Monday, December 3, 2007

Would you give yourself an appendectomy?

There is an interesting commercial running on TV about a guy talking to a Dr. who is giving instructions for the guy to perform surgery on himself. The commercial is by a stock broker company and makes a good point in a humorous way. What are you trained to do?

This relates to the booking of travel also. With the cruise industry growing by leaps and bounds, new ships and destinations and choices for the consumer, booking cruises is much more than just booking one.

New online companies are popping up constantly and are charging monthly fees for people to become their own agent. "Book like a pro" one press release recently said. No training necessary. Lately the cruise lines have been taking a stand against these card mills, multi-level companies and other sites which appear to give the consumer the opportunity to become an agent and book themselves (for a fee).

Professional agents take their time and expense to learn not only about the different products out there but how to service the consumer, before, during, and after the booking is made. When situations arise after a booking is made what do you do? Who do you contact? How do you get it resolved? The cruise lines pay commissions to agents to be the consumers advocate and help the consumer before, during and after the process of booking and even sailing. And the consumer does not need to pay extra for this service beng provided to them.

Since the cruise line sets the price for their product and pay us, the professional agent, from that price they charge, you as the consumer actually get MORE for your money booking through an agent who is a trained professional than even booking direct with the cruise line. And we will not even go into group block space which may give you added value to your booking which you can not get directly from the cruise line.

So I ask you, "would you give yourself an appendectomy?" Don't be fooled! If it sounds too good to be know the rest.

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