Travel agents are being slammed after claiming they can help people get to the best destinations for less money.
It all started with the “best cruise” mantra and the now infamous $1,800 “airline pass.”
“It’s not a real travel agent, but you get to travel and you get a great deal,” one of the travel agents who has gone by the name Derek told Fox Sports.
“So I’m not going to say you’re paying $1k for a flight or hotel because you’re not a travel agent,” he added.
In a tweet, the agent claimed that he was “working to make it as easy as possible for you to book a cruise to the Bahamas and the Bahamas are fantastic.”
It’s an amazing idea, but it’s not an option for most travellers.
According to research from the Travel Agents Association of America, there are about 8,500 cruise ship passengers on the planet, with nearly half of those people using credit cards.
For comparison, there were just 6,000 credit card holders on the world’s most popular cruise lines in 2015.
The average annual cost of a hotel room on a cruise ship was $1.65 million in 2016, according to the National Hotel Association.
Dylan Jones, the CEO of the National Hotel Association, told Fox News the company is looking into whether its a “bad idea” to offer the “airport pass” to its customers.
Jones also told Fox he has seen complaints from his own customers who are upset by the $1 million price tag.
While it’s a great perk for some travelers, the average rate is $4,937 per night, which Jones says can be “very expensive.”
The airline pass is a great option for those who need to get to a destination before a plane, but don’t want to spend $1K on a flight, he said.
But Derek, the travel agent who has been featured on Fox News, has had some customers on his Twitter feed angry over his tweet.
His tweet said: “I am going to be making my money back by going to your @derek_drews cruise.
We are going to go to Bahamas for the next 3 months and save you $1 k.”
Jones tweeted: I am a travel agents, not a hotel agent.
He also said that if his tweet had been taken down, it would have caused the agency to lose money.
Jones did not respond to requests for comment from Fox Sports, but he did reply to a tweet from a fellow travel agent on Twitter.
“You are NOT paying me for a vacation, and if you think you are, you should know that I am an agent of yours,” he said in response to a follow up tweet.
The travel agent is a good man, but the tweets that have been written about him and his company are not the first time he’s made comments about the airline pass.
A post from his Instagram account in August 2015 claimed that passengers are paying too much for the air travel pass.
“The cheapest cruise to Jamaica is $6,700.
And the cheapest cruise in Cuba is $7,200,” he wrote.
“There is a travel deal for the Bahamas for $1 for three nights, so you can save $1 in total.”
In February, the travel agent told Fox News he had seen a few people with tickets to the Bahamas island for free, but that it was for the most expensive ticket he had sold.
One of his other posts said that he had received a $1 Million tip for a trip to the island of St. Croix.
I can say I am happy to have gotten paid for a cruise.
I will keep doing it.
But I also want to make sure that the price we pay for travel is right.
If you want to save money, travel agents need to start taking better care of their customers, said Fox Sports’ Dan Reiter.
Reiters point out that many travel agents also sell airline tickets and are also “travel agents” themselves.
Many travel agents offer discounts for customers who make reservations online.
They also need to be aware of the social media backlash that may result if they start offering the airline passes.
Travel agents have also faced criticism for using “selfies” on their Instagram account to promote their brands, according to Fox Sports reporter Dana O’Neil.
Some have even defended their use of photos of themselves in front of luxury cars or boats.