When is a travel agent more than a travel agent? TLFL partner with Propeller Travel

Introduction

Put simply. I don’t usually recommend booking with travel agents. They have always blurred the line between you and/or the airline or hotel, usually being a hindrance. Not Propeller Travel.

I’ll let them give a quick intro and then break it down into what this actually means.

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While Propeller Travel traces its origins all the way back to 2001, the current incarnation came to be in 2006. When a group of frequent flyers couldn’t find an agency that would serve their needs, including “mileage runs”, without having to explain themselves when trying to book continually, Propeller stepped forward, and the rest is history.

Over the years our service portfolio has grown, and we are mainly known for our high touch service to corporate and business travellers, along with our vast hotel amenity program portfolio and dedicated service to frequent flyers.

We pride ourselves in having expert advisors who understand the needs of the frequent flyer, and we make sure our team is familiar with the products they are offering and are not simply reading from a script.

Why TLFL and Propeller?

Put simply.  We all understand what you, the reader wants.  We are all frequent flyers.  If it works, we are going to tell you about it.  Michele and I, sit down regularly with Propeller to brainstorm and frankly, chit chat about travel.  We live and breath it together.  And we want to help you.  Together.

Flight Bookings

We all love a good flight deal. But a good travel agent can offer so much more than “booking a flight”.

Propeller now has a dedicated team to the frequent flying (FF) community. A team of specialist individuals that understands complex itineraries, and the difference between I and A class, between New York and Los Angeles.

A321 American Airlines transcontinental business classs with flat beds

How often have you come up with that dream trip on Google Flights or ITA Matrix? Only to ring British Airways and be told an entirely different price? Or that a particular seat no longer exists?

What if you could copy and paste the flights to a TA that will price it quickly and promptly for you. And understand that specific flight codes earn more avios than others?

Avios bonus

Did you book a west coast flash sale fare? Well done! Did you book with Propeller? No? Oh.

If you did, you could have been afforded a more flexible ticket than one booked via, for example, British Airways.

What happens when you are connecting somewhere? Imagine your connection time being slowly eroded by delays. You know that when you land you are going to have to phone the airline to sort it out. What if your travel agent knew this? What if they were monitoring the delay index of the airport you are inbound to? Sounds good, doesn’t it? Makes me warm and fuzzy, knowing someone else is looking after me!

Propeller’s dedicated FF team is there for you 24/7 when needed. Core hours for booking are also a well-extended 7am till 11pm.

When It comes to booking flights, no-one can offer the flexibility of Propeller.

Want the ticket on a British Airways ticket for 3x Avios on the British Airways Premium Amex?
Or how about on American Airlines for the increased department of transport protection if going through the USA?

If you have read my articles here and here about ITA and booking fares, you might be aware of sites like bookwithmatrix. Yes, they usually work. But you are charged in USD generally with little choice. Not at Propeller.

Propeller is the go-to place for frequent flyers wanting to use Gold Upgrade Vouchers (GUF) too. Why?

If I apply one via British Airways, I need Avios (reward) space available. Propeller book the upgrade into normal “revenue” buckets. Flexibility. It’s the key here.

Michele, I and the team here at TLFL have all used Propeller. And we continue to do so. Why? Because they book us what we want. First time. Every time.

You know when one of the founders was a Lufthansa HON at age 22, they are serious about flying!

Trust them. We do.

Hotel Booking and Services

But Propeller is more than just flying. As a full-service travel agent, they also offer a brilliant hotel booking service!

Yes, I am going to ask the question again – Why?

Two words. Status Benefits.

We all crave that magical upgrade. Who wants to pay for breakfast? Or worry about late checkout.

Most of these are covered if you have top tier status with the hotel. But what if you don’t?

Without a doubt, the biggest hotel partner out there is Virtuoso.

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WHAT IS VIRTUOSO?
Virtuoso is the travel industry’s leading luxury network, spanning over 26 countries and 9,000 travel advisors.
Virtuoso advisors specialize in creating unique experiences you can’t find online or plan yourself. Their connections to properties and travel itineraries around the world are unparalleled.
It is the travel industry’s leading luxury network. It consists of both travel advisors and travel partners (hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, etc.)
Virtuoso advisors can help you create travel itineraries you can’t find online or plan yourself and have access to exclusive events, benefits and tours at the worlds leading suppliers. As Propeller Travel Management is a Virtuoso partner, you too can access negotiated rates, benefits, and exclusive Virtuoso amenities at no extra cost!

Michele loves a snazzy hotel and has written a great deal about Virtuoso here.

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WHICH BENEFITS CAN I EXPECT?
Benefits can vary by property and experience, but generally Virtuoso travellers receive preferred rates at hotels, upgrades upon arrival (if available), Virtuoso-only amenities (spa credits, shopping credits, etc.), daily breakfast for two, and early check-in/late checkout.

Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques, Madrid review

Breakfast

But wait! This isn’t it. Propeller also has a brand new not well-published arrangement at many 4* properties around the world. Similar to that of Virtuoso. Contact them here for more info.

