search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
Iata: Report carriers going direct Ian Taylor


Iata has invited agents to report carriers using agency-supplied customer contact information for direct marketing following a change in booking rules. Te airline association made it


compulsory for agents to submit passenger contact data with flight bookings from June 1. It insists the details are wanted solely to notify passengers of schedule changes or delays, but many agents believe airlines use them to sell direct. Aleks Popovich, Iata’s senior


vice-president for financial and distribution services, told the Business Travel Association (BTA), formerly the GTMC, at its conference


in the Netherlands last week: “[Iata] members signed up for this resolution [on data] only to be used for market recovery [when flights are disrupted]. If any Iata member breaks that, we invite you to tell Iata.” However, a senior corporate travel


executive told Travel Weekly: “It’s meaningless reporting an airline once they have the contact details.” Evidence of airlines contacting


agency customers direct has already been passed to Iata, according to Scotish Passenger Agents’ Association president Ken McLeod, who is also director of industry affairs for Te Advantage Travel Partnership. McLeod said: “Airlines have been


contacting customers. Tey have just added details to their databases.”


Travel management companies


(TMCs) “are not too concerned [because] contact details are already part of a corporate profile,” he said, adding: “We don’t have a problem with the airline contacting the customer so long as the TMC is notified at the same time. Tat is the issue. “[But] for a leisure agent, you’re


giving your contact details away and airlines will be happy to contact them.” If a passenger declines to provide


Aleks Popovich, Iata


details, Iata insists: “It is incumbent on the agent to enter the refusal in the Passenger Name Record. Te agent must actively advise the passenger that they may not receive information from the airline relating to flight


cancellation or schedule changes.” i BTA conference, back page


Royal defends offering £100 direct discounts


Harry Kemble


Royal Caribbean International has defended its decision to offer a “direct exclusive” discount to customers aſter some agents complained of losing bookings. Te line’s direct prices for a cruise-


and-stay package on Independence of the Seas have been up to £100 per person cheaper than via trade channels. Royal said it was “not unusual” to offer direct discounts, including for


4 11 JULY 2019


Independence’s 17-night Transatlantic Cruise & Fort Lauderdale Stay, from Southampton on October 26, and said the trade has access to other deals. But one agency, which asked not to


be named, said it lost bookings for at least three cabins as it could not match the direct price. Te agency is no longer promoting that Royal itinerary. Ben Bouldin, Royal’s associate


vice-president and UK managing director, said direct discounts had been part of the line’s overall sales strategy for “decades”. He said: “It is


Independence of the Seas


not unusual to run exclusive offers with select channels. “We have chosen to run an


offer for guests who book through our website or call centre. Tis is a reflection of the role our direct channels play within the sales strategy, alongside building on our strong trade partner relationships.” Te discounting by Royal, which


temporarily upped commission by three percentage points in the wake of being named Best Trade-Friendly Brand at this year’s Travel Weekly


Globe Travel Awards, surprised agents. Bridget Keevil, managing director


of Suffolk-based Travel Stop, said: “Agents are such a huge part of selling cruise. If Royal is going to discount direct, why would the customer not book direct?” GoCruise franchisee Paul Kennedy


said the offer was “disappointing” and “would not enhance” Royal’s relationship with the trade two months aſter the line cancelled Independence’s 2020 ex-UK season to meet demand in the Caribbean.


travelweekly.co.uk


PICTURE: Simon Brooke-Webb


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68