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Trouble with MEI Travel


Johnstewarth
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1 hour ago, TXcruzer said:

That isn't "working for free", that is "commission sales" and hundreds of thousands of Americans operate the exact same way.

All travel agents have been basically working for free since March of 2020. All the handling of cancellations, rescheduling, refunds, and FCC’s was done for free. True, they do get paid when someone eventually travels but if that trip was rescheduled 3 times that means they did the work twice for free.

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8 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

+1 for Michelle

Michelle Cunningham, CTC
Certified Travel Consultant

[email protected]

Off:         571-479-4775  

 Mobile:  703-881-2727

Office Hours: Mon - Fri 9:00 am - 4:00 pm (EST)

        Saturdays by appointment

 

Website:  www.mei-travel.com

Hugs and Kisses to you

 

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4 hours ago, dcr50usa said:

While I appreciate your time to answer my question, as a cruiser it did not completely answer my question. As a business owner I use software/programs to benefit my employees and clients too.  I have been involved with them since the early 80's and whether the program is off the shelve or modified to suit my business needs, I have to know what the stated final capabilities are going to be before I invest in a new system along with its advantages to what I currently use. In this case, I believe one of the factors would be how soon your system would run after Cruise line sales are posted and TA's notified to modify the booking to the reduced rate.

Pre-pandemic there were many 3-5 day sales only and sometimes they have the best price when all is said and done for that individual cruise. TA's are entitled to their personal time off just like the rest of us are, but when the sale is advantageous to the cruiser (client) and needs to be modified quickly due to the sale time limits the TA needs to know quickly. In the past I have had trouble getting in contact with my TA (not MEI) or their agency to have the booking modified before the sale price disappears and sometimes lost a substantial fare reduction for my cruises. 

The comments on this blog  a few years ago about MEI has given me new hope (as I had been doing all the leg work for several years) and currently have 8 booked thru MEI.  Since the pandemic began my MEI-TA and myself have managed to reduce my original bookings by almost 15%:) Unfortunately some of the sale reductions I found has caused me to interrupt my TA's well earned time off and has been greatly appreciated on our part but I would like to avoid doing this.

Having an understanding of the timing of your program and its timely notification to my TA gives me the timing I need on when to check the sales so I can freely contact my TA during their regular working hours.

Thanks

Thank you for this question - the system we use is great at tracking fares, but LOTS of things factor into the tracker we use too. did you get booked into one of our group rates, do you have a current OBC that will drop if we adjust the fare, are you looking at non-refundable rates online, but you book refundable deposit rates, is the system working correctly to adjust??? (issue lately) and so forth.    I work in tandem with my clients and if they see rate drops, I look at them that day they email - sometimes we have to figure it out together and yes, sometimes the system does flag me of a drop, but the system does not grab things like you booked refundable vs non-refundable that is a big one>   

Clients are never "bugging me" to ask about prices, but it can take me all day to look into if, cause I may be on the phone trying to get a refund due that is taking 5 months !

Our team values every client - this system flags when a sale happens mostly - so if Royal announces a new sale it does sweep but it does not do it all in one day it does it over the course of the sale.

Thank you for the support - and mostly for supporting MATT and this blog - Cheers

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5 hours ago, Okgladgal said:

My TA from MEI is also @michelle. I'll never book a cruise without her again ❤❤❤

I sometimes book on-line myself if I see a deal/price I like and especially if the Cabin I want is sitting there (I can be very particular about Cabin location; no connecting cabins; cabin above and below).  I then send the information off to Michelle and have her transfer it. 

I do like to do my own planning and did everything myself for a while, but I can say that since I started using Michelle it is the way I will go from now on.

 

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On 10/30/2021 at 12:24 PM, Sharla said:

You're correct, but when travel essentially shuts down...

I worked in real estate for many years.  You spend hours and hours working with buyers or sellers, and have upfront expenses that can cost in the hundreds.  All to end, maybe months later, with not any money earn when a sale falls thru or they take a house off the market.  No commissions, nor any monies paid back for advertising, gas in your car, or anything.   It is just the nature of many occupations.

