Large travel agency in trouble

Travel Forums General Talk Large travel agency in trouble

1. Posted by SirGaw (Budding Member 45 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Tonight's TV news and a topical news show featured an article critical of Australia's largest travel agent - Flight Centre.

The company is accused of underpaying staff and overcharging customers - and in some respects, I do agree with the article.

My daughter went to one of their stores and would have been overcharged on a package of flights and transfers. She'd done her homework and knew the real prices. After some haggling, she got the price she was supposed to be charged.

I've also recently dealt with them as we get a loyalty gift card from a credit card company. Recent experiences have not been the best and I will probably ditch them for another company. Owing to rules of this site I can't share a link to the TV news segment, but Mr Google might be able to help.

2. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 1452 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Flight Center are also in New Zealand. We never use them because it's always possible to get the same flights cheaper on-line.

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3969 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

It's the same with Flight Centre here in the UK - I don't use them because they have never found me anything close to a competitive price. I don't bother even checking with them anymore and haven't done for years. I think they must survive because a lot of people don't do their research beforehand so just accept the price quoted.

4. Posted by jakejhonson44 (Budding Member 28 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

I also had a bad experience with Flight Centre in Canada and would probably not go back there. It's really awful. Definitely, not a recommendable travel agency.

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

IME In the UK their window prices aren't bad compared to the other travel agents shops but they aren't special either. In the past when I've looked, Travel agent 'deals' and online are always better, so I've stopped checking them.

6. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 877 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I think it was last year statistics came out that showed Flight Centre as the most profitable travel agency even beating online travel agents. One of the reasons stated for their success was that they targeted those with disposable incomes who were time poor. These people found the convenience of the all inclusive packages appealing and weren't too concerned about prices or value for money

I did once visit a Flight Centre and I have to say they did come across as not very knowledgeable especially for independent travelling. From what I was told their recruitment method was to employ you as a trainee for a year in an outlet of their choice and you had to meet certain sales targets every month. If you didn't you wouldn't get a full time placement:(. The complaint I heard was that if you were sent to an outlet where most of the population was on the low end of the socio economic scale it was nearly impossible to meet the targets while those sent to areas with a majority population in the high income tax bracket were pretty much guaranteed a job. So you ended up with outlets that had high staff turnover but the company never had to pay them a salary because they were always trainees and not employees

Really I am not surprised Flight Centre got into some hot water They always seemed to skirt around the dodgy edge

7. Posted by Piecar (Inactive 1218 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I tried Flight Centre once a number of years ago. I told them what I wanted. The woman typed in a few things and then that's it. No effort to research stuff. The price wasn't that great. I went online and found my own thing a couple hundred dollars cheaper. I thought their service sucked.

On the other hand, a few years later, I found a price that was connected to Flight Centre that was good. I took it. Now, this still means to me that one is better off just doing their own work. No one will be more vigilant to find you a good price.

8. Posted by jakejhonson44 (Budding Member 28 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andrew Mack

IME In the UK their window prices aren't bad compared to the other travel agents shops but they aren't special either. In the past when I've looked, Travel agent 'deals' and online are always better, so I've stopped checking them.

I do agree with you. It'd be much better to just book with online deals, much cheaper and less hassle.

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