Travel Agents love to moan about how things could be better. We pretty much have the best jobs in the world, yet we still manage to find tiny faults amongst our daily existences to go on-and-on about.

There’s nothing wrong with having a little whinge every now and then, especially if someone, somewhere might catch wind of it and actually do something about it. (wink, wink) We’re actually a pretty innovative bunch of people.

So I thought I’d compile a list of ideas that my colleagues and I think would make our jobs that little bit easier – until we find something else to complain about.

 

1. Wholesalers matching our opening hours

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What a weird concept right? Retail Travel Agents have been slugging out bookings on weekends since, well, before I was born.

If our customers want to be serviced on the weekend (yep, Sunday too) so do we. I’m looking at you Ski Wholesalers.

 

2. Mobile capable GDS

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In my last story I talked about Travel Agents needing to be contactable outside of working hours to stay relevant.

How about a GDS platform that can be accessed from our smartphone?

Answering the phone and replying to emails is easy, but if we need to book or change flights, expecting to carry a laptop everywhere we go is a bit ridic.

 

3. Ability to offer last-minute upgrades

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I think it’s great when airlines send upgrade offers a few days before flights to fill their business class cabins.

How about letting Travel Agents sell these for you? It would be a fantastic way for us to increase our customer retention and promote loyalty with the airline in question.

Send a quick message to us and we’ll break the good news to our customers and have those flatbeds filled in no time flat.

 

4. Sales Reps

Call me old school, but I value my relationships with Sales Reps.

If I’m flogging hundreds of thousands of dollars of your product per year, I’d like to know I can call somebody who I trust if I need a hand with anything.

Removing this relationship is a real kick in the teeth. Cough, Flying Kangaroo, cough.

 

5. Better hold music

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I reckon I’ve spent about twelve years on hold to airlines and wholesalers – and I’ve only been a Travel Agent for ten years!

Do us a favour and think about our sanity when you’re choosing what music, jingles or automated message you’re going to make us listen to – and maybe think about updating it every now and then.

Think about the captive audience you have, how about product updates, recent customer feedback, fun facts, etc?

 

6. Low season AD rates

Newer Travel Agents won’t even know what AD means.

There was a time when airlines sorted us out with some pretty awesome rates to fly with them. I’m sure there are still a few around, but I haven’t used one in yonks.

Fair enough if you’d rather full-paying customers bums in your seats when you can, but why not throw us a bone during those times when you can’t fill planes?

Personally, I sell the crap out of a product I’ve experienced myself.

 

7. A relationship with Airbnb

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This could turn something we hate into something we love.

If Airbnb developed a relationship with Travel Agents it would be an absolute game changer.

Our customers want what they want – and sometimes that’s a nice little family home instead of an overpriced hotel during high season. Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – amirite?

What ideas do YOU have to make your life as a Travel Agent easier?