TOURS, a Denver-based wholesaler, rolled out an online
booking engine that enables agents to put a 48-hour hold on
reservations without providing credit card information. Retailers
can register to use the site at www.milehitours.com, and gain
access to availability, packages and add-on items such as
excursions, transfers, insurance and city passes. The Web site also
allows agents to enter hotel requests, such as floor selection,
handicapped availability and smoking or non-smoking. The firm
specializes in Las Vegas, California, Seattle, Arizona, Alaska,
Florida, New Orleans and Mexico.
PESTRONK, the Fairfax, Va.-based attorney who pens Travel
Weeklys Legal Briefs column and moderates the Legal Ease forum on
TravelWeekly.com., identified from a legal perspective, the three
most important things an at-home agent needs to know:
Home-based agents need to figure out how to get the clients
original signature and credit card imprint on a charge slip for
airline tickets. If agents sell tickets through a host agency, the
host agency will get an airline debit memo if the cardholder
disputes the charge and does not pay. Agents cannot dispute the
debit memo, as they have no contractual relationship with the
credit card company or airline. The cardholder could dispute the
charge as unauthorized even though the trip was taken. The only
viable alternative is to refuse to sell airline tickets to anyone
whom the agent doesnt trust.
At-home retailers need to ensure that if one group member comes to
them with a plan to organize a group trip, the agent is the one
collecting and depositing the group members payments, not a group
member. If the latter absconds with the
money, as can happen, the group members will look to the agent to
make them whole.
Agents need to make sure that their host agency contract gives the
agent the right to audit commission-split payments. Otherwise, if
agents think that they have been underpaid, they have no legal
remedy, except to sue, which is uneconomical.
IN CASE YOU
MISSED IT: Home-based agent Aimee J. Ricca, owner of Bonne
Amie Travel of Rockport, Maine, was the winner of last weeks Travel
Channel show, Vacation Challenge. Ricca competed with other agents
to design the most compelling vacation for a group of women. Riccas
custom-designed trip to Montreal was selected over two other
itineraries presented by other retailers.
DATEBOOK: The Connecticut Chapter of OSSN
will sponsor a seminar on Oct. 5 at 3:30 p.m., featuring Roberta
Diaz of Gogo Worldwide Vacations. The event is part of the
Caribbean Tourism Trade Show and Roundtable being held at the
Radisson Cromwell, Route 372, Cromwell, Conn. Its free for OSSN and
CTO members. For information, call (860) 887-6481.
FAM OF THE
Departure: Nov. 4 from New York to Sofia via
Length: Nine nights.
Sponsor: Destination Bulgaria, Montgomery Village,
Cost: $1,349 per person, double. Includes
roundtrip air; four- and five-star hotel accommodations; breakfast
and dinner daily and most lunches; taxes; motorcoach
transportation; sightseeing; and the services of an
Trip: Visits Devin, Dolan, Kovachevitsa, Melnik,
Pomporovo, Plovdiv, Sandanski, Sofia and Valiko Tornovo.
Noteworthy: The land-only rate is $799 per person,
double. The single supplement is $225; the companion rate is $258
Contact: (301) 216-9846
or (800) 688-6914; fax: (301) 210-2477; e-mail: [email protected].