Dear Demanda – Why are they charging so much?

Dear Demanda,

I want to go to Cuba, air only to a city called Holguin. I call up the local office about once a week (sometimes more than once on the same day) ask the prices. I have been doing this for about 6 months, but I haven’t booked anything yet. The last time I went to Cuba, I only paid $584 and I can’t understand why the prices are so high. When I call the agency now, they answer my call like they know who I am, always giving me the same price and the same answer. They always ask, “Can I book that for you sir”. NO, you can’t, you are ripping me off and I refuse to pay this price. I told the girl on Sunday that I was going to call Justin Trudeau and complain about being ripped off. Why can’t I get the price I paid before?


Bags packed nowhere to go

Dear Nowhere to go,

The first thing I have to say to you is thank goodness you aren’t calling my agency on a weekly basis. Most office phones now have call display and I am sure the reason you think they know who you are when you call in, is because they do. As well, you ask for the same thing, month after month without making a reservation, they know what you are looking for. But the question is, do you know what you are looking for?

We can’t spend life thinking about what things used to cost, there really is no point. If you aren’t already aware, the taxes for most travel destinations are over $400 (for Cuba it is about $360). If you paid $584 for flight about 2 years ago even, you were lucky to do so. If you can get it again, you would be even luckier at this point in time.

Even though a lot of people want to blame Justin Trudeau for everything that is wrong with Canada and the economy, it is not his fault that the cost of travel is what it is.

My advice to you is either book your trip for the dates that you want to travel. If you don’t want to pay the current prices of the cost of travel, then resign yourself to the fact that you won’t be going to Cuba (or anywhere else) anytime soon. More importantly, stop calling the agency you are calling on a weekly basis and stop wasting their time. They could be speaking to someone who is really interested in making a reservation.

Best of luck getting to Cuba.

Demanda Refund


Introducing Demanda Refund

Good morning friends,

I have to admit I was very surprised to get this email from Lisa asking me if I wanted to have a regular column on her blog. What’s a blog I asked? The last time I wrote a column was back at the Last Minute Club in the mid 1990’s. We didn’t even have computers back then! It has been a very long time since I asked questions and answers about the travel industry. I think that computers were just starting to come into the mainstream when I last writing about the industry that I have dedicated my working life to making better.

What have I been doing for the last twenty plus years you are probably wanting to know? Well, I have been collecting data from fellow travel professionals about all the amazingly wonderful (and sometimes really crazy) things that happen in the travel industry.

I have a lot of friends in the travel business. I have to say, they all have stories about you, the general public. We can all agree that there is a lot of information on, how do you call it, the world wide web? I know that you can watch a video on YouTube on learning how to do just about anything. I know that this site, they call it – trip advisor? It seems to be the bible that the general public goes by when asking about travel. Let me tell you, it is not. As a travel professional for over 26 years I can tell you that the best place to get your travel advice, buy your travel packages, buy your travel insurance, is from a travel professional.

I will be guest writing on The Stamps in my Passport blog on the strong arm pulling of my friend Lisa. She, too, is a travel professional for over 26 years. She is more politically correct than I am. She needs to say things with more, how would I say it, tact. I may tell you like I am thinking it in my head, which isn’t always PC. (not the political party).

Last but not least, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our dear friend Joel Hollander. He will always be the driving force behind my success. His dedication to our profession will never be forgotten. He taught and trained many of the people I know in this industry. His personality was larger than life. His laughter infectious. His humor, much like mine, offended some, but he could get away  with. I would not be here without him.

Please email your travel questions to and I will be answering them there on this blog belonging to my fellow travel professional, Lisa. Please ensure that you “follow” this blog on the right hand side of this page so that you can be alerted every time there is a “Dear Demanda” post (and of course the ones that Lisa writes).

Sharing all the crazy things that I hear from my travel industry friends and sharing it with you is something I am looking forward to.

Wheels up for a new adventure. Get ready to add stamps to your passport.