BBB Logo

Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
In Tyler & Longview TX Serving 19 East Texas Counties

BBB Business Review

BBB Accredited Business since 07/01/1990

Travel Masters

Phone: (903) 581-8111Fax: (903) 581-2558View Additional Phone Numbers915 W Southwest Loop 323, TylerTX 75701-9414 Send email to Travel Masters

BBB Business Reviews may not be reproduced for sales or promotional purposes.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since 07/01/1990

BBB has determined that Travel Masters meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised Travel Masters' rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Problems with Product / Service1
Advertising / Sales Issues0
Billing / Collection Issues0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 1

Complaint Breakdown by Resolution

Complaint Resolution Log (1)BBB Closure Definitions
10/01/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to provide promised assistance or support for products or services

Complaint: I booked a cruise for my family through Travel Masters. I do not think they acted in by best interest as my Agent. They were misleading and untruthful
This will be more that 4000 characters. I would like to forward you the emails back and forth between us.

I contacted your office in May and you asked me to first contact Ms. Howell the president of Travel Masters. I contacted her and she believes that my problems are unfounded. I disagree. They ruined my vacation and my Daughters graduation from college present.

In her last response she still did not address the fact that her employee lied to me, she has never sent me her correspondence from Carnival so I could address any issues that may have been their (Carnival's) fault.

She also said they had taken care of all of the issues that I had requested that they could. They did NOT.

My family was not seated together as she had promised, we were at different tables for dinner. We were assigned to different muster stations. In the event of an emergency we would have been separated.We were in a lower priced area of the ship than we paid for.

And most notibly I believe that they owe me a refund for their failure to act in my behalf.

In their video on your website, Ms Howell talks about Integrity, Honesty, and Character of her business. I do not believe that they have lived up to the basics of business practices much less what she has placed on your BBB website.

Please contact me so I may forward the information to you, as this has none of the information you need to continue your investigation.

Initial Business Response
Please allow us to address these complaints individually with explanation. Regarding the request to be seated together, it is standard procedure in our industry to cross-reference all confirmation numbers with the cruise lines to make the request known that these parties wish to sit together. We not only made this request with Carnival Cruise Lines but double checked it several times prior to sailing that this information was on file. If this party was not seated together once they arrived on board, the complaint should have been made directly with the maitre d' for immediate correction for the balance of the cruise vacation. Ultimately the cruise line owns and operates their dining room.

In regards to the second complaint regarding muster station assignments, this is completely beyond our control. Cruise lines, in association with the US Coast guard, determine muster station locations on board ships. Even cabins that are side by side can, in fact, be assigned different muster stations. We have no advance knowledge of what muster station is assigned to each cabin location on ships.

Regarding the final complaint of being in a lower priced area of the ship than paid for, this is not correct. The client paid for a Category 8D, balcony stateroom on Deck 8, Verandah Deck on the Carnival Dream. This is exactly what he received. We have on file a signed reservation summary dated August 27, 2012 reflecting all costs related to this cruise booking and the client's acceptance of these terms. This client not only received exactly what was paid for but also an additional $100 on board credit.

Additionally, at time of the initial booking and deposit for this cruise vacation, the client presented us with a letter from Carnival Cruise Lines which was the result of a past complaint filed directly from this same client to Carnival providing a 10% discount on a future cruise plus a $100 on board credit. We had this discount and credit applied to his cruise booking at time of deposit. So, the client not only received a discount on this cruise but also a total of $200 on board credit for this sailing.

We regret that the client is once again disappointed in this cruise vacation provided by Carnival Cruise Lines. We also regret that the client believes we did not act in his best interest as his agent. We did everything and more to accommodate all his requests.

Finally, in regards to his desired resolution, we do not feel that we have anything to apologize for as we did all and more for this client including added discounts and on board credits. His second proposed resolution of refund of expenses is very confusing as the only expenses he could have incurred would have been personal in nature. There were no financial failures related to these travel arrangements or this reservation which would have resulted in additional expenses to him.

It is always our goal to not only meet but exceed customer expectations. Sadly this client does not believe we have done so. We hope our explanation to you proves otherwise. Should you require any of the documentation mentioned, we are happy to provide it to you.

Thank you.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I asked two very simple questions in my last reply and she cut and paste the old email and did not directly answer the questions. In Ms. Howell's response she said "We have done all we know to do to satisfy this client including additional on board credit for his inconvenience of cabin change."

1. WHO paid for the additional $100 on board credit for the change of cabin?

2. And I want a direct answer, Are there any emials internal, or external with Carnival, about why my cabin was moved?

Final Business Response
Below is the email sent by my manager to * * with attachments of documentation he has requested. We emailed him this information on May 16, 2013 which was prior to his cruise.

As I stated previously, I just don't know what else we can say, provide or offer Mr. * to bring this complaint to resolution. His complaints seem to revolve more with Carnival Cruise Lines than my company. We have done all we know to do to satisfy this client including additional on board credit for his inconvenience of cabin change.

Please let me know if you have further questions or need any further documentation.
Thank you.

