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GeezerCouple

Do Travel Agents still get commissions when trip is cancelled?

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When a cruise is cancelled during the 100% penalty period shortly before sailing, meaning 100% is kept by the cruise line, do Travel Agents still get their commission?

(This is specifically an Oceania-based question in this particular instance, with our "almost" Med cruise, which was cancelled very late, due to 98 yo MIL being rushed to the ER with heart trouble.  And yes, she's had remarkably good health until now, including still being sharp as a tack.)

 

It seems that if the vendor is keeping ALL of "our" money, the regular/full commission should still be paid to the agent...?

 

Are there any travel agents here who can speak from experience, rather than guessing?

 

Thanks.

 

GC

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Excellent question GC. We recently cancelled due to a hospitalization and were curious about this.

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The short answer is that the Commission is not technically payable to the Agent unless and until the passenger actually sets foot on the ship.

It all has to do with how the income is recorded by the Revenue Dept. at Oceania, far above our paygrade.

 

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Posted (edited)

Paying commission on zero revenue is a going out of business strategy.

 

Independent travel agents get nothing. Travel agents directly employed by a travel agency might get a small salary with a major part of their projected income being commission. The long-term "high performers" most likely go 100% commission for a higher percentage depending upon the company pay structure. They wouldn't be paid commission for a cancelled cruise. 

Edited by Rob the Cruiser

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7 minutes ago, Rob the Cruiser said:

Paying commission on zero revenue is a going out of business strategy.

 

Independent travel agents get nothing. Travel agents directly employed by a travel agency might get a small salary with a major part of their projected income being commission. The long-term "high performers" most likely go 100% commission for a higher percentage depending upon the company pay structure. There might be other incentives or "spifs" in the form of bonuses or other benefits. 

 

I'm not at all understanding what you mean by "on zero revenue".  Oceania has 100% of our fare; we are in full penalty phase.

 

???

 

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2 minutes ago, Rob the Cruiser said:

As @StanandJimstated, the transaction isn't considered complete until the passenger steps foot on the ship.

 

I'm referring directly to *your* quote of 

 

"Paying commission on zero revenue is a going out of business strategy."

 

How is it zero revenue if we've paid Oceania 100% of the fare?

 

GC

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We are partially caught in a time warp on this issue. My TA, whom I’ll just say is seasoned, has talked about these issues before. Pre Internet, and pre bidding your cruise to unknown entities and whom ever would give the greatest kickback, there was an expectation that the TA would actually know their clientele. Sounds archaic now!

 

Part of that knowing your client meant you didn’t sign people up for cruises that were on their death beds! A doctor friend/ good acquaintance is a ship’s doctor with Celebrity. One of his big complaints is hearing the screams of the Banchee and watching the Grim Reaper slipping aboard on Embarkment Day! Medical Emergencies and evacuations sometimes before the ship gets to its first port. He asks “ Who signed these people up for this cruise?!!”. Actually as a humorous side story, his funniest tale is of a passenger that died aboard ship in like Day 2. The wife comes up and says “ He was a sailor during WW2, and wants a burial at sea with his comrades!” Jim told her “ we can’t dump bodies and bury people at Sea!” The wife was distraught and argumentative. The couple knew he was dying when he got on the ship! 

 

Many of the seemingly strange policies we have go back to an era when the TA was supposed to know their clients. Back in the day, sending a dying cruiser aboard would also cost a TA a commission.

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1 minute ago, Rob the Cruiser said:

Yes, it's revenue to Oceania but not to the travel agent if they aren't directly employed by Oceania.

 

 

 

I think you are begging the question.  My question was whether, and then WHY, a travel agent (yes, an outside agent- or any agent at all, if it must come to that?) does not get anything at all if the passenger cancels after Oceania already has 100% of the fare.

(I never mentioned employment status, and I didn't have any idea whether it would differ between in house or out, etc.)

 

Oceania DOES indeed "have revenue", the full amount.  So why don't they pay the travel agent who made the reservation, etc.

 

Or is it just, as I asked, "because they can", etc.?

 

GC

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17 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

We are partially caught in a time warp on this issue. My TA, whom I’ll just say is seasoned, has talked about these issues before. Pre Internet, and pre bidding your cruise to unknown entities and whom ever would give the greatest kickback, there was an expectation that the TA would actually know their clientele. Sounds archaic now!

 

Part of that knowing your client meant you didn’t sign people up for cruises that were on their death beds! A doctor friend/ good acquaintance is a ship’s doctor with Celebrity. One of his big complaints is hearing the screams of the Banchee and watching the Grim Reaper slipping aboard on Embarkment Day! Medical Emergencies and evacuations sometimes before the ship gets to its first port. He asks “ Who signed these people up for this cruise?!!”. Actually as a humorous side story, his funniest tale is of a passenger that died aboard ship in like Day 2. The wife comes up and says “ He was a sailor during WW2, and wants a burial at sea with his comrades!” Jim told her “ we can’t dump bodies and bury people at Sea!” The wife was distraught and argumentative. The couple knew he was dying when he got on the ship! 

 

Many of the seemingly strange policies we have go back to an era when the TA was supposed to know their clients. Back in the day, sending a dying cruiser aboard would also cost a TA a commission.

 

Well, *that* sounds "interesting", and reminds me of a TV ad we saw just last night, for "Burial At Sea" services.  Not kidding!

 

As for your first paragraph, I'm still not sure why that would matter (and btw, we know our TA and have met him, and it's not a "bidding" thing at all), IF Oceania has received 100% of the fare, safe and sound.

