is more likely, as I interpret your post, is that agents are reminded to seel preferred partners 'where possible' - but DP action. Surely not?

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 9):
There was a case in the US last year where it was revealed that government employees were not returning tickets for refund, and the government was losing thousands of dollars a year.

Again - thats a poor agency. When etickets go unused, most CRS systems generate an 'unused' report. We proactively process refunds on the back of these reports. Same goes for paper tickets. If it's unused, we contact the traveller and request it be returned. If the agency you refer to ar not doing this, then there are serious best practice guideline violations taking place.

7L
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
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Coronado990
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:40 pm

Jafa39...

Please tell me what incentive the travel agent has in ripping you off? They no longer receive commission. You will not come back as a repeat customer.

Please Jafa39, just what is the incentive? Make the airline richer? Please tell me.
We're up.
 
flyboyaz
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:39 am

Good points Coronado. I work with my friend who owns a travel agency. We just charge a flat rate to issue a ticket. Doesn't matter if the ticket is $100 or $1000, we make the same amount of money.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
BigOrange
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:43 am

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 10):
If a meeting runs late or gets cancelled, you wasted the cost of the ticket.

Not neccesarily. Many discounted tickets are changeable, and even if not, a new one way ticket added to the cost of the original ticket rarely exceeds the cost of a fully flexible round-trip ticket.

Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 12):
What is more likely, as I interpret your post, is that agents are reminded to seel preferred partners 'where possible' - but DP action. Surely not?

What I said in my earlier post is what was told to me by someone who works there, and it was detailed in a confidential memo to all employees.

The travel agent is one of the big 3 worldwide and their logo is NOT a blue box!
 
7LBAC111
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:11 am

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 15):
Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 12):
What is more likely, as I interpret your post, is that agents are reminded to seel preferred partners 'where possible' - but DP action. Surely not?

What I said in my earlier post is what was told to me by someone who works there, and it was detailed in a confidential memo to all employees.

The travel agent is one of the big 3 worldwide and their logo is NOT a blue box!

:D

Thats shocking. I'm with one of the 'big three' and not the one with the 'blue box' so I suppose having heard other rumours about the antics of this TMC, I perhaps shouldn;t be too surprised. I think disbelief rather than doubting would sum up my thoughts ...
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
mikephotos
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:27 am

I just priced NZ414 06JUL with return NZ457 06JUL and here's what I show (is US$):

$268.90 - lowest fare/non-refundable
$541.10 - unrestricted.

So, as stated numerous times above the agency was probably instructed by the Govt account to go with a unrestricted/refundable ticket. From my previous experience with Gov't (US) accounts, we always had to go with unrestricted/refundable. The travel agent is NOT ripping you off.

Mike
 
Leskova
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:58 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 11):
This is WHY I book my flights DIRECTLY with the carrier online.

Great solution - that way you won't have a travel agent ripping you off, but the airline ripping you off...  Yeah sure

Newsflash: flexible tickets cost more than non-flexible tickets.

Second newsflash: it's this way regardless whether you book on an airline website or with a travel agent.


Like others have already said, situations like this just drive me up the wall: people who don't even have anything remotely resembling "all the facts" complain and, as is en-vogue with a lot of people, it can only be the travel agent doing the ripping-off...

Haven't we been through discussions such as this again, again and again? If you want flexibility - and while you, Jafa39 might not require or want it, the contract that the government has with this specific agency might specifically require the agent to book that fare - you'll be paying for it.

And finally... sorry, but are you serious when asking "is this legal"??? Why, exactly, would it not be legal?? If an agent pays roughly NZ$900-something for a ticket, why should the agent not be allowed to sell it for that price??? Aside from that, even if the agent had a ticket for NZ$100 (s)he could, legally, sell it for NZ$900 - if the client accepts that the agent charges a NZ$800 ticketing or service fee (which, obviously, no-one with half a brain would, but that's another subject) then that, too, would be completely legal.
Smile - it confuses people!
 
jafa39
Topic Author
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:37 am

Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 8):
Find your eticket receipt, look at the flight number, and immediately after it, there should be a letter. This should correspond to your fare class.

