I am writing to you to express my anger regarding your comments made public at an inter-ministerial media briefing a few days ago. I believe I speak on behalf of all in the travel industry.
“We are appealing to travel agents to assist travellers and not to exploit them because we have been told by travellers, who are contacting the command centre, that they are being made to buy another ticket when they are already a holder of a ticket to travel. We are asking that travel agents be appreciative of the circumstance of urgency in which we find ourselves and not use this for profit making.”
Your comments are totally unjustified. If you had taken the time to understand the incredibly difficult task we as travel agents face at the moment, you would never have sullied our good name.
Over the past few months – and I speak for all my fellow dedicated and hardworking colleagues – we have been striving to help stranded travellers get back home at the least expense possible and with as little stress to them as can be managed.
If you had taken the time to consult us, you would have heard many tales of agents selflessly working into the early hours of the morning and sometimes with no sleep at all due to differing time zones.
You should know we do not make huge profits by any means. We rely heavily on airlines to pay us a meagre commission, if at all. We charge a tiny service fee.
We do not raise prices of tickets. We listen to our clients and when we can only give them the option of purchasing a second ticket due to airlines cancelling its services, that is what we do – so they can get home!
The airline takes the money – not us. Airlines are struggling to give refunds because they will go bankrupt. Our own national airline was one of the first to stop processing refunds! Please do not point fingers at travel agents.
Independent Travel Consultant