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Michael Krug (left), KLM sales executive, presenting a sales award to Sandro Sacco, the proprietor of Reiseservice Sacco, in Rosenheim, Germany. The travel agency is one of the 50 most successful of Germany’s more than 4,000 agencies / Photo: RS

How to book a cheap flight to Africa, by award-winning travel agent

Reiseservice Sacco regularly offers its African customers flight tickets at best prices to more than 20 destinations from Senegal to Angola. “I’m personally in contact with the different airlines several times every week, in order to get special prices for the Ethnic Tickets. It’s time consuming and demands negotiating skills, but it pays off for our customers enormously,” says Sandro Sacco on the secrets behind the cheap prices, offered by his travel agency.

And because he’s been doing it so well for more than twenty years, Reiseservice Sacco is the market leader for Ethnic Travel in Germany, a reason why he is constantly honoured by the international airlines for his high turnover in ticket sales.

Michael Krug, Key Account Manager at Air France/KLM, visited the office of the Rosenheim-based award-winning travel agency in February again.

He brought with him T-shirts as a gift for the customers of Reiseservice Sacco. Mr Krug assured Sandro Sacco continued close co-operation, an assurance that means savings for his customers. Why?

In addition to the normal ticket prices, which are valid for twelve months, most airlines offer a limited number of tickets at special prices every month to ensure the optimal utilisation of their routes. The offers change often “with all opportunities and risks”, according to Sandro Sacco. This means that if a flight to a particular destination is fully booked, there will no longer be any opportunity to enjoy these special offers after the expiration of the booking deadline.

“Customers could gamble by waiting but if it goes wrong, they will have to buy the tickets at the normal, more expensive price, explains the travel agent. Whoever is able to grab the offers as soon as they’re available will be rewarded with a cheap ticket which can be rebooked and has the same luggage allowance like the normal ticket; on one condition: the tickets must be paid for in full within the offer period and can no longer be cancelled.

Sandro Sacco (3rd from right), his wife Jane (3rd from left), who manages the marketing department of the successful agency, and other members of staff celebrating Reiseservice Sacco’s 20th anniversary in 2015 / Photo: RS


Reiseservice Sacco is renowned among its numerous customers for its extra-ordinary favourable prices for flights to West Africa – especially to Nigeria, Ghana and Togo. Indeed, the prices have their costs which are paid behind the scene – namely, in constant personal negotiations between Reiseservice Sacco and the different airlines.

“I negotiate with the key account managers in dozens of phone calls for the extension of a special offer or for the reduction of the ticket price,” says Sandro Sacco, revealing the laborious work behind his agency’s ability to offer the favourable prices that have marked it out among agencies in Germany.

However the labour is worth it because thousands of travellers to West Africa know that they always get the best prices at Reiseservice Sacco, which is why they keep booking their flights at the travel agency.

The eight Call Centre employees of the travel agency get no rest from their headsets from 9 am to 6 pm as one phone call follows the other. In addition, thousands of letters are dispatched from the agency every week to inform customers, who have already booked flights at the agency, about new, positive changes to the price of their tickets.

Every customer of Reiseservice Sacco – and they’re 10,000 of them! – also have the opportunity to rebook their tickets to enjoy the current more favourable prices, “which however has to be paid for within the offer period even when the flight is scheduled for a much later date,” Sandro Sacco cautions. “The airlines accept no excuses otherwise the special offer will lose its validity and the customer has to fly at the old, costlier price.”

Femi Awoniyi


LEBARA

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