Tricky Travel Agents

by Steve Dasseos, The Trip Insurance Guru on July 28, 2009

I recently took a trip insurance application over the telephone from Brian O., one of our Wisconsin clients. In the course of our conversation, Brian said “my travel agent told me to tell you to be sure to use Location Number ___ when you order the Travelex policy”.

I said, “I’m sorry Brian, but I can’t use that Location Number because Travelex assigns the commission to whichever Location Number is on the application. It’s not fair to me since your travel agent wants to steal my commission for doing no work at all.”

Brian was shocked that his travel agent would be so greedy, especially since she just arranged a Royal Caribbean cruise for Brian’s group of 9 travelers. Brian agreed that it wasn’t fair. In my (Steve) opinion, the travel agent probably lost Brian’s future business from this foolish stunt.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Steve, why are you writing a entire Blog post on what one greedy travel agent did? There must be more important subjects to discuss.”

I’d agree with you if this was an isolated incident. I wish it was, but the fact of the matter is that while the majority of travel agents are ethical & honest, there are enough folloish & greedy ones to give all travel agents a bad name.

Here’s another example: Chris Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter writes about something similar: ‘Unethical’ travel agent claims commission after client finds a bargain online.

Do I use travel agents? Yes, I do. I do not regret ever using a good travel agent. Nor do I mind paying their extra fees since not everything they do is commissionable. I just have to trust that survival of the fittest weeds out the greedy ones.

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