There isn't a letter, it is a travel agent receipt, not the Air NZ one

Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 8):
THINK they know everything about corporate travel management,

Never said i did you cheeky monkey, why are there so many smug gits on a.net? can't you see through your worship of all things aviation that some things just don't stack up??

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 9):
In my opinion, all government travel iin any country should be done on the cheapest tickets possible

Well I'm glad someone agrees, I was beginning to feel a bit lonely out on this limb!!  Smile

Quoting FURUREFA (Reply 10):
Do you understand that this is a FLEXIBLE ticket and it wull cost more? Maybe the govt. wanted/needed this flexibility. When you book a cheaper ticket, you will not be able to change it. If a meeting runs late or gets cancelled, you wasted the cost of the ticket.

No flexibility needed, there is a huge margin of error timewise and it is a set-piece presentation, linked to media dead-lines, I could still re-book on the day and get sorted for far less than $604NZ

Quoting Coronado990 (Reply 13):
Jafa39...

Please tell me what incentive the travel agent has in ripping you off? They no longer receive commission. You will not come back as a repeat customer.

Please Jafa39, just what is the incentive? Make the airline richer? Please tell me.

I dunno, that is why I asked..

Quoting Jafa39 (Thread starter):
Is this legal???????

$604 seems a big difference, alse refer comments below.

Quoting Flyboyaz (Reply 14):
Good points Coronado. I work with my friend who owns a travel agency. We just charge a flat rate to issue a ticket. Doesn't matter if the ticket is $100 or $1000, we make the same amount of money.

See below

Quoting Leskova (Reply 18):
Second newsflash: it's this way regardless whether you book on an airline website or with a travel agent.

Might be the case but even when I phoned ANZ hte top fare was $429...no $584 fares listed.

I beg to differ, on the ANZ website it doesn't list a fare over $282NZ, I couldn't book at $584 if i tried (and I did)
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:55 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 11):
This is WHY I book my flights DIRECTLY with the carrier online.

Congratulations. You are the airline's ideal client. We have deals with certain carriers that are lower than you can buy online with them, but then ..... you don't care because you book direct.
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
Leskova
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:57 am

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 19):
Quoting Leskova (Reply 18):
Second newsflash: it's this way regardless whether you book on an airline website or with a travel agent.

Might be the case but even when I phoned ANZ hte top fare was $429...no $584 fares listed.

I beg to differ, on the ANZ website it doesn't list a fare over $282NZ, I couldn't book at $584 if i tried (and I did)

Yet another reason not to use it... it doesn't even display all fares that NZ offers...  Wink

Here's the complete list of fares available for WLG-AKL with a departure date of 27 July:

ZZFQDWLGAKL/A-NZ/27JUL/R,UP««                                   

FQDWLGAKL/A-NZ/27JUL/R,UP
MORE FARES AVAIL IN USD TAX MAY APPLY
ROE 1.635932 UP TO 0.01 NZD
27JUL06**10AUG06/NZ WLGAKL/NPX/EH/TPM 299/MPM .....
LN FARE BASIS OW NZD RT B PEN DATES/DAYS AP MIN MAXFR
01 PSMARD6 93.33 186.66 P NRF B26JUN E17JUL¤ ¤ - - R
O20SEP -
02 KSMART 111.11 222.22 K NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
03 KRSMART 111.11 222.22 K NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
04 GSMART 121.78 243.56 G NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
05 SSMART 131.56 263.12 S NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
06 LSMART 141.33 282.66 L NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
07 TSAVERD 174.22 348.44 T NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
08 TSAVER 174.22 348.44 T NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
09 TRSAVER 174.22 348.44 T NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
10 QFL 185.00 370.00 Q - - - ¤ - - - R
11 WSAVERD 193.78 387.56 W NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
12 WSAVER 193.78 387.56 W NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
13 VSAVERD 213.33 426.66 V NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
14 VSAVER 213.33 426.66 V NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
15 VRSAVER 213.33 426.66 V NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
16 QSAVERD 224.89 449.78 Q NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
17 QSAVER 224.89 449.78 Q NRF - - ¤ ¤ - - R
18 HFLEXID 259.56 519.12 H - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
19 HFLEXI 259.56 519.12 H - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
20 HRFLEXI 259.56 519.12 H - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
21 HFL 277.00 554.00 H - - - ¤ - - - R
22 HD35JAP 277.00 554.00 H - S30SEP - ¤ - - - R
23 HD35 277.00 554.00 H - S - - ¤ - - - R
24 MFLEXID 308.44 616.88 M - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
25 MFLEXI 308.44 616.88 M - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
26 MD25 312.00 624.00 M - - - - - - R
27 BD15 349.00 698.00 B - - - - - - R
28 BFLEXID 359.11 718.22 B - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
29 BFLEXI 359.11 718.22 B - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
30 Y2D 390.22 780.44 Y - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
31 Y2DD 390.22 780.44 Y - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
32 YR2 390.22 780.44 Y - - - ¤ ¤ - - R
33 Y 458.67 917.34 Y - - - - - - R
PAGE 2/ 2


