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the booking process

Generally, the booking process will always follow these steps:

1. Qualify client
2. Research options
3. Send quote
4. Collect client information

5. Confirm

6. Book
7. Invoice
8. Send invoice/booking confirmation

9. Record booking in tracking spreadsheet

10. Confirm all options and send documents

Qualify client
 

You can't research a trip or make suggestions without knowing what the client wants. During this phase, ask the questions you'll need to find the trip they want.

Qualifying includes questions like:
How many people are traveling?
What are their ages?
Where do they want to go?
When do they want to go? Are the dates flexible?
For how long?
Where are they departing from?
What do they like to do on vacation?
What hotels do they like to stay in?

Overtime, you'll develop a list of go-to questions that will help you get all the information you need to match your client to the perfect vacation.

 

For more information on qualifying your clients, click here.
 

 

Research

Now that you have all the information you need, it's time to get to work on finding options for your clients. This step is not just about travel destinations, but you'll also need to be aware of:

travel requirements (do they need a Visa?)
passport expiration rules (is it six months after travel?)
travel advisories
entry/exit requirements for their destination
travel requirements for children
travel requirements for clients with service animals

 

As you start to get familiar with things, you'll want to go through all of the options on the Master List for the type of travel you are quoting. Be sure to go to the final screen in booking systems to be sure you are getting the final price. 

Quoting

 

The quoting process varies somewhat based on what you are quoting. Sun package quotes can be sent out directly from Sirev. Many cruise line booking systems offer this functionality as well. 

 

Don't overwhelm your client with too many options. Generally three is sufficient and if none of those really meet their needs, further qualify them and send a few more.

A quote should include dates, pricing, flight information (itinerary, fare class, inclusions, exclusions), accommodation information (location, type of room, inclusions, exclusions), transfer information, activity information, cruise itinerary - whatever is relevant to the potential booking. It should also contain (or link to) pertinent supplier terms and conditions, as well as the Go Travel terms and conditions.

 

If you have received a quote from a supplier for a custom itinerary, be sure to edit it to remove any information on commission.

For examples of quotes, click here.

 

Prices are never locked in until they are booked, so be sure to always make your clients aware that they are subject to change at any time.

 

Be sure to make your clients aware that travel insurance is available for purchase (see General Info and Quoting for more info)
 

Collect Client Information

You've sent your quote and your clients are ready to book. You'll need to collect all the information required. The information you need is directly dictated by what you are booking.

Generally, you need to collect:

Name exactly as it appears on the ID they are using to travel
Date/year of birth
Mailing address (should be the one associated with their credit card)
Phone number (including one they'll have while traveling)
Airline/cruise line/hotel loyalty numbers
Preferences specific to their booking (airline seats, resort room type, etc.)

 

Credit card information should never be collected by email. Please familiarize yourself with the requirements in the documents linked below.

 

 

Credit Card Authorization Form

IATA Credit Card Fraud Warning

Fraud Protection and Responsibility

 

 

To help you remember the information you need to collect from clients, we've created a booking checklist you can use. As you get comfortable with booking, add to your list to keep yourself organized.
 

Booking Checklist

Confirm

Once you have collected all of your client's information, you must send them an email to confirm everything about their booking. This must be done as part of our E&O insurance, but it also allows them (and you) to double check dates, rates, names, etc). This is best done by email as it allows you to store all this information.

 

Do not include their credit card information in this email, but including a statement that they authorize you to charge their credit card ending in xxxx is fine.

Do not book anything until they have confirmed. Always keep a copy of this confirmation.

Book

Now that you have the client's confirmation on all of the information on their trip and all of their personal information, it's time to book. 

Ensure the price hasn't changed (advise client if it has before proceeding).

Enter all information carefully, as it needs to exactly match the ID they travel with. When given the option to include several phone numbers, make sure one of them is yours. You can generally also include your email address instead of theirs, so that suppliers will contact you in case of issue. Some suppliers, like airlines and cruise lines, also require the passenger email address.

Payment information should be only the credit card the client provided or a Go Travel credit card if the client has sent funds with EFT. Do not ever use your own credit card or accept cash from clients.

Double check everything you have entered.

Then triple check it.

Invoice

The step that immediately follows booking is invoicing. When you buy something in a store, you immediately receive a receipt. It is the same in the travel industry. You must send your client a receipt. Invoicing must take place within 24 hours of your booking. For more information, see Invoicing.

Send the Invoice/Confirmation Info

Carefully read all of the confirmation info you have received from the supplier. If everything is correct and it doesn't contain any commission information, you can send this to the client along with the invoice.

Advise clients to review and contact you immediately if they notice any errors or have any concerns. Some suppliers will allow changes/cancellations within a 24 hour window from booking.

Record your Booking

It is vital that you keep track of your bookings and the important dates associated with them. Use the Booking Spreadsheet or create your own version, but make sure you are aware of all payment due dates. After you make a booking, enter your booking in your tracker immediately. It's your job to remind the client of final payment dates and very few suppliers send out reminders. If you miss a payment date for your client, suppliers may auto-charge Go Travel and you will be responsible for covering this payment.

Confirm and Send Documents

As it gets closer to your client's travel dates, it's time to provide them with all of their travel documentation. Be sure to check the status of all components first to make sure everything is still on track.

Some suppliers don't release documents until final payment is made, others not until a certain amount of days before travel. Once they are available, be sure to send/deliver them to your client with some time to spare before they travel so they have time to review things. 

Including a handwritten thank you card or a small gift is always a nice touch.