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Keep 'Em Happy


In difficult travel conditions

Between airport mayhem, holiday chaos and the increased cost of traveling, your customers may have more reasons to grimace than to grin. Here’s how to turn those frowns upside down:

1. Make travel fun again
Travel shouldn’t be something your customers dread, but the hassle and price of flying these days can inspire more anxiety than eagerness. Change the name of the game by reminding them that travel should be fun!

Get them excited for their upcoming journey by packing their itineraries with fun activities. Why not suggest squeezing in a play or a fascinating tour while on their holiday trip? Amadeus Activities & Entertainment makes it easy to tack onto their itineraries everything from basketball game tickets to adrenaline-fueled adventure tours. (And you’ll love the commissions!)

2. Get them amazing fares
It’s no surprise that travelers are crankier than they used to be. Not only do they have to deal with more flight delays during the holidays, the maze of security and new fees for everything from seat selection to checking a bag—but they’re also paying more to fly than ever before.

Finding them fantastic rates on flights will help take the sting out. Amadeus All Fares helps you book discounted, consolidator and GDS fares quickly and easily—and it’s also a cinch to check alternate airports and travel dates, too. The elation of a great bargain will make them more enthusiastic about traveling in general—and more likely to return to you soon for repeat business! You can also find great consolidator rates on flights using Amadeus Consolidator Shopper, which is free and available to all US travel agencies regardless of GDS affiliation.

3. Book them on sold-out flights
Travelers who are unhappy about flying might not even be able to suffer through a flight this time of year—seat availability has seen an 8.1% drop since last year’s holiday rush season, according to a study conducted by OAGback Aviation Solutions.

Don’t let your customers be the ones left without a seat. By booking air through Amadeus, you can get them on flights that register as “sold out” under different GDS searches. Amadeus Air offers last seat availability on more than 320 different airlines.

4. Make traveling a no-brainer
Eliminate the stress of trying to keep separate air, hotel and car rental itineraries by putting all of the information in one streamlined report. Add in the weather report, subway/local transportation maps and information on local attractions and you’ll really blow their socks off! This is the kind of customer service travelers truly appreciate. Better yet, you can go a step further by using Amadeus, which not only consolidates multiple itineraries into one, but also gives travelers immediate, real-time access to their travel information, weather and more!

5. Set sail to savings
Flights might be more expensive than they used to be, but cruise pricing remains competitive. Cruising around the holidays is an opportunity for luxury travel at bargain prices—and it’s the perfect option for budget-minded customers. Food and entertainment are built into the price, so your quote for the entire cruise will end up being what they ultimately pay (eliminating sticker shock).

With cool features like deck plans, cruise photos, excursion schedules and the ability to check multiple cruise lines from one search, Amadeus Cruise helps you plan the perfect cruise for your customers—and it’s totally free, regardless of GDS affiliation!

6. Sell them peace of mind
In uncertain times, all the “what ifs” can make it difficult to commit to travel plans. What if your customer books that vacation and then right before she leaves, her elderly mother ends up in the hospital? What if a lay-off eliminates her “fun money” and she’s already put a deposit on a cruise? Adding travel insurance is the perfect way to deal with those “what ifs.” Plus, it can be a high-margin add-on, especially if booked using Amadeus Insurance, which integrates the policy directly into the passenger itinerary.

7. Turn botched adventures into future travel opportunities
The phrase “you need a vacation from your vacation” has become a cliché—but given how frustrating flying has become in recent months, travel agents might consider dusting off this old expression. Call your customers for a report on their holiday trip after they’ve returned. If it was memorable for all the wrong reasons, suggest an easier, more relaxing experience for the near future.

8. Give them the warm fuzzies
Travel is more enjoyable when you know your experience has made the world a better place. Your customers will be less likely to grumble about the indignities of the airport security search when they’re bringing home the satisfaction that comes from being generous with the planet. The trend of “volun-tourism” offers the opportunity to travel while volunteering in places where help is needed most. Travelers can lend a hand in hospitals and orphanages in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe, while taking in the fascinating culture of these regions. Animal lovers can care for endangered species by day and rock the dance floor at night. Help your customers plan a vacation that’s as fun as it is enriching.

9. Make it a family affair
The more, the merrier—in more ways than one! Suggest your clients invite the whole extended family on a vacation and not only will they have the chance for quality time with the people they care about the most—they’ll also be able to take advantage of group and tour rates. Groups receive discounts on everything from hotels to air to entertainment. Locate great rates on Amadeus Tours and Amadeus Consolidator Shopper.

Of course, if your customers would rather vacation with their sorority sisters or golfing buddies, there’s no need to make it a family affair. Group rates apply to all large parties!

10. Do what you do best—and let Amadeus take care of the rest!
It’s not just a great vacation or a great rate that makes travelers truly “happy”—it’s knowing they are in good hands. Your hands. Your customer service is what makes you valuable to your clients.

Visit the Amadeus Solution Finder today for ideas on streamlining your business so you can focus on providing the thorough travel expertise and service your travel agency is known for!

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