He does a lot for us, and most of it is not cruise-related, but takes time, which is money, etc.

 

Our travel insurance is third-party, so there's not even any O exposure to that cost (if it ever works that way).

 

Thanks!

 

GC

 

 

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12 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

He does a lot for us, and most of it is not cruise-related, but takes time, which is money, etc.

 

Agree with you 100%, but it would be you and not Oceania who should be offering that Agent compensation for non-cruise related issues.  

I'll be interested to hear what you decide to do.  

 

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Just now, StanandJim said:

Agree with you 100%, but it would be you and not Oceania who should be offering that Agent compensation for non-cruise related issues.  

I'll be interested to hear what you decide to do.  

 

 

Thanks, but that doesn't answer the question about the rationale for O (or other cruise lines) *not* paying commission, when they've got 100% of the fare, safe and sound, paid some time ago, etc.

 

(I'm also not at all clear why it matters if the agent was a one-timer, if it was a bid, or the agent is on the moon/whatever, as long as the cruise line has *100%* of the fare paid.)

 

IF there is a rationale, we are really curious.

 

Thanks!

 

GC

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58 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Oceania DOES indeed "have revenue", the full amount.  So why don't they pay the travel agent who made the reservation, etc.

 

Or is it just, as I asked, "because they can", etc.?

As a former travel agency owner I can tell that, yes, it is "because they can". Just like they can  turn around and sell the cabin to someone else, so the cruise line ends up collecting the fare twice. They don't refund the fare paid by the original passenger just because they were able to resell the cabin. They collect the money twice.

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If as stated here by other posters Oceania does not pay commission once the 100% penalty phase kicks in then imo this is totally immoral. Other cruise lines do pay commission at that point and so should Oceania. They have collected all the money due them and they re saving money on food and beverages not consumed.

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36 minutes ago, wripro said:

If as stated here by other posters Oceania does not pay commission once the 100% penalty phase kicks in then imo this is totally immoral. Other cruise lines do pay commission at that point and so should Oceania. They have collected all the money due them and they re saving money on food and beverages not consumed.

All the T/A 's should get together and do something about.  I agree it is totally immoral and maybe illegal.  Could be a good class action lawsuit. 

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2 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Well, *that* sounds "interesting", and reminds me of a TV ad we saw just last night, for "Burial At Sea" services.  Not kidding!

 

As for your first paragraph, I'm still not sure why that would matter (and btw, we know our TA and have met him, and it's not a "bidding" thing at all), IF Oceania has received 100% of the fare, safe and sound.

He does a lot for us, and most of it is not cruise-related, but takes time, which is money, etc.

 

Our travel insurance is third-party, so there's not even any O exposure to that cost (if it ever works that way).

 

Thanks!

 

GC

 

 

Geezer...are you on the March Marina to Rome????    I be

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19 minutes ago, OCruisers said:

My TA says NO they are not paid for cancelled cruises.  

that  sucks 

they still did  the work & if within the 100% penalty phase  they should still get paid 

JMO

 

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2 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Thanks, but that doesn't answer the question about the rationale for O (or other cruise lines) *not* paying commission, when they've got 100% of the fare, safe and sound, paid some time ago, etc.

 

(I'm also not at all clear why it matters if the agent was a one-timer, if it was a bid, or the agent is on the moon/whatever, as long as the cruise line has *100%* of the fare paid.)

 

IF there is a rationale, we are really curious.

 

Thanks!

 

GC

In any broker/client relationship, the client (which is Oceania, not us) has the right to determine what constitutes a consummated "deal".  

From their point of view, when the Cruise is cancelled that late the money paid is no longer a fare, they are collecting a penalty.   

The questions about the Agent go to continuity of service and the relationships which Oceania tries to build with Agents.  

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2 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

In any broker/client relationship, the client (which is Oceania, not us) has the right to determine what constitutes a consummated "deal".  

From their point of view, when the Cruise is cancelled that late the money paid is no longer a fare, they are collecting a penalty.   

The questions about the Agent go to continuity of service and the relationships which Oceania tries to build with Agents.  

They still get the fare  whether the pax sails or not  what they may not get is the extra revenue from onboard spends

We normally do not spend our own $ onboard  but use the OBC  from the cruiseline  so they are also saving that when a pax cancels

Sometimes they may get lucky & resell the cabin  making a bigger profit

They should still pay the TA  the commission if the pax is within the 100% penalty phase  the agent still did  the work  for the booking

JMO

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I can see where all this can swiftly go. 

 

If I cancel during the 100% cancellation period, does my TA get paid, therefore should I get my rebate check from my TA

 

If one’s rebate check is greater than their travel insurance it can become a money making deal!

 

I’ll leave these policies and discussions alone!

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Its a contractual agreement between the Agency and the Cruise line.   The passenger has no standing.  If your agent has a problem, tell them to take it up with the agency owner. 

 

I would imagine that its treated as cancellation penalty, not sailed revenue , so no commission.  Lots of things are non-commissionable on a cruise. (ie excursions, drink packages)  Even thought the agent may have persuaded you to purchase. 

 

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1 minute ago, pinotlover said:

I can see where all this can swiftly go. 

 

If I cancel during the 100% cancellation period, does my TA get paid, therefore should I get my rebate check from my TA

 

If one’s rebate check is greater than their travel insurance it can become a money making deal!

 

I’ll leave these policies and discussions alone!

 

Excellent Point. 

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