And looking at that highest fare of NZ$917.34, and using the current IATA exchange rate, that's be US$570.47...

While I admit that using that fare is something that I probably just wouldn't have the heart for, as the Y2D offers, essentially, the same flexibility; the only difference is that Y2D requires a purchase within 7 days of booking, while Y has no advance purchase requirement whatsoever.

But, again, it all comes down to what the government contract specifies - if it says "book fully flexible Y-class fares without any restrictions", then even Y2D would have been a violation of that contract.

Might sound non-sensical, but after having seen similar contracts with my own eyes, I know they exist...
Smile - it confuses people!
 
gigneil
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:01 am

I guess you all just chose to ignore my point, which is almost certainly right:

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 3):
The volume purchase could also average fares in a certain way where this particular routing seems high, but it works out everywhere else.

Don't second guess corporate travel. They are almost always right, and you will almost always be wrong. By purchasing your own ticket and applying for reimbursement, you are effectively screwing the system by shorting them one more ticket or one more percentage or one more dollar towards the negotiated thresholds with the carrier.

You could be that last dollar which could have carried the government to the next tier of discount. Spread across all tickets, you could be costing the government millions to save a few hundred dollars up front.

N
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:04 am

Actually come to think of it Jafa, everytime I price check NZ and QF for NZ domestics, QF is cheaper. I think you should go the whole hog and save the NZ Govt a bit more cash. Book QF quick !!  duck 
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
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Aisak
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:11 am

Quoting BigOrange (Reply 9):
In my opinion, all government travel iin any country should be done on the cheapest tickets possible, most of which are changeable for a fee and would still work out cheaper than a fully flexible ticket.



Quoting BigOrange (Reply 15):
Not neccesarily. Many discounted tickets are changeable, and even if not, a new one way ticket added to the cost of the original ticket rarely exceeds the cost of a fully flexible round-trip ticket.

Agree with you except for one point....

A ticket has to be used the way it's issued... That means if you lose one leg, the ticket will be voided. If the fare class is Y(and some others), then it will be reissued with new legs but usually maintaining the same routing.

It depends on the airline you're flying but usually name changes are not allowed and date, time and route changes are allowed by paying a fee, the fare difference and a re-issue fee.

But yes, i agree with you on the restr. fares. If a full fare ticket is $400 and a restr. tkt is $100, I would prefer paying 10x100=1000 than 10x400=4000....
Even if the walk-up fare is Y = 400.... It's a diference of 3000 to pay for last-minute changes or tickets. The corporate/gvmnt deal has to be huge to compensate this saving.

[Edited 2006-06-26 23:13:58]
 
jafa39
Topic Author
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:13 am

Quoting Leskova (Reply 21):
Might sound non-sensical, but after having seen similar contracts with my own eyes, I know they exist...

Well at last! A rational explanation that I understand...we used to use travel agents for our little old NGO but it is far, far cheaper for us to book direct via Air NZ website.

In the past 3 years we have cancelled 1 ticket, re-booked another and dropped one due to incorrect booking time (PA booked 8PM not 8AM) in those 3 years this has cost us 200 bucks as ANZ will partly refund us on cheapo tickets as we are a registered charity.

So, it just doesn't make sense to me for us to use $500 tickets to cover what is essentially an annual event (dropped ticket) I can see why govt might find it necessary to have the flexibility but i really don't think it is worth it in this case as you will never beat ANZ online prices and there might be a saving of millions to be made.

See, when you understand the whacky world of ticketting, it is possible to lose sight of the real world because you understand the justifications for certain pricings.

