March 2006

In this issue...

Destination: India
by James Langford
President's Message
by Gary Fee
Small Fish Big Splash
by Anita Balamane
I Had Money to Spend
by Penney Rudicil
“IBRAND” Tune-up
by Gary Sain
Twin Bill
by Martin Deutsch
Managing Your Travel Business
by John Hawkes
Selling Cruises
by John Hawkes
Selling Travel 101
by John Hawkes
Can this Trip be Saved
by John Hawkes
Travel Niches
by John Hawkes
Protection and Profits
by Cynthia Perry
Changing the Rules
by Carl Meadows
Fams & Seminars


Staten Island
Rhapsody of the Seas

Can This Trip Be Saved? Deciphering ‘Trip Guarantees’
by John Hawks

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Before you jump to any false conclusions, take a really good look at what Travelocity is actually saying in its ads. The online travel site is definitely not promising to resolve any and all problems that come up on customers' trips booked through Travelocity. Actually, the promise being made is simply that Travelocity will work with its partners (read "travel suppliers" like airlines, cruise lines, and hotels) to offer alternatives or substitutes to make customers happy if something goes wrong on their trip. In other words, Travelocity is finally saying it will do what independent home-based travel professionals have been doing for years.

In some cases, Travelocity is actually "guaranteeing" solutions that are already required by law. For example, one promise on its site says that, if you've booked a rental car but the company is out of cars in your rental class when you arrive at the counter, Travelocity will work with the rental car company for a replacement. What Travelocity doesn't tell you is that, if you have a guaranteed reservation, the rental car company is already required under contract laws to honor your reservation, even if it has to pay a competitor to give you a car!

OSSN agents actually go well above and beyond Travelocity's "guarantee" in several critical ways. Here's your # 1 competitive advantage as a home-based agent: You are locally based. If something goes wrong on a trip, or if your clients have questions before they leave home, you're very easy to find (as opposed to driving to Travelocity's headquarters or getting a knowledgeable agent on the phone at one of the big online travel sites). Second, you're already been setting a high standard of service with local customers for years in your community -- long before travel Web sites ever came along. When your clients have questions -- or they need help -- you'll be there for them.


OSSN Home  |  Destination: India |  President's Message  |  Small Fish Big Splash
I Had Money to Spend |  “IBRAND” Tune-up |  Twin Bill |  Managing Your Travel Business
Selling Cruises  |  Selling Travel 101  |  Can this Trip be Saved  |  Travel Niches
Protection and Profits  |  Changing the Rules | Fams & Seminars  |  Chapter News