At times a traveler might wish to change or cancel a flight after it has been booked. Under such circumstances, specific penalties and schedules typically apply. These penalties and schedules, however, vary depending on the region. For us, flight agents operating in Europe, the following schedules shall apply: a traveler who cancels a domestic flight will be liable to pay a fine of $150. International ticket cancelled will attract a $250 penalty (Piga & Filippi, 2002). For hotel reservations, there is a time frame within which the traveler is allowed to cancel or change a room without attracting any penalty. Both domestic and international tickets are usually non-refundable. You should, however, notify the traveler that majority of the airlines do offer credit for a period of one year from the date the ticket was originally issued. Some of the flight agents have an agreement with some airlines that allow passengers to cancel their tickets and still obtain a refund ("Fundamentals of flying - Wikitravel", 2016). Under such circumstances, however, the passenger will have to bear the cancellation fee which in most cases amounts to $300. As a flight agent, it is important that you notify your client of all possible scenarios and the implications of each so that they can make an informed decision and be prepared beforehand. It is also important that you should be well conversant with all applicable rates and penalties imposed in case of ticket cancellation.
Travel agency procedure to non-technical audience
As a traveler, you are required to fill out a travelers form with which you are to provide specific details about yourself. The travel agent will then draft an itinerary quote and submit it to a higher authority for approval. The person who is in charge of making your hotel and flight booking should sign the approved itinerary quote and then forward it to the travel agent. As a traveler, you are required to provide the following details to expedite the booking process: the date and time you intend to have your flight, your full legal names, your gender and date of birth, your preferred sitting position (whether at the window or at the aisle) and your email address for the confirmation of your ticket ("Information for air travellers - Transport", 2016).
Hotel accommodation and reservation
To make a hotel reservation, you, the traveler should provide the travel agent with the following details: your full names, the duration of time you intend to spend at your destination and your preferred vicinity so that proper arrangements can be made. In case you do not have a personal means of transport, the travel agent can make car rental reservations and print train tickets on your behalf to help you move around easily. In case you are attending a conference or a special event, most hotels offer special rates. This means that you will not need to pay reservation charges.
Changes, cancellations, and penalties
At times due to unforeseeable circumstances, you might be forced to cancel or change a ticket or hotel reservations. If you do so, you are bound to pay certain penalties. These penalties and schedules will, however, vary depending on the region. Within the European block, for instance, the penalty that you will be charged for cancelling a domestic ticket will be $150 and $250 for an international ticket. For hotel reservations, there are scheduled time frames within which you are allowed to cancel a reservation or change a room without being charged any penalties. Hotel penalties imposed for reservation cancellation or change of rooms usually vary. In most cases, domestic and international tickets are usually non-refundable. However, the majority of the airlines offer a credit of one year from the date the ticket was originally issued. Some flight agents have entered into agreements with some airlines which allow passengers to cancel their tickets and still obtain a refund. If you are a beneficiary of such an agreement, you will obtain your refund, but you will have to cater for the cancellation cost, which in most cases amounts to $300 (Piga & Filippi, 2002).
Your flight agent will be able to address any questions and issues that you might have with regards to the flight booking process which might be quite complicated and mystifying especially when it is your first time doing it. Even so, the booking agent should be able to help you find the best deals so that you can enjoy your experience both during the flight and when you land at your preferred destination (Kugel, 2016). Since they have the connections and deep experience in the field, flight agents are in a better position to better serve you when it comes to making travel arrangements; they know the best deals in the market, the cheapest car rental reservations and the best hotels that they can book you in. Travel agents also have an unmatched knowledge of the area you intend to visit, so the extra charges you will have to cough for this service will be worth the experience you will enjoy at your destination.
European Travel Agency Procedure. (2016). Otis College of Art and Design. Retrieved 6 September 2016, from http://www.otis.edu/business-office/european-travel-agency-procedure
Fundamentals of flying - Wikitravel. (2016). Wikitravel.org. Retrieved 6 September 2016, from http://wikitravel.org/en/Fundamentals_of_flying
Information for air travellers - Transport. (2016). Ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 6 September 2016, from http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/security/info_travellers_en.htm
Kugel, S. (2016). How to Choose an Air Travel Search Site. Nytimes.com. Retrieved 6 September 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/travel/how-to-choose-an-air-travel-search-site.html
Piga, C. & Filippi, N. (2002). Booking and flying with low-cost airlines. International Journal Of Tourism Research, 4(3), 237-249. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jtr.379
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