 

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10 hours ago, Linda R said:

I worked in real estate for many years.  You spend hours and hours working with buyers or sellers, and have upfront expenses that can cost in the hundreds.  All to end, maybe months later, with not any money earn when a sale falls thru or they take a house off the market.  No commissions, nor any monies paid back for advertising, gas in your car, or anything.   It is just the nature of many occupations.

 

Yep.

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15 hours ago, CruiseGus said:

I sometimes book on-line myself if I see a deal/price I like and especially if the Cabin I want is sitting there (I can be very particular about Cabin location; no connecting cabins; cabin above and below).  I then send the information off to Michelle and have her transfer it. 

I do like to do my own planning and did everything myself for a while, but I can say that since I started using Michelle it is the way I will go from now on.

 

Yes! Absolutely the same for me.

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On 10/31/2021 at 5:59 PM, CruiseGus said:

I sometimes book on-line myself if I see a deal/price I like and especially if the Cabin I want is sitting there (I can be very particular about Cabin location; no connecting cabins; cabin above and below).  I then send the information off to Michelle and have her transfer it. 

I do like to do my own planning and did everything myself for a while, but I can say that since I started using Michelle it is the way I will go from now on.

 

And thats perfect!  For those who want to be a part of the process.  booking then transferring is the best of both worlds.  We are happy to have your back and advocate for you... while checking for the best deals!  Thanks for your business! 

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On 10/30/2021 at 10:39 AM, dcr50usa said:

While I appreciate your time to answer my question, as a cruiser it did not completely answer my question. As a business owner I use software/programs to benefit my employees and clients too.  I have been involved with them since the early 80's and whether the program is off the shelve or modified to suit my business needs, I have to know what the stated final capabilities are going to be before I invest in a new system along with its advantages to what I currently use. In this case, I believe one of the factors would be how soon your system would run after Cruise line sales are posted and TA's notified to modify the booking to the reduced rate.

Pre-pandemic there were many 3-5 day sales only and sometimes they have the best price when all is said and done for that individual cruise. TA's are entitled to their personal time off just like the rest of us are, but when the sale is advantageous to the cruiser (client) and needs to be modified quickly due to the sale time limits the TA needs to know quickly. In the past I have had trouble getting in contact with my TA (not MEI) or their agency to have the booking modified before the sale price disappears and sometimes lost a substantial fare reduction for my cruises. 

The comments on this blog  a few years ago about MEI has given me new hope (as I had been doing all the leg work for several years) and currently have 8 booked thru MEI.  Since the pandemic began my MEI-TA and myself have managed to reduce my original bookings by almost 15%:) Unfortunately some of the sale reductions I found has caused me to interrupt my TA's well earned time off and has been greatly appreciated on our part but I would like to avoid doing this.

Having an understanding of the timing of your program and its timely notification to my TA gives me the timing I need on when to check the sales so I can freely contact my TA during their regular working hours.

Thanks

Hi! 

The system enhances our efforts to price protect our clients bookings by sweeping for new prices usually once per day.  However Michelles reply was accurate that most MEI team members work in tandem with clients, and its NEVER a bother if you spot an offer before the system does.  This is part of the services we provide and we are so proud to save you money!!!

 

 

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I absolutely love working with my MEI agent Beth Dickerson.  Even though she is my agent and controls the reservation(s) I feel we work as a team.  There are times I find a lower price and just send an email and there are times she surprises with an email saying she found a lower price.  She is currently on vacation and I emailed her with a question, received an automated email back with contact info of another agent if needed.  It was not anything earth shattering so was just gonna wait until she returns on Friday and low and behold she replied to the email from vacation.

I have used travel agents in the past and they never work out as they are not prompt.  That is certainly not the case with MEI and Beth.

 

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On 11/1/2021 at 2:01 PM, fa-li said:

Well, gee, I thought all this time, based on the level of service, that Michelle must work ONLY for ME! 🤣   

Just kidding, but add me to the chorus of "wouldn't book a trip without her."  

Surely you're mistaken, as I was under the impression that I was her only client!!  😊

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13 hours ago, Beci said:

And thats perfect!  For those who want to be a part of the process.  booking then transferring is the best of both worlds.  We are happy to have your back and advocate for you... while checking for the best deals!  Thanks for your business! 

I also like to pick my cabin online by myself. And then get my travel agent involved. I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t use a travel agent. 

Travel agents cost you nothing extra. 

