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Rookie = OTA; Travel Agents save the day

Say it loud and say it proud: Travel Agents won't let you make that mistake.

Say it loud and say it proud: Travel Agents won’t let you make that mistake.



Travel Agents; be louder and prouder. Is it time for a change of tact? Fear campaigning, the liberal party, labour party, Trump and Clinton love it. Seems to work.

So maybe it’s time to let travellers know of the horrors they expose themselves to by choosing “team OTA” when it comes to booking their holiday.


1. Oh no, the OTA went bust

Old news now, but an OTA who moved their operations to Spain so they could register through a trust and more or less avoid any penalties if they go bust is designed to do one thing; go bust for a billion bucks.

The UK has a good protection scheme for travelers, if they book with a UK company. Sure, we don’t have TCF any more but we do have a lot of groups who have taken up their own insurance to protect travelers if it goes pear shaped.

Say it loud:  “Oh diddums. You aren’t protected when the marketing team in Spain couldn’t communicate with head office in Dublin back to contracting in Gibraltar and tax in the Caymans? Whoopsie. Holiday dream GONE”.


2. Whoops missed a connection

“I booked it all on the same site and the flight looked fine but no one told me that it takes 45 minutes to walk from one end of the airport to the other and I needed to collect my bags and…”

Diddums. There’s no one at the OTA sweetie.

What no one did do was pay a lawyer to wrap a booking in 34 pages of fine print pax just accepted which means it’s their fault for being an idiot in not reading the fine print. On page 24.

Say it loud: “Our customers are on the plane. You’re on your arse on concrete”.


3. Valid passport? Well, kinda

I nearly got stung on this last year passing through KL – note, staying airside. The Malaysian Airlines lady was not so sure, only five months left on the passport was OK for India, not Malaysia, but I wasn’t “going” there. I’ve seen the horror, abuse and escort from the premises that follows getting bumped from a flight because the passport ain’t quite right. My Agent knew, he was cool, man.

Say it loud: “Our customers are on the tarmac. Your friends will LOVE this story”.


4. Travel insurance. Minefield

Holy moley. Insurance is a nightmare. In everything. I use a broker, same mentality as using a travel agent. David Smith has saved me thousands, decreased my risk and ensured I am well insured. He’s a pro otherwise, it’s no go. Travel insurance? Joe Germano put me straight on it years ago. Good policy, good coverage, the right price.

Laugh it loud: “You buy stamps at the post office and food at a grocery store, dude”.


5. I need a refund because…

The travel agent’s millennial favorite, Webjet (yes, we still don’t like you) is celebrating ten years of annoying refund policies and upsetting customers around the world. They are so good at it (as are so many OTA’s at not refunding cash when it gets sticky) that 10 years ago the Chasers “War on Everything” did a skit on it. 10 years ago. Hello?

Say it loud: “Seriously, if you haven’t learnt by now using an OTA makes you cheap, you are a sucker”.

Are you a loud and proud Agent?