Mr. *,

As stated in my voicemail on 5/14/13, I am responding to you prior to May 17, 2013 in regards to your stated concerns below. I will address them individually, as you have listed at the end of your e-mail, with our response shown in red. I have researched your booking, both with Karen and with Carnival Cruise Line, and following are our conclusions:

a. I expect you to call Carnival and assure that our dinner seating is linked to all others in our party. Everyone in your party has been cross-referenced for first-seating dining per Carnival Cruise Line.
b. I would like you to get a written response from Carnival as to why our original cabin is not available, and an assurance that when I get on board there will not have someone else in that cabin (8327). Also provided me the written correspondence you have already received from Carnival about this matter. Carnival will not provide a written response regarding the issue with cabin 8327. We were informed of the cabin problem via a phone call to *. During the phone call, we were given the option by Carnival to keep you on the same deck and in the same cabin category by switching to a different cabin without maintenance issues vs. leaving you in the cabin with maintenance issues that could impact the enjoyment of your cruise. Carnival did not elaborate on the exact nature of the maintenance issues. Rather than risk your enjoyment of your cruise vacation, * opted to accept Carnival's offer to change cabins in the same category and on the same deck, along with their offer of an additional $100 onboard credit for the inconvenience of the new cabin being a little further away from your traveling companions. As to whether Carnival has yet repaired the cabin, I do not know; however, it is within reason that if the repairs are completed prior to sailing, Carnival would then attempt to sell the cabin to other passengers, which is their right to do.
c. I cannot see my billing information, so I want you to send me a detailed billing that shows, how much we paid, where Carnival gave us monetary credit for the discount letter that we provided you, and where they gave us $100 on board credit for the certificate we previously purchased and provided to you. Per our records and on the Reservation Agreement that you signed on 8/27/2012, the original price breakdown is as follows:
Cruise Rate: $1660.00, Port Taxes: $318.00, Federal Taxes/Fees: $172.12, totaling $2150.12 for the booking. An additional $15 per person booking fee brought the total amount to $2180.12 before your 10% coupon was applied. This total amount of $2180.12 is reflected on the signed Reservation Agreement, stating that this amount was before the 10% cruise discount was applied. After the 10% discount was applied to the base cruise rate of $1660.00, this resulted in a credit of $166.00 on your booking. That brought the total cruise price down to $1984.12. In addition, Carnival even gave a further 10% credit of $31.80 on the booking for the Port Taxes (which was totally unexpected, since taxes are never discounted), which resulted in a total charge to you of $1952.32 for the cruise. This cruise amount plus the $30 booking fee totals what you have paid, which is $1982.32. In addition, your reservation shows a $200 onboard credit...$100 from the certificate that you originally gave to *, plus $100 from Carnival for your inconvenience in changing cabins. I have attached the documents that you requested, along with your signed Reservation Agreement and a Client Summary of your payments to our agency.
d. I expect you to scan and email me copies of the two items described items in (c) above. The discount letter addressed to * * * * * from Carnival that was the result of our cruise last summer and the pre-purchased certificate for $100 in future cruise credit and booking discount. As previously stated, these documents are attached. They are in the same attachment with your signed Reservation Agreement.
e. I expect to be contacted by Ms Howell, the owner, to attempt to resolve this matter in the next several days, prior to May 17, 2013. I have copied Ms. Howell on this e-mail, and have conferred with her about each item prior to sending this e-mail to you.
I hope this helps to clarify the situation, and I hope you have a wonderful cruise!

Best Regards,

* *, CTC, DS
General Manager

Complaint Resolution: Company agreed to arbitration in accordance with their BBB agreement, but the consumer declined.

Industry Comparison| Chart

Travel Agencies & Bureaus

Additional Information

BBB file opened: 08/29/1989Business started: 07/01/1984
Contact Information
Principal: Ms Sharon Kay Howell (President)Mr. Joe W. Howell (Vice President)
Business Category

Travel Agencies & Bureaus

Industry Tips
Vocation School, How to Choose
BBBTips On Airline Travel
BBB Warns of Deceptive Travel-Related Promotions
Business Travel Costs
Vacation and Travel
BBB Warns Vacationers: Travel-Related Fraud is on the Rise

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for Travel Masters

915 W Southwest Loop 323

Tyler, TX 75701-9414

To | From


1 Locations

  • 915 W Southwest Loop 323 

    Tyler, TX 75701-9414

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in Tyler & Longview TX Serving 19 East Texas Counties. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*Travel Masters is in this range.


Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.


Additional Phone Numbers

  • (800) 654-8832

BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.


What is BBB Advertising Review?

BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising. These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to prove their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements.


What government actions does BBB report on?

BBB reports on known significant government actions involving business' marketplace conduct.


About BBB Business Review Content and Services

Some Better Business Bureaus offer additional content and services in BBB Business Reviews. The additional content and services are typically regional in nature or, in some cases, a new product or service that is being tested prior to a more general release. Not all enhanced content and services are available at all Better Business Bureaus.


Thank you for your feedback.

Help us improve by taking our survey.


What is a BBB Business Review?

We offer free reviews on businesses that include background, licensing, consumer experience and other information such as governmental actions that is known to BBB. These reviews are provided for businesses that are BBB accredited and also for businesses that are not BBB accredited.


BBB Reporting Policy

As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.