Home Travel agency Travel agents unhappy with Qantas over reduced commissions

Travel agents unhappy with Qantas over reduced commissions

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A Qantas spokesman said the last commission cut was more than 15 years ago, travel agents had more than a year’s notice of the change and the service charge was a “logical way “to reward travel agents.

“Even before the commission change, we saw many travel agents adopt the growing trend towards a fee-for-service model that has already taken place in many overseas markets,” the spokesperson said. .

Travel agents are reluctant to pass on the fee, which they say will range from $75 to $175 per ticket, but Waddington said paltry commission rates meant service charges were “inevitable”.

“We don’t do it to be mean – we do it because nobody else is paying us,” she said.

Kylee Ellerton, owner of Ballarat travel agency Frank Ford Travel, has been in the industry for three decades and remembers when commissions were 10%. Commissions from other parts of the travel industry, such as hotels, tour operators and transportation companies, still hover around 10%, she said.

Ellerton warned that Qantas customer service teams will come under additional pressure from those who are discouraged by the new service fee and who choose to book flights themselves but encounter issues which they usually direct to their travel agent.

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“Without us, they will get busier and busier and there will be no customer service.

“Why are we going to bend over backwards and help them when we are not being paid by the airlines? »

The 1% commission was described as a “kick in the gut” by Ellerton who said a number of his customers, loyal Qantas travelers, were switching to other airlines.

Emirates, British Airways, Air New Zealand, American Airlines are among the other carriers that now only pay 1% commission. Meanwhile, Qatar, Delta, Air France, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa and a number of others are still paying 5%. Virgin pays between 2 and 4% depending on the tariff.

A spokesperson for the Federation of Australian Travel Agents (AFTA) said it was disappointing that some airlines had waived commissions, but praised others for not having done so.

“These airlines continue to take a shared approach with travel agents and businesses to support travelers,” the AFTA spokesperson said.

Staff shortages and therefore higher workloads also contributed to the introduction of service charges, especially as airlines cut support like commission, the spokesperson added.

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