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Rip off travel agents - & locating fare costs

Rip off travel agents - & locating fare costs

Old Jun 30, 18, 9:34 am
  #1  
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Rip off travel agents - & locating fare costs

Have just moved companies - previously booked my own travel. Now I must use the company's designated agent. My new company does very little travel and seem to be unaware that the agent is selling them tickets, not as agent of the airline, but in the name of the agent with the agent's T&Cs. Upshot is, they cost more and, the agent's conditions are verging, (in my opinion) on fraudulent. I have just been refused a refund on a "J" class that I cancelled a week out.

Our CFO requires us to use the agent as they provide electronic invoicing.

Anyway, background rant over.

I'd like to rock the boat a little. Is there anywhere I can see what the published airline fares are for each bucket - say "Y" class BA LHR - SIN, without having to pay a subscription to see if I can knock a little sense into my CFO?
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Old Jun 30, 18, 1:00 pm
  #2  
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T/Agents follow the same fare rules as airlines. They all refer to the same ATPCo database, published by the GDS'es. There must be a reason for the refusal - maybe non-ref Corporate fare was used? Ask T/A to send you a copy of the e-ticket (or use the Saudia tool if you know the number, look for the Fare Basis field) and the corresponding fare rules from the GDS.
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Old Jun 30, 18, 1:06 pm
  #3  
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Before "rocking" any boats, make sure that you have read the entirety of the contract between the TA and your employer. It is entirely possible that the TA resells consolidator or BULK tickets, that it has a rebate program with your employer, or various other benefits which can be of significance to an employer and not to an employee.

The T&C are between two commercial entities, e.g. the TA and your employer, not you. Thus, they may not be what you, as a consumer, expect.

If you post the name of the TA, you might find some information here from others who have dealt with that TA, either from the customer (employer) or passenger (employee) perspective or perhaps both. Otherwise, starting point is your employer not the TA.
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Old Jun 30, 18, 1:20 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Midships View Post
. I have just been refused a refund on a "J" class that I cancelled a week out.
Was it an actual J fare or just a business class ticket? There are plenty of non refundable business class tickets and may have been the same if purchased from the airline

What was the route and fare?
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Old Jun 30, 18, 4:49 pm
  #5  
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Travel agents can sell private fares that we don’t see.

Entirely possible the fare books you into the J bucket but is non refundable.

But also very possible the agent is selling a fully refundable J ticket, claiming the agent commission, and then making excuses not to refund it. Perhaps nefariously or even because of poor training.

May be worth escalating internally, if you are intending to buy refundable tickets.
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Last edited by Calchas; Jun 30, 18 at 4:54 pm
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Old Jul 1, 18, 12:48 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Midships View Post
I'd like to rock the boat a little. Is there anywhere I can see what the published airline fares are for each bucket - say "Y" class BA LHR - SIN, without having to pay a subscription to see if I can knock a little sense into my CFO?
If it is just one or two fares you want to check, and you have the exact dates of travel, then someone here will look the fares up for you. The other thing you can do, if you are sore about the J fare, is to find out the fare basis - either from the travel agent or via tools just as checkmytrip - and someone can check the fare conditions on refunds on published fares. For that we would need all the relevant dates in terms of both travel and purchase date. If it's a private fare this may not work.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 1:34 am
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I would recommend escalating this internally to your Procurement team and asking them to investigate. They will have knowledge of the contract and should know, or at least be able to investigate, if the TA is pulling a fast one.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 1:55 am
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I'm not sure my first priority in a new job would be arguing the toss with the CFO over bookings policy, but be that as it may, the route to take if there's a genuine overcharge is to bring it to the attention of the bookers. As a preemptive measure when booking, it's as well to say something like: "there is some doubt about the meeting taking place, can you quote for a flexible fare allowing changes and cancellations". You can also give an example of something suitable you've found yourself.

The impression I get is that this is as much about the annoyance of changing from self-booking to the imposition of a TA imposing policy as the cancellation itself, which is presumably expensed. I feel your pain, but you can ease this over time by figuring out the wrinkles in the system. Actually I've never met a finance director who isn't receptive to ideas to save travel costs, but there are probably better ways of broaching the subject.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 2:06 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Midships View Post
..Now I must use the company's designated agent. My new company does very little travel and seem to be unaware that the agent is selling them tickets, not as agent of the airline, but in the name of the agent with the agent's T&Cs.
Is the TA a large corporate travel agent, like CWT or equal, or 1 guy in some small suburban office?
With corporate TA's the fare you see is not always what the company pays at year end.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 5:39 am
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Originally Posted by Midships View Post
Have just moved companies - previously booked my own travel. Now I must use the company's designated agent. My new company does very little travel and seem to be unaware that the agent is selling them tickets, not as agent of the airline, but in the name of the agent with the agent's T&Cs. Upshot is, they cost more and, the agent's conditions are verging, (in my opinion) on fraudulent. I have just been refused a refund on a "J" class that I cancelled a week out.

Our CFO requires us to use the agent as they provide electronic invoicing.

Anyway, background rant over.

I'd like to rock the boat a little. Is there anywhere I can see what the published airline fares are for each bucket - say "Y" class BA LHR - SIN, without having to pay a subscription to see if I can knock a little sense into my CFO?
Next time they quote ask for the fare rules abd then look on ba.com to see what the same ticket costs.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 9:35 am
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I hate Travel Agents and don’t trust them, but for medium to large companies they are a necessity.
Not sure why the Op’s employer need to use one if they do very little travel. However, I guess for the odd complicated itinerary they need one!
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Old Jul 1, 18, 11:52 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Grande Annee View Post
Not sure why the Opís employer need to use one if they do very little travel.
Originally Posted by Midships View Post
Our CFO requires us to use the agent as they provide electronic invoicing.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 12:57 pm
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Worth questioning but not ''rocking the boat'' or you may find yourself with a fully refundable Y ticket instead of a more expensive non refundable J ticket in the future.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 1:08 pm
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Or a one way ticket to Coventry
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Old Jul 1, 18, 1:42 pm
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I love my corporate TA. Currently, they will only book HBO fares in Europe on BA and then charge me for bags on top. When I pointed out that it made them £40 more expensive than booking with BA direct and for a non-flexible ticket they told me that I probably wasn't looking at the right fare on the BA site. I'm sure that's correct. It's not like the same company is unable to find fares in Premium Economy on anything but routes served directly by BA and Virgin. They excitedly rang me once to say that after I had complained they had indeed found a Premium Economy fare to my destination.

"But Air France don't fly to Dhaka" I said.
"Yes they do, I've found a flight via Paris".
"That's Dakar in Senegal" I replied, slightly irritated.
"Does that matter?" was the reply

Back to the OP. Do you know how much the same (refundable) fare would have been had you booked direct? Only if I was sure that the CFO was receptive to a money saving approach from a new member of staff would I go ahead and do so. Thankfully mine is.
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