And to top it all of, they are full members with access to all associated discounts and perks in the following programs –

Four Seasons Preferred Partner
Marriott Accolades
Peninsula Pen Club
Mandarin Oriental Fan Club
Sofitel Travel Experience Program
Belmond Bellini Club
Shangri-La Golden Circle
Ritz Carlton Stars

Each program above is clickable for a full and expansive list of benefits.

A great advantage too, is that any booking via Propeller earns full credit and benefits from your existing program.

Is this sounding expensive?

Well, all Virtuoso bookings are flexible. That means you can cancel, right up until the day before. And the benefits usually far outweigh the marginal cost increase.  Put simply – you pay no more than a direct flexible booking with the hotel.

Why don’t you ask Propeller next time for a quote here?

TLFL have a profit-sharing agreement with Propeller, and any links you use of ours, help support the blog.

21 Comments on "When is a travel agent more than a travel agent? TLFL partner with Propeller Travel"

  1. Sounds a great service on both fronts….. thanks

  2. Great article Paul – I’m sold – and thank you for yet another great piece – you and Michele are super – we really appreciate ecru article that you write!!

  3. Fabulous gains for the FF communities. But be careful to always complete the final leg of an ex Eu flight. If booked through a TA. As not doing so, may result in the agency being recharged the full fare by the airline. This caused sever problems for a TA a while back..

  4. I guess none of your readers are naive enough to think the article was intended as an independent review of Propeller but I would prefer you to lead advertorials with the declaration that receive income from the arrangement, rather than leave it to the last paragraph. A link to the fees page would have been helpful.

    That said, it would interesting to hear from readers who have used Propeller.

  5. I have used Propeller several times for complex itineraries and to use GUF’s. Always been very helpful and keep me in the loop. I haven’t used them for hotel bookings as Hyatt and Hilton are the hotels I use most.

  6. I did ask for a quote not so long ago, for a semi complex flight, but the flight cost was more than direct booking and then there was a fee that TA’s and I don’t charge! Ive not yet needed to do a tier point run which I could see might be the obvious use…..but remember the booking fee. Virtuoso, flexibility on hotel bookings, may be useful for business trips but for leisure trips Im organised enough to know where I am going and when. If AmEx Centurion do the hotel as a Fine and Fancy property or whatever they call them, then I book through them as again you get the “Virtuoso” benefits and points. A quick free phone call will tell me.

    • Whilst I do not disagree at all – its market and fare dependant – sometimes a ticket via Propeller will be cheaper than ITA even with the booking fee!
      In terms of speed around fares, unlike others Propeller recognize this for flash sales etc, and will prioritize based on ticketing deadlines and other factors.

  7. I did actually get a flight on the BA flash sale – INV to SFO in F for £1600 each. I then backfilled the positioning flights and connecting flight (LAS). I did try LAS direct and also LAX but both stalled on payment and then shot up in price. Time is clearly of the essence with these such once in a blue moon fares / offers and Im not sure that any 3rd party travel planner would be able to act quickly enough to be successful, would they?

    • Seriously, @Nigel with the systems a creative fully competent professional travel agent has available these days, except for very very rare instances they’re quite likely quicker than booking with the airline.

      Agents like Propeller are unfortunately very rare indeed these days. Give them a try! They may well think of angles and extras you might not always have at your fingertips.

  8. Domenico Marino | 18 January 2019 at 3:25 pm | Reply

    Wow, thanks Paul. Really great and informative blog! And I’ll definitely give Propeller my business in future. If I had known all of this, I would have booked my INV to LAX trip with them during the flash sale. But I guess at that time I was more concerned with missing out, and priceline was the only site where the quote matched that on ITA Matrix. Oh well, next time!

  9. Used them last week for first time and was super impressed – very knowledgeable, right down to what gate a flight typically arrives and what gate my next flight is likely to depart from so I could work out if I can make my connection. That’s impressive!

  10. how much is the booking fee with propellor?

  11. Robert Thompson | 23 January 2019 at 6:21 pm | Reply

    I used Propeller based on your recommendation. The first time round they were excellent and got me exactly what I wanted speedily and with little hassle. So I decided to give them another go which was a real disappointment. I had to chase three times. After the second chase I was called to say I’d get a response within half an hour. That came and went. It took three days to get anything out of them but by then I had taken my business elsewhere. Disappointing.

    • Unfortunately Robert is absolutely right. The response time for some of the requests last week was ridiculously slower than it should be. We literally tripled the frequent flyer team over the past few weeks and I am hopeful that as the new staff members finish their supervised period the response time will go back to our usual standard.

      • Robert Thompson | 25 January 2019 at 9:02 am | Reply

        Good to hear. But it would been nice to have been kept in the loop rather than be ignored. It didn’t feel like the advertised service at all.

  12. I came back to this article, as I remember reading it and thinking it sounds a great service.

    Is using a 2-4-1 considered a reward flight, and thus something they can’t help with?

    I want to fly CW on a 380, thinking about off peak to LA and returning from SF… any tips?

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