I'll never understand govt depts though, not ever  Smile
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:17 am

Its not just government departments, its corporate travel in general.

We recently made the switch to all fully flexible tickets at my work. We estimated that, even if we calculate the increase in fares across the board for every ticket we will still be saving in excess of $3m yearly in changes alone.

Again, its really complicated and getting the cheapest fare for that particular routing is, like I said before, saving $5 to spend an extra $1m later.

N
 
AeroWesty
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:21 am

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 25):
So, it just doesn't make sense to me for us to use $500 tickets to cover what is essentially an annual event (dropped ticket) I can see why govt might find it necessary to have the flexibility but i really don't think it is worth it in this case as you will never beat ANZ online prices and there might be a saving of millions to be made.

The key in here is that it may not be a $500 ticket at all. That's just the way it prints out on the ticket, because that's the listed fare for that fare class.

What gets invoiced (an amount only disclosed to the person paying the tab), may indeed carry a hefty discount based upon volume.
International Homo of Mystery
 
jafa39
Topic Author
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RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:32 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 27):
The key in here is that it may not be a $500 ticket at all. That's just the way it prints out on the ticket, because that's the listed fare for that fare class.

What gets invoiced (an amount only disclosed to the person paying the tab), may indeed carry a hefty discount based upon volume.

Aha! The plot thickens!!  Smile
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
flight7e7
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:26 pm

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:44 am

Keep in mind that revenue collected/charged for a ticket is based on the class of service booked-and applicable to the fare at the time of booking, strictly based on availability. Certain fares require different fare categories or "buckets"-even with government and discounted, contracted fares.

Most travel agents are not in their good profession to "rip people off" (I loathe that statement-base and illmannered)-they generally book the lowest available fare based on inventory available-resulting in the price of the ticket.

If it is anyone or any company(s) that are "ripping off" the consumer, or traveling public if you will, it is the airlines. Look at the muck BA and some other trans-Atlantic carriers have themselves into now-with possible price fixing (to be determined).

In any event, always make sure you have your facts first and solid, qualified evidence first, then point the accusatory finger-at the appropriate culprit.

Cheers  irked 
 
AeroWesty
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:53 am

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 28):
Aha! The plot thickens!!

Hrm? I mentioned that in Reply #5.  Smile

You have to look at it this way. Say when you came in to your NGO, you negotiated a new travel contract with a 40% discount.

All the tickets popped out to your employees at full fare on the ticket, but when the invoice comes around, you pay 60%. They'd probably all say "That Jafa, what a n00b!" without having a clue as to what you really paid, or what further discounts or rebates your contract may qualify for at the end of the year.

This may very well be the exact same scenario on the part of the gov't.
International Homo of Mystery
 
AirframeAS
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:56 pm

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:03 am

Quoting Leskova (Reply 18):
Great solution - that way you won't have a travel agent ripping you off, but the airline ripping you off...

Newsflash: flexible tickets cost more than non-flexible tickets.

Second newsflash: it's this way regardless whether you book on an airline website or with a travel agent.

True, but at least I get LESS screw arounds and ACTUALLY get to my destination....AND...my reservation IS in the airline's computers. Sometimes Travel Agents forget to put reservations into Sabre or whatever the agent uses.

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 20):
Congratulations. You are the airline's ideal client. We have deals with certain carriers that are lower than you can buy online with them, but then ..... you don't care because you book direct.

Uhmm...I used to work at a U.S. carrier as a CSA and know how things used to be..... See my comment above.... AND not only that: Travel Agents dont ALWAYS have the better deals.

Im generally willing to pay more by booking directly with a carrier than with a 3rd party vendor. Its a trust issue. In my experence (see above) is that the travel agent has often forgotten to put in the PNR in the computer correctly and forces the pax to purchase a WHOLE NEW TICKET because of the travel agents screw-up. This has happened alot while I was working at AS.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
carledwards
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 2:32 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:14 am

Yes im a travel agent too, and QF generally is always cheaper on NZ domestics.