Travel agents are paid a commission by the cruise line, which comes out of the cruise line’s bottom line, and not charged to you. Support this important service industry. 

In return you get expert advice and extra set of eyes.  I used my travel agent to herd my friends reservations together and then book us as a group.  
 

Here’s an excellent post by Matt 

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/06/15/top-things-you-didnt-know-travel-agents-can-do-your-cruise-vacation

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51 minutes ago, 904Duval said:

I also like to pick my cabin online by myself. And then get my travel agent involved. I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t use a travel agent. 

Travel agents cost you nothing extra. 

Travel agents are paid a commission by the cruise line, which comes out of the cruise line’s bottom line, and not charged to you. Support this important service industry. 

In return you get expert advice and extra set of eyes.  I used my travel agent to herd my friends reservations together and then book us as a group.  
 

Here’s an excellent post by Matt 

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/06/15/top-things-you-didnt-know-travel-agents-can-do-your-cruise-vacation

Just saying “Hi” from 904StJohns 😂

Maybe we need a blog get together with @PG Cruiser

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18 hours ago, DanielB said:

I absolutely love working with my MEI agent Beth Dickerson.  Even though she is my agent and controls the reservation(s) I feel we work as a team.  There are times I find a lower price and just send an email and there are times she surprises with an email saying she found a lower price.  She is currently on vacation and I emailed her with a question, received an automated email back with contact info of another agent if needed.  It was not anything earth shattering so was just gonna wait until she returns on Friday and low and behold she replied to the email from vacation.

I have used travel agents in the past and they never work out as they are not prompt.  That is certainly not the case with MEI and Beth.

 

Couldn't agree more. Beth has been fantastic for us. she puts up with all my crazy. I'm a planner and researched by nature, so it never ends with me, and somehow she always bests my efforts. 

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16 hours ago, 904Duval said:

I also like to pick my cabin online by myself. And then get my travel agent involved. I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t use a travel agent. 

Travel agents cost you nothing extra. 

Travel agents are paid a commission by the cruise line, which comes out of the cruise line’s bottom line, and not charged to you. Support this important service industry. 

In return you get expert advice and extra set of eyes.  I used my travel agent to herd my friends reservations together and then book us as a group.  
 

Here’s an excellent post by Matt 

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/06/15/top-things-you-didnt-know-travel-agents-can-do-your-cruise-vacation

And technically you're paying for a Travel Agent's services anyway, since the price is the same to you and we're paid from Royal Caribbean.

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On 11/3/2021 at 5:04 PM, 904Duval said:

I also like to pick my cabin online by myself. And then get my travel agent involved. I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t use a travel agent. 

Travel agents cost you nothing extra. 

Travel agents are paid a commission by the cruise line, which comes out of the cruise line’s bottom line, and not charged to you. Support this important service industry. 

In return you get expert advice and extra set of eyes.  I used my travel agent to herd my friends reservations together and then book us as a group.  
 

Here’s an excellent post by Matt 

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/2020/06/15/top-things-you-didnt-know-travel-agents-can-do-your-cruise-vacation

I couldn't have said it better myself!!!!!  🙂

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  • 1 month later...

In the past I've used travel miles when booking cruises and that required the use of specific travel agencies.  When Covid hit trying to get credit through these agents was next to impossible, and RCI couldn't help since there was and agency of record.  Personally spent many hours tracking down those credits - - an experience shared by many.

In 2022 we have 4 cruises booked (one B2B transatlantic) and only 1 is using points so I needed an agent.  Based on feedback on this site I went to MEI (Kathy McCullock) to book cruises.  She was very helpful, patient and knowledgeable throughout the process, especially in booking the same cabin on our B2B Wonder OTS transatlantic. 

When not using travel points in the future, she'll get my business.

 

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On 10/30/2021 at 12:58 AM, Pattycruise said:

I left my agent at MEI.  Somewhat similar issue.  We shouldn’t have to beg an agent to take a booking, nor to do price adjustments.
 

I have just booked my first cruise in 2 plus years and always went through a TA.  I never had one find a price drop.  I would have to notify them to reprice.  I booked direct throughRoyal this time.  And plan to do so moving forward.  I prefer to be able to communicate directly with RC to handle my booking.  In my experience, I'm my best advocate when I need something handled.  

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