Travel agents avoiding AA bookings?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by jfhscott, Oct 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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  2. Jimgotkp
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    If the TAs mention the reason why they aren't choosing AA to their clients then it's understandable.
     
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  3. DestinationDavid
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    That's rather circular.... ;)

    Is it that the TA is avoiding working, or is that a good TA keeps abreast of the airline industry and is providing good service by making sure their client's travel plans are less likely to have a hitch? Sure, a TA will help fix a problem should you have disruptions, but I'd rather my TA avoid the disruption in the first place.
     
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  4. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    It may be both customer service and avoidance of sales which are more prone to generate additional work. And maybe my query identifies that I have a built in bias against TA's. But should a TA disclose that they have their own agenda, too?
     
  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Isn't the mere fact that they are a for-profit business sufficient? ;)
     
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  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    What agenda? Not having their customers inconvenienced and forced to rebook last minute?
     
  7. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    I would say no. The TA has incentives to steer customers from AA to others about which the customer might not be aware. Yes, the TA may offer up "I would hate to place you on AA whilst they are undependable" when the more controlling reason is "If I book you on AA, I expose myself to a greater than normal chance of performing additional work".

    It just troubles me that the TA would offer up the red herring of protecting the customer when they may be acting more in their own interest.
     
  8. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Please see my intervening post.

    The "agenda" is that they may be trying to avoid hassles to themselves as much as their clients. The problem arises out of their charging a flat fee for all bookings - whether problem proof or problem prone.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Do you believe the agents are pushing customers elsewhere to avoid more work even though AA would be a better choice for the customer? :confused: The only way that works is if AA is operationally reliable - i.e. risk to the customer is low - but the agent still suggests an alternative. But if they are operationally reliable there is no increased risk to the agent either.

    So long as the airline is running a 60% on-time rate and 3-5% cancellations it is absolutely good business - both for the customer and the agent - for the agent to recommend that the passenger take the more reliable alternative. The TA's goal is to make sure that the customer gets where they want to be, on time and with minimal risk. The "pain" of rebooking a screwed up flight is much less than the pain of having a frustrated customer call, yelling about a canceled or significantly delayed flight.

    You seem to be suggesting that it is only possible for the agent to do right by the customer if they have ulterior motives. I think that a rational view of the situation suggests that everyone benefits if a customer doesn't have to deal with unreliable operations.
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Having just stumbled over the article myself, I think the bigger issue is the headline: "Who wants to fly American Airlines?"
     
  11. DTWBOB

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    actually, they have a very simple agenda -- they want their customers to come back.

    <lol>

    Bob H
     
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  12. DestinationDavid
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    I'm an AA loyalist and hate to see my airline of choice losing business in this volatile environment where the company might disappear, however, this is certainly NOT a red herring. It's a real, tangible reason why consumers might want to steer clear of the company for the time being.

    No point in going back and forth, I just don't see how one reads that article and immediately comes away with, "Oh wow, those TAs are lazy and avoiding work" instead of what it seems almost everyone else walked away with, "Ah, that sucks, I can see why those TAs would be doing that."
     
  13. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Other than not wanting to see flights canceled, I like that travel agents are not pushing AA. It gives those of us who are loyal to them better upgrade availability. I've had several upcoming flights changed ahead of time, but they have always given me the choice of changes including routing me through other locations to get more miles. My Superbowl trip in February will now earn me twice as many miles as I had originally booked, and I am flying on a 767 LAX to MIA and a 777 MIA to LAX, so the likely upgrade will be a nice seat.
     
  14. DestinationDavid
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    Yeah, in a time of instability during Chapter 11 loyal customers should be happy others have a reason not to book with AA just so we can have better upgrade stats. :rolleyes:;)
     
  15. tcook052
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    Why do you have that bias?

    All this biased TA took from the article was that agents were looking out for their clients and trying to avoid potential delays, cancellations or missed connections and isn't that what you'd hope and expect them to do?
    Chances are however that were TA's to continue blindly selling AA and the worst case senario happened you'd be blaming them for not actively pursuing alternate options for their clients.

    Sorry but most times it seems TA's are in a no win game.
     
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  16. mattsteg
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    Avoiding travel disruptions is not an "agenda" for travel agents - it's at the core of what a competent TA is supposed to do!

    And what "problem" is arising, other that AA's operational performance?
     
  17. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    Before the Internet bookings became truly competitive with "ethnic" travel agencies, I bought all of my international tickets from TAs---oh, for about 20 years, to Europe, Japan, SE Asia, and India, on all kind of carriers. Based on that experience, I can tell you that most TAs always had a list of airlines they liked to push or discourage. Maybe it was based on commission, maybe hassle factor, but TAs favoring / disfavoring particular carriers was the norm, not the exception.

    IOW, nothing new here, just bad timing. But what makes the timing bad is everything else that's going on, and TAs are not to blame for that.
     

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