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FAQ: Air Traveler's Handbook 2/4 [Monthly posting]
Section - [2-2] Unusual Travel Agents: Commission Rebaters

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Travel agencies earn their money by receiving a commission on the
base fare of the ticket (i.e., before taxes). Usually the commissions
are as follows:
 	US Domestic:		10%
	Canadian Domestic:	8.25%
	International:		8%
	Canada-to-US:		10% (sold in Canada)
        Rent-a-car companies:	10%
In some cases travel agencies will get higher commissions (so-called
"incentive", "override", or "bonus" commissions) because of
their productivity. 

The following travel agencies will give you a small discount on your
ticket price by rebating to you a portion of their commission, or by
charging a flat fee (which is less than the usual commssion amount).
Although airlines are prohibited by the IATA from rebating commissions
to passengers, IATA rules place no such restrictions on travel agencies.

[Note: Delta announced on 24-OCT-94 that it would reduce travel agent
commissions on international full fare coach, business class, and
first class tickets from 10% to 8%.]

Travel Avenue is a Chicago-based travel agency that charges a fixed
flat fee for each ticket ($15 US domestic, $25 international). They will
rebate to you a portion of the difference between their commission and
their fee. For instance, if you were booking a ticket from Houston to
Aspen round trip for $370, TA's cost is $336.36. TA refunds the user
7% of $370 ($25.90) and then takes their $15 from that. So, traveler
pays $354.10 for the ticket.  You must, however, work out your travel
plans in advance, and they only provide rebates on tickets costing
more than $300. They charge a $5 delivery fee for these tickets. If
several passengers are traveling on the same itinerary, the
per-passenger flat fee is reduced.  Travel Avenue also provides the
consumer with a similar rebate for car rentals and hotel bookings.
Call 1-800-333-3335 for recorded information.

It pays to be a member of the American Automobile Association (AAA).
Besides complimentary maps, the AAA travel agencies often have special
discounts beyond the usual airline tariffs, such as extra discounts on
some international flights, and discount airfares for visiting friends
and relatives on certain flights with specific airlines. AAA also
has included dollars off coupons for airlines like USAir and United in
their membership newsletter.

ISE Flights has a special deal with Citibank through June 30, 1995.
They will give you a $20 rebate on any ticket priced over $150,
provided the ticket is purchased through ISE and issued in cardholders
name. (If you are traveling with friends and family, ISE will
be pleased to issue tickets for all of you.) To get your rebate,

   1. Call a major airline and make a reservation directly. 
      Reservations made through a travel agent are not eligible.

   2. Record the flight information, the price quoted, and the
      reservation number (if available).

   3. Ask the airline to put the flight on courtesy hold.

   4. Call ISE at 1-800-255-7000, and charge the ticket to your
      Citibank card. [The tickets do not necessarily need to be
      charged to your Citibank card. They will ask for your Citibank 
      cardnumber to verify that you are a Citibank cardholder, but you
      can charge the tickets to another card, such as Discover card, 
      America Express, MC/VISA.]

The rebate and ticket will be mailed out the same day.

Costa Online Travel offers a 5% rebate on any CRUISE or TOUR booked
through their service. For more information, see
   http://mmink.cts.com/costapackage.html

Excelsior Travel offers Internet users a 5% discount on airline
tickets over $200, provided you obtain the reservations yourself. 
   Excelsior Travel, 419 Highland Avenue, Boston, MA 02144
   1-800-522-1118, 617-625-1077 fax
   excel2345@aol.com

WARNING: Be careful about sending your credit card over the network
(e.g., by email or by telnet), as it is very easy for someone on an
intermediate host to intercept the contents. If you do this, it's
at your own risk. 

CitiTravel (from Citibank) provides a 5% rebate, but there is an
annual membership fee and you have to send in documentation after the
flight to get the rebate. Many other credit cards offer similar
programs.

If your company's employees travel regularly for business, have your
company negotiate a special deal with one or two local travel agents
to provide a rebate for tickets purchase through them. Many travel
agencies are willing to do this, since they make up the difference
through volume.

The Discover Private Issue credit card provides a rebate of up to 2%
of purchases (in contrast to the maximum 1% rebate of the Discover
card), and has a special 5% rebate arrangement with a Oklahoma travel
agency. You get a 5% rebate of pre-tax airfare, car rental, hotel, and
cruises purchased through the travel agency and charged to your card.
There is a $20 annual fee for this card. For more information, call
1-800-DISCOVER. 

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Top Document: FAQ: Air Traveler's Handbook 2/4 [Monthly posting]
Previous Document: [2-1] Travel Agents
Next Document: [2-3] Consolidators

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM