“All Good Things (Come to an End)”~ from the Album Loose (2006) Nelly Furtado
Covid has been a real shocker for me, and I have been funding refunds to customers from my own Superannuation account, diverted a lot of my govt funding support from the Victorian Gov. (not from Scummo^^), and I am one of the few agents that remained trading during the pandemic (yes, I had customers travelling almost every month. People with work needs, and a few snatched leisure opportunities in the windows of relaxed lockdowns!)
^^ The Federal Govt Travel Support Packages failed me as a recipient (hence using my own super to pay the bills) as it was only the big players like Flight Centre and Helloworld that got access to the Consumer Travel Protection grants. I applied twice officially and another 2 times I went through the hoops and realised I was just totally wasting my time. To be clear- Go West Travel received $0.00 from the Governments Consumer Travel Support fund, BUT I personally repaid all customers out of my own pocket when there was a promise of more than I got back from Airlines, Cruise Lines and some hotels.
At present I would comfortably state that the workload to research and help my customers navigate covid rules, entry passes and yes, even deal with Covid infection and the world-of-pain that ensues when people get this shitty virus just before travel…
All, new, Improved and Fabulous Go West Travel
I am still in business, but there will be fees for the advice, service and help. These fees start at the ‘just wondering what a trip to Cancun costs Ed’. Its been a proud thing that I went to market for years with the promise of great deals and no fees. I even absorbed credit card surcharges as I simply hate them. (note, I will still maintain that)
Itinerary planning is $199 – this is an up front fee for anything more than a quick to one city return.
Airline fees, all requests for a fare will have a fee to hold a price for 72 hours. (its $17 per person FYI)
Most importantly, I will no longer work for piecemeal parts of a booking. I am asking my customers to book all content with me. If you want to shop around online, that’s great. I understand that research and super cheap deals can be thrilling to source yourself. But, I need the volume of bookings so I can cover my expenses and pay myself a wage.