Regarding this whole thread, I dont see what the whinge is about, if someone is willing to purchase a ticket from a travel agent at a higher price, it is their own stupidity and not the travel agents - since the travel agents aim is to make as much profit as possible.
Extraordinary World
 
HKGKaiTak
Posts: 971
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 9:48 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:34 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
The first time I bought a ticket from a bucket shop, I paid about 20% of what the ticket said, and got a supplemental invoice for the "real" price, but the ticket had an endorsement that it was only refundable through the travel agent.

I've paid for plenty of these tickets myself, so they definitely exist. Not just from bucket shops either, a lot of nett wholesale fares are done this way. So maybe your TMC has such a deal with NZ.
4 Engines 4 LongHaul
 
Lufthansa747
Posts: 2953
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 7:45 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:51 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 30):
You have to look at it this way. Say when you came in to your NGO, you negotiated a new travel contract with a 40% discount.

It doesn't even need to be this specific.

All of my international tickets ex-BKK usually show full fare on the "fare" box but I pay a fraction of that. For example CX/AY business to SIN often shows BK code I and fare basis JRT or J. The fares don't auto-price in the GDS.
Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
 
aussieindc
Posts: 289
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 11:16 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:36 pm

Having Managed agencies in both Oz and the USA, in Oz, you could not charge over the gross price that was listed on the ticket. Therefore, let's take a common sense approach to this. A NZD$939 ticket less taxes of say even $39 to play with nice round figures. At 1% comission, the loss of business by what you state in your heading all for $9 just doesn't add up and that would be one heck of a service fee charge.

It's passengers such as yourself that give us hard working descent agents/agencies a bad name.

Sadly in these days and times when it's just as easy for someone to go click on the computer, there is no profit in booking JUST airfares. We certainly wouldn't turn you away. $20 is $20 for a ticketing fee when we do not receive commissions from just about all airlines these days, but it's our service that we hope would bring you back to book your package with us.

As for the government tickets, I know over here in the US, there's a code that you use to obtain the government contracted rates for many of the airlines. If NZ have something similar, it may have inadvertantly been booked something along those lines instead of just the cheapest fare available. Just a thought - I wasn't there. I wasn't the one who purchased the ticket, nor the one who issued it. I think clarification should have been sought prior to you going off.
 
jafa39
Topic Author
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:14 pm

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:49 pm

Quoting Aussieindc (Reply 35):
I think clarification should have been sought prior to you going off.

OK, so I am not aware of the nuances of ticket prices...I cetainly am now...good old a.net, as forgiving as ever, try to see it from Joe public's perspective, ticket on net = $X, ticket from travel agent = $X + a lot of $$$'s...easy mistake to make dudes.

BUT!!!! My NGO stopped using a travel agent when i found i could book cheaper every time on the net, I suppose it's like using a personal shopper, you get taxed for not doing it yourself.

Thanks for all the kind and understanding attitudes from everybody (well, two of you anyway) the rest of you can untie the knots in your knickers...sorry for being ORDINARY eh  Wink
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
flyboyaz
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:32 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:02 pm

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 36):
BUT!!!! My NGO stopped using a travel agent when i found i could book cheaper every time on the net, I suppose it's like using a personal shopper, you get taxed for not doing it yourself.

That's what is killing travel agents. But fortunately there are still people out there that don't know much about or don't want to be bothered with booking airline tickets. I book tickets for my best friend mostly because she said she is perfectly happy paying me to book it for her instead of spending potentially hours searching for fares. It's the convienence.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
HKGKaiTak
Posts: 971
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 9:48 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:16 pm

Quoting Flyboyaz (Reply 37):
I book tickets for my best friend mostly because she said she is perfectly happy paying me to book it for her instead of spending potentially hours searching for fares. It's the convienence.

I have to say your friend is in the minority! Most ppl look at the service charge (even as little as $5 for a domestic ticket here in Oz), and say "No thanks, we'll look it up on the web" ... they then wonder why no-one has explained to them that their fare is non-refundable and they lose all their money when they change their mind, or that they booked the wrong date etc etc etc ...
4 Engines 4 LongHaul
 
Leskova
Posts: 5547
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:39 pm

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:22 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 31):
True, but at least I get LESS screw arounds and ACTUALLY get to my destination....AND...my reservation IS in the airline's computers. Sometimes Travel Agents forget to put reservations into Sabre or whatever the agent uses.

