Alan Cross, head of trade at Jet2holidays, said selling add-ons such as in-flight meals and assigned seating could offset the increased business costs agents will face from January.
“We have been asked by retailers whether we can subsidise it, but we can’t pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to fill that gap for them,” he told TTG.
“If we increase agents’ margin we increase prices overall, and that’s dangerous when you’ve got a significant direct business.
“There are some other ideas we are looking at which might work.
But there’s no point us implementing something that gives agents a few extra pounds, but results in the agent selling less because prices aren’t so competitive.
“Instead we want to train agents to sell parts of our product better. Selling essentials is the way forward,” he insisted.
Research revealed that while Jet2holidays has paid out £684,000 in commission to agents on assigned seats and in-flight meals so far this year, agents missed out on a further £400,000 by not consistently selling these products.
Agents at the conference called for Jet2holidays to consider a tiered system of commission based on volume, so those that perform best for the operator earn more money.
“I get it – why should an agent who sells 50 Jet2holidays a week earn the same as one that only sells 10? It’s a good question and it is something we have discussed, but I don’t think it’s the time to go down that road at the moment,” said Cross.
“We know that there is a difference between an agent who simply books Jet2holidays, and one that really sells it, but I’d rather reward loyal partners in other ways.”