I want to try something different… Ideas?

As some readers may know, I run an award booking service called Awarding Canada. Award booking services are all pretty much the same in substance – a client submits a request, company researches their request, and after some back-and-forth, an award booking is made for the client.

I love my job, but I’m currently looking to expand in the States, and more importantly, I want to do something that’s a little different. However, I’m struggling to think what that different thing would be. Should I offer concierge services after booking? Or would clients prefer something like a “one day service”?

So readers, I ask – what would be a distinguishing feature for an award booking company that you’d like to see?

Oh, as a shameless plug, you can now submit an award request through DCTA by clicking on the appropriate tab above, or simply by completing the form below.


Comments

  1. My2cents: If you want to do something completely different and new, there are a dime a dozen concierge service provider. How about an annual membership service. You charge upfront $99 per person and $50 for additional family member per year. Clients give you all their points info, as well as statuses and special credit cards they have — like Alaska with companion pass or British Airways with companion pass. You would proactively suggest them some great opportunities for redemption every two to three months.

    • I agree with the idea of the subscription service. I’m very flexible with where I travel so it would be great to have someone tell me that based on my points balance I could go here, or here, for x amount…

  2. I’m sorry but I never really understood the service you and others provide. I have hotel and airline points – I tend to use them when the hotel I where I want to stay is pretty expensive that weekend, or the flight I want to be on is higher than usual. It’s pretty easy to look for awards and use them.
    So why would I ask you to do that for me – especially as you’re going to charge me?
    Or did I miss something?

    • Two points: (1) you hire a plumber even though you could do that yourself. It saves you learning time, ensures expertise, etc. (2) trust me, you don’t know all the tricks. I’ve been doing thousands of hours of this and I still don’t know all the tricks. Most of the desirable information isn’t online. For an expert like yourself, that’s what you’re paying for.

      • 1) You hire a plumber to fix a non-discretionary issue. Using points is completely discretionary and thus of low value.
        2) There are very few tricks left, if any. Soon enough, 1 mile = 1 cent. Then there is no need to search for anything as every award will be available as long as you have enough points to cover the dollar cost of the underlying ticket.

  3. I think being able to do this for group travel (I know it would be hard to book group tickets on awards) but group tour type travel.

    Also being about to tie this into other business opportunities might work as well. For example say I use your service to book a trip to Paris. Well you could have affiliate tour operators in Paris and offer me a discount or special tour. You get a kick back and I get a “special” deal. In other works be more of a travel agent for those booking award tickets.

  4. A concierge service is a good idea. If I look at what my parents would value when using a service like this (which they just might in the next year as they would trust the same info coming from someone other than me), they would love to have someone tell them what the recommended arrival time is, which lounge to use (and where it’s located), how long in advance do they really need to be at the gate, and which transit option is the best once they arrive at their destination (along with where to find it at the airport and what is a reasonable price to pay).

    This is the kind of information that you could realistically build as you help each client, and then just repeat the same helpful info with every new client using the same origin and/or destination.

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