Agents who do that should be shut down immediately - and it goes without saying that idiots like that are an absolute minority.

Nonetheless, acting as if agents made all the mistakes, while airlines and CRSs are perfect is missing the point, and not just by a mile, but by a universe...

One comment I got from an employee of a middle eastern airline a couple of days ago is "Yes, you have the ticket number in the PNR in the correct format, but sometimes our computer ignores it anyhow and it'll cancel the booking. We don't know why, it just does."

And things like that are, by no means, one-time situations for me - I've had hundreds of conversations like that, usually they end with the airline not only reinstating the seats, but sometimes reinstating the seats in higher booking classes, in case they've managed to cancel a booking on a booked-out flight.

And by now it's hard for me to even count the times that my own requests for vegetarian meals in PNRs that had come back has confirmed from the airline (sometimes including remarks that came directly from the airline's own systems) were claimed as not having been received by the people at check-in... which usually lasted about as long as it took me to produce the PNR print, which in one case elicited the comment "Well... I guess our system screwed up again".

To sum it up - I'd say that employees in some travel agencies and some airlines would be quite interchangeable... they're both just as (in)competent...

As for CRSs... I've seen so many OSIs and SSRs not correctly transmitted to airlines, so many fares quoted while not being permitted, so many permitted fares not being quoted, so many taxes being incorrectly priced in quotes, so many confirmed seat and meal requests suddenly gone missing, I can only say that anyone who claims that it's all the agent's mistake is making things much too easy for themselves... and while they're at it, they're completely missing reality.

Quoting HKGKaiTak (Reply 38):
Most ppl look at the service charge (even as little as $5 for a domestic ticket here in Oz), and say "No thanks, we'll look it up on the web" ... they then wonder why no-one has explained to them that their fare is non-refundable and they lose all their money when they change their mind, or that they booked the wrong date etc etc etc ...

Oh, how I used to love those people... people that came into my agency and asked me to call the airline to fix things, because the airline had told them they wouldn't do anything... or people that wanted me to refund them the difference of what they had paid more because they booked on an airline website instead of with me... people that wanted me to sell a flight at the price offered on the airline's website even though I only had a higher fare... people that wanted me to make the booking on the airline's website because they didn't trust the airline nor the internet with their credit card details, so they wanted me to make the booking with my credit card...
Smile - it confuses people!
 
User avatar
PA110
Posts: 1985
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2003 1:30 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 3:50 pm

There are enough bozos on both sides of the desk to go around. On the travel agent side, at least in the USA, there is very little (if any) formal training. On the airline side, many employees including check-in staff are subcontracted out. Further, many airlines now use such stripped down user interfaces that new employees have no idea how the GDS actually works, or how and why teletype messages get hung up.

Consider the following that occured several months ago. I issued tickets for tour clients on NZ in their new Pacific Premium service. Tickets were issued approximately a month prior to departure. Clients showed up at check-in and were told that their agents didn't issue the tickets so the booking was cancelled. Upon presentation of the tickets, the agent then changed her story and acknowledged that tickets had been issued, but then claimed that the ticket numbers never made it into NZ's computer system. It would have only taken 2 seconds to check the PNR a bit more thoroughly, but no, the check-in agent felt far more secure sticking with the "your travel agent is an idiot" attitude. At this point the passengers called me from the check-in counter on their cell phone. I immediatley called NZ inside sales and had them check the PNR history. OMG what a surprise!!!!! The ticket numbers were in the reservation. In less than 2 minutes, we had pieced together what had happened. An NZ res agent doing flight firming had overlooked the ticket numbers and placed a self-cancelling time limit back into the reservation. PNR history clearly showed that ticket numbers had been received weeks before flight firming. Yet. back at the airport, they were still blaming me. Through a friend, I was able to get the phone number of the NZ duty manager. He checked the pnr history himself and also admitted that this was NZ's own fault. He was kind enough to offer an apology to both myself and the clients, and upgraded the clients to Business Class. My only request to him was that he try to instill a better culture amongst his check-in staff to do a little more fact checking before they start throwing blame around.
Look, it's been swell, but the swelling's gone down.
 
noelg
Posts: 2313
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2002 11:39 pm

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:57 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 31):
True, but at least I get LESS screw arounds and ACTUALLY get to my destination....AND...my reservation IS in the airline's computers. Sometimes Travel Agents forget to put reservations into Sabre or whatever the agent uses.

