I have mentioned this before. Travel agents do get offers for free trips and discounts but usually we don’t take those. I would rather travel with Triston than with other travel agents and the discounts are usually not as big as you might hope.
We have stayed in hotels for just 10% of the price and others we have taken just a 10% discount. Usually those hotels don’t have a loyalty program. Where hotels offer rewards it is usually better for us to book and pay.
One of the biggest benefits I have in being a travel agent is that the agency is recognised for its high level of service, luxury bookings and volume, given the small size of the business. With that, they were awarded an invite to the Hyatt Privé program.
Hyatt is the main hotel chain for our personal stays it is fantastic for our travels because sometimes we can save decent money on the room itself but we also get free breakfasts, upgrades and club lounge access where available.
Let’s take our trip to Africa for example. When I log in as a Privé agent, I see the below.
There is a promotion I am able to book where the third night is free. The night is based on the standard daily rate not an advanced purchase or member rate but it still comes in cheaper than those. It also comes with free cancellation and no payment until check out.
The next cheapest room rate (above) is fully prepaid, non-refundable and non-changeable. Not only is it more per night but you can’t change or cancel. If we book this hotel in now, we can lock in the cheaper rate and if we can’t go we can just cancel, we don’t need to worry about getting refunds. We haven’t paid yet and we won’t have to pay. Yay.
However, when Triston is logged in as a valued Globalist, Hyatts top tier member, he doesn’t see that free night on offer. Nor will anyone who is not a Privé agent. This is a special deal to reward travel agencies who can then pass the deal on to their clients.
Privé also gives an upgrade and includes breakfast, which seems silly for us to book as Globalists get upgrades and breakfast but Globalist upgrades are in addition to the Privé upgrade. Globalist breakfast is in the club lounge, by the rules, and not the main restaurant unless the hotel doesn’t have a lounge. In the hotels with a lounge Privé breakfast is usually a far superior offering. Some lounges have amazing breakfasts though.
A benefit to me, personally but not financially, is that I can book things in for people and have them delighted for their stay. I do have a corporate client. They just hired a new employee in America and her very first trip was this week. She had to go to New Orleans so I recommended the Eliza Jane and the other employees have stays, always request it and just love it.
I emailed the hotel, the day I booked which was about 12 hours before she arrived. Within the hour I had a reply. I let them know she was coming, she had just joined my corporate client, she didn’t have a WOH membership and could they set her up with one and that the other guys love the hotel.
I had booked their cheapest room at a very reasonable rate, just hours before her arrival and outside of standard business hours. The nett result of a quick email was:
She did get an upgrade, to a suite, and now also loves the hotel. No doubt it will be the go to hotel for their trips to New Orleans for a long time.
Benefits aren’t always for me financially saving on our own trips. Sometimes it is knowing that I made someone’s day a little bit better. I may have strengthened a relationship with a hotel, between an employer and employee, or made someones vacation/trip/journey just that little bit easier. It is nice to help people.
There are many more benefits to being a travel agent and there are a tonne of examples of why you should find yourself a good one. Especially if you are going to be doing luxury travel. Just about every hotel has some special scheme for luxury agents that are not available to the general public.