I appreciate that more and more people feel comfortable to research and book their own travel plans. I have said before that just because I can watch a you tube video on doing my own car oil change that I would attempt to do that myself. There are people that have dedicated their lives to such a job and I will pay for that service.
Most travel professionals that book leisure travel (at least that I know) don’t charge a fee for their services. I am in no way saying we shouldn’t charge a fee, but we do make money from the sale so in the end we are benefiting from the business we earn from the sales.
Recently I have been working with a friend of our family, whose travel experience is very minimal. She has a lot of friends who travel, one in particular who is very well travelled – with lots of opinions. Go here, don’t go there, that’s a good deal, this is what you should be paying. You know the type. We all know the type.
I was very happy that we the clients had decided on their trip and we had two lengthy discussions on travel insurance. What are the concerns for the parties involved, pre-existing conditions, medical questionnaires, etc. We sell Manulife insurance, which is one of the countries main insurance providers for Canadian travellers. Premiums were discussed and even though the costs were high, the customer understood the importance of such insurance. Great. Booking completed, client satisfied.
There are two suppliers Sunwing/Signature and Transat holidays that sell a travel waiver. It is not insurance and should not be sold that way. It is a waiver that states you can cancel up to 3 hour prior to your flight and get a refund. Not your money back, as there are ** beside this clause. Depending on when you cancel you would get future travel vouchers back, not money. When you take real insurance if you have to cancel you would get money back. This waiver is $50 or $79 if you want medical included. This price is much less than the price I offered to the client. Her friend was appalled that I would offer her friend such high insurance and didn’t I know about the Sunwing waiver?
Of course I know about the waiver. I asked the woman, if she was aware of the fact that you don’t get money back if you cancel? She had no idea what I was talking about. I know what I am talking about. I told her with certainty that I offered my clients what was best for them. This was their first trip like this and if they had to cancel for a medical reason future travel vouchers wouldn’t work for them, they need to be ensured to get their money back. She continued to ‘school’ me on the ins and outs of the travel industry. I did tell her three times that I have been in the travel industry for over 26 years.
My client, a family friend for my whole life was very embarrassed by the phone call and events of the conversation. I asked her if she was okay with my recommendations and she said she was. I was okay with that. I advised her that I don’t recommend the product that the friend was taking, that it really isn’t in her best interest and she was okay with that.
There is something that I find myself repeating over again in this blog – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Leave it to the professional to recommend what is best for their clients.
If you have any questions about the travel waivers vs. proper insurance please ask me and I would be more than happy to assist you.