Hence the reason why I will never again trust a travel agent - whether an independent one or a chain (who are often the worse).

I have been screwed around before by travel agents - wrong hotels booked, wrong flights booked, car hire screwed up etc.

At least by booking it all myself I know that it is correct, and I have usually saved a few bucks at the same time! You're not relying on some 17 year old part timer who really doesn't care about your travel plans and the second you leave the shop that is the end of them having to deal with you.

If I then screw up it is my fault and I can rectify it, rather than having to go through the middleman!
 
jafa39
Topic Author
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:14 pm

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:39 pm

Quoting Flyboyaz (Reply 37):
spending potentially hours searching for fares

The joys of living in NZ, only 3 airlines for Domestic, 2 on many routes and the website will list them cheapest first, if they're cheap a stuff up doesn't break the bank.

I think booking flights in the US is probably hard work for the unwary.  Smile
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
BigOrange
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:20 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:34 pm

Quoting Aisak (Reply 24):
A ticket has to be used the way it's issued... That means if you lose one leg, the ticket will be voided.

That's not what I was meaning.

What I was saying is you could throw away the original ticket and then book a new one way on a separate reservation.
 
mikephotos
Posts: 2888
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 12:52 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:42 am

Quoting Noelg (Reply 41):
I have been screwed around before by travel agents - wrong hotels booked, wrong flights booked, car hire screwed up etc.

Let me ask, when you go online to book your own travel you first double-check what you're booking, then hit submit and wait for a confirmation correct? Thought so. So, at a travel agency if you did the same there should never be a problem where the "agent" booked the incorrect hotel, flight, car. That's like going into a car dealership to buy a Maxima and walking out with a Sentra and saying, darn salesman, he sold me the wrong car?

Sure, travel agents should do all the work but the client does play a part in verifying what is going to be booked and/or ticketed. To this day, some 19 years later I always, on every itinerary, reconfirm what I have in the system is exactly what the client wants. Of course, I would need hundreds of fingers and toes to count the times clients screw up their own travel dates and we come to the rescue, correcting the mess.

Travel agents are not for everybody. Those who have the time to spend online researching and booking their own flights, hotels, cars, etc to save a few $$ are not going to use an agent. That's cool. Agents are designed for the folks that rather make one call and/or send one email to have their entire business trip handled while they free themselves of that ugly task of online booking (99% of the people I deal with would rather shoot themselves then book online) and spend time with the family or make an extra $1,000,000 on that new deal.

Mike
 
7LBAC111
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 9:17 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:49 am

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 19):
Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 8):
Find your eticket receipt, look at the flight number, and immediately after it, there should be a letter. This should correspond to your fare class.

There isn't a letter, it is a travel agent receipt, not the Air NZ one

Okay - I said the e-ticket receipt. You misunderstood. You will have an etikcet receipt irrespective of where the ticket was bought. Just ask for a copy. End of.

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 19):
Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 8):
THINK they know everything about corporate travel management,

Never said i did you cheeky monkey, why are there so many smug gits on a.net? can't you see through your worship of all things aviation that some things just don't stack up??

Not smug. Just somewhat more knowledgeable than you in this particular topic. No need to get personal my friend.

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 19):
Quoting BigOrange (Reply 9):
In my opinion, all government travel iin any country should be done on the cheapest tickets possible

Well I'm glad someone agrees, I was beginning to feel a bit lonely out on this limb!!

Big Orange was AFAIK, agreeing with the thoery that government travel should be as cheap as possible, and not with your interpretation of the scenario. You failed to quote this part of the same post: It's not the travel agent that's ripping you off, it's the government purchasing dept. and the airline that are the ones ripping you off.


Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 25):
Well at last! A rational explanation that I understand...we used to use travel agents for our little old NGO but it is far, far cheaper for us to book direct via Air NZ website.

On some but not every occasion. It's a very common misconception.

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 25):
in those 3 years this has cost us 200 bucks as ANZ will partly refund us on cheapo tickets as we are a registered charity.

I'm not aware of airlines waiving ticketing rules on published fares for charities. Not unless there is an overriding policy/agreement in place anyway.
But as you persistently refer to this as a regular fare, I'm thinking that there isn't an agreement in place.

