Every day we are flooded with news about the stream of flight disruptions. Regardless of the flights being delayed or even canceled, travelers are suffering due to that.
Furthermore, it seems these disruptions are here to stay, as airlines are now reducing their flight capacity for this summer to ensure that they only sell what they can serve. Even so, airports are asking airlines to reduce their load even further as they doubt that they have the capabilities to serve that reduced load.
Nonetheless, it seems that no one can sort this mess out and travelers are getting stranded in overcrowded airports with little to none communication from airlines, having in some cases to wait for days for their flight which gets pushed further daily. Not to mention the several problems with luggage handling.
Knowing this, and trying to make the most out of this situation, shouldn’t travel agencies use their marketing budget to try to spread the word regarding one of their top competitive advantages vs direct airline bookings and even against large OTAs?
I’m talking about the work that travel agents do on behalf of their travelers and that gave them so many articles praising their worth when the pandemic hit and travelers were stranded unable to get home and unable to reach their OTA or airline due to poor contact center capacity. Those that had booked with a “real” travel agent had their life eased and they passed that burden onto their travel agent, who did the tough work for them. Well, the situation isn’t as bad as when the pandemic hit in March/April 2020, but surely isn’t good.
In my opinion, this is the time when travel agencies should spend their marketing budget crafting online & offline campaigns like “Book with us and don’t get stranded on your own!”, “When things get rough, we got your back!”, and so on.
I’m not a marketeer, but it seems to me that this is an obvious opportunity that travel agencies should make the most of, today!
Article by João Taborda, Head of Sales @ TTS