Royal Caribbean Cruises is used to making waves but the company now plans to change the way that travel agents book with a new booking system called AirWaves. The new four-step booking system will be previewed and rolled out initially to 350 agents in the UK from next month. This will be followed by a roll-out in the Irish market in November.
This is a significant development for all travel agents.
The new AirWaves booking system is an industry-changing booking platform built around just four simple steps: search to find the perfect holiday option, then refine it by tailoring to your client’s wishes, then do the details and personalise the flights, hotels and transfers, and finally book it. The time taken is at least half the time an agent takes at present. You can now tailor and book all in one package. It will also increase the productivity levels of travel agency staff, which will increase turnover and profitability.
It also means that agents will be paid their agreed cruise commission rate on all four elements of cruise, flights, transfers and hotels. The complete range of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises cruises are all pre-loaded, as are the published, private and low-cost fares from up to 30 UK and Irish airports, including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast.
AirWaves will mean less risks for agents as the total package is the responsibility of RCL Cruises Ltd as principal, which is licensed and bonded by the Commission for Aviation Regulation under TA licence number 0705, and by ATOL or ABTA bonding for Northern Ireland.
Amanda Darrington, Sales Director, Royal Caribbean UK and Ireland, told Irish Travel Trade News: “We have designed AirWaves to make life easy for travel agents in the cruise industry to book any of our ships anywhere in the world. We are passionate about the cruise industry and feel that we now have the perfect vehicle to allow agents to sell our cruises.”
Training for travel agents is also part of the launch and will include an online hub with a live chat facility, together with training videos and a field support team that will visit Irish agents.
AirWaves is set to be become a game changer in the ever-competitive cruise market and travel agents will appreciate it as such.