Quoting Carledwards (Reply 32):
Regarding this whole thread, I dont see what the whinge is about, if someone is willing to purchase a ticket from a travel agent at a higher price, it is their own stupidity and not the travel agents - since the travel agents aim is to make as much profit as possible.

Depends on the agent - and I also think you missed the point. Most coporate agents make no money from the fares these days. Their costs are recuperated, and profits extracted from Transaction and Management Fees, and consultation services.

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 36):
OK, so I am not aware of the nuances of ticket prices...I cetainly am now...good old a.net, as forgiving as ever, try to see it from Joe public's perspective, ticket on net = $X, ticket from travel agent = $X + a lot of $$$'s...easy mistake to make dudes

YOu still totally and rather spectacularly fail to see how completely wrong you are.

Quoting Noelg (Reply 41):
I have been screwed around before by travel agents - wrong hotels booked, wrong flights booked, car hire screwed up etc.

Don't you think that if this constantly happens to you, that there might, just might be another reason for it? ie. You? I see this a lot. People who practiaclly travel for a living, and who screw about with their itineraries so much that they lose track and end up with some component not being booked. The only differenece being that if you use an agent, you have someone to blame.

7L
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
flyboyaz
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:32 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:00 am

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 42):
I think booking flights in the US is probably hard work for the unwary.

Yes it can be. I've never had problems, but then I'm an airline nerd and pretty much know who to go to for what I need.

I've seen many travel agent mistakes over the years working at the airport. I don't think they do it on purpose of course, but some just don't reconfirm anything. I always take extra time to go over what my client wants...and make sure we are on the same page. It doesn't take much work to avoid a problem.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
jafa39
Topic Author
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:14 pm

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:00 am

Quoting 7LBAC111 (Reply 45):
YOu still totally and rather spectacularly fail to see how completely wrong you are.

That's the atypical "net forum flaming response" I may be wrong but I am not wrong regarding how the "non-nerd" may come to the conclusion i did, it would never occur to me that there were fares over and above the economy fares I see when booking, I certainly cannot understand how anyone would pay 939 return when you can do it 335 but then as i mentioned, we don't often make changes...we're not corporate high-flyers who could lose a million dollars by sticking to the plan.

Lighten up a.net! anyone can see things wrong or differently, it is possible to educate people without making them feel small or being a pain in the arse about it, strewth..if i conducted myself like you lot have here I would be asked to leave the organisation.

A simple " Hey man, this was probably a Y ticket, which means xxxxxxxxxx sorry to hear you thought it was a rip-off but the industry works like this....." would have sufficed.

No wonder some long-standing a.netters don't do civil-av anymore..it has, in some cases, become an oxymoron, which is nothing like a "TSA Moron" but then maybe someone will write in and say "Hey jafa..so you THINK you know everything..well TSA's AREN'T morons, they are sensitive people and I never inspect someone's shoes without reconfirming first".

There are still a few a.netters here who know how to conduct themselves in public but there are also some very uptight people who probably only blow hard because they aren't face to face with people.

I now know more about ticketting than I did and am still baffled though, it would be nice to be able to say "Gee thanks for that dudes, now I know" but all it has really done is remind me why I live here, in NZ, where in the main people are friendly, courteous, fleixible, kind and forgiving.........
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
mikephotos
Posts: 2888
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2000 12:52 am

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:31 am

Jafa39, I believe you got the response you were asking for with a topic like "Rip Off Travel Agent!" That's being "friendly, courteous, flexible, kind and forgiving...."? You probably would have received the friendly responses you were looking for with a "hey, i was charged $900 for a ticket that i could have paid $300 for, what gives?"

Mike
 
jafa39
Topic Author
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:14 pm

RE: Rip Off Travel Agent!

Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:46 am

Quoting Mikephotos (Reply 48):
Jafa39, I believe you got the response you were asking for with a topic like "Rip Off Travel Agent!"



Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 47):
regarding how the "non-nerd" may come to the conclusion i did,

I own my views, easy to make a mistake when you're unenlightened...it isn't compulsory to fight fire with fire you know.

Thanks to those who sent me polite and informative IM's on this topic though  Smile
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....

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