How Travel Agents Are Paid
Travel agents, like me, are paid by your trip supplier only after our clients have completed travel. If we work together and I build your awesome vacation for next year, and you place your deposit to book that package today, I will not receive any payment from your trip supplier until 4-8 weeks following your return from that trip. GASP!!! (And sometimes it can take longer!)
It all really boils down to this: If clients do not book AND complete travel, agents are not paid for their hard work. Sometimes, extensive research and planning is involved, multiple quotes presented, countless emails between concierge at a hotel or resort in another country, struggling to break down language barriers, hours, days, and even weeks of proposing different options until a client is ready to place their deposit and book their trip, and even 3, 4, 5, or 6 A.M. (yes, I said A.M.) alarms to wake up to make a phone call for specific reservations for a client. (I’m looking at you, Disney Dining). And sometimes, clients will take the information we provide to then book themselves via an OTA (over-the-air or online) booking engine. DOUBLE GASP!!! *DRAMATICALLY PASSES OUT* …but they won’t receive dedicated service, or feel the effort of a caring, personal travel advisor…nor will they have readily available help or a personal advocate in the event that something goes wrong.
If clients book, but later cancel their trip, the agent will not be paid for his/her work. Clients may be compensated by way of pre-purchased travel protection plan/insurance if the reason for cancellation is covered, however, the agent still is not paid. The key is that travel must be completed.