06 Sep Selling Air Adds Value — Not Annoyance
As travel professionals, we book our customers on many things – that fantastic cruise, that once-in-a-lifetime safari, that hotel for the long road trip to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. These are just a few of those magical life moments. Sometimes though, we don’t do the air, and that’s bad.
We should be owning the trip from beginning to end, which means from when our customers book until they arrive back home. Airfare is essential to many trips we book.
For the agent, it provides more control over the booking. It helps you know where your customer is to track them in the event of delays or worse. It also provides you, in some cases, with commission on the sale or a professional service fee.
For the customer, it shows you are taking ownership of the trip. It helps them know, in a jam, you will be there to help. By booking, you can manage seats and schedule changes, and it keeps you front of mind with your customer.
Agents can book air in a myriad of different ways. Here at Nexion,® we offer the four Global Distribution Systems (GDS) for those agents who know how to use one. Our experienced team of employees is here to help with exchanges, refunds and contract interpretation. For those agents who don’t use a GDS, we offer a graphical solution we call SNAP! SNAP is the Simple Nexion Air Program, which allows agents who don’t know a GDS to work with customers like they have one. SNAP! offers a great support team to help you with those complicated bookings.
One mistake agents make is booking air on consumer websites, such as the airline direct site. One of the things we hear often is, “If there’s no commission, why bother?” That is the wrong way to think. As professionals, it’s about taking care of the customer and owning the customer. When you book on external sites, you are just giving your customer away to that site to market to at will. If you think that airline site or other consumer site will think twice about selling and marketing to your customer for that cruise or safari, you are wrong.
I know that air can be scary. There are a lot of rules, and no one likes to make mistakes. One of the fears of booking air is the debit memo. It sounds scarier than it is. Most debit memos are issued because of careless mistakes that could have been avoided. Everyone makes mistakes, and that’s okay.
We work in a fantastic industry and should be doing all to support all facets of it. Without one part, the rest does not work. Until we can start teleporting as 1960s television has promised us, we still have to go through security and fly away to our dream vacation. So, let’s take full advantage of the whole experience.
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