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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    259

    Default Travel agent or not?

    I have never used a travel agent......could someone who has used a travel agent to book vacations and has booked their own as well, tell me what the advantages of using a travel agent are.

    Thanks

    Jay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    66

    Default

    I always use a travel agent. They help you plan and maybe have a deal you haven't heard of. If your flight would get switched or canceled, they take care of it for you. If you would need to change your plans, they take care of it for you. If something happens on your trip, one phone call and they take care of it for you. You can do all the research yourself (this is fun for me) or have them do it for you. Last trip I found the deal I wanted, called the travel agent to book it and she then told me it included a $150 resort credit and free room upgrade. I would have never known this on my own. I just like the feeling of someone having my back.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    470

    Default

    I have used both travel agents as well as done it myself. I will NEVER do it myself again.

    Once many many years ago, prior to even wide spread home computers (showing my age) we booked a trip to mexico. A week prior to departure we received a call from the travel agent we had used. She told us that the tour operator who we had booked with ex, gee gee travels had gone out of business and had not paid the resort for our stay! WHAT!! The Travel assured us NOT to worry. Her company would go ahead and lay out the money to pay the resort and they would deal with getting the money back from the tour operator. If this would have been a booking through an on line place that went out of business.....PFFFT....we would have had to deal with all of this mess ourselves.

    Another time we booked directly through a resort web site. They completely messed up the airline tickets. Somehow they had double booked us on the plane. I only found this out the night before departure when we called to confirm the flight. We were told they would CANCEL both sets of tickets and we would be denied boarding! We would NOT be allowed to repurchase tickets with that airline because we were considered a flight risk. WHAT! We could not get hold of the resort web site since it was 9Pm and they were closed. After being on the phone with the airline and a very understanding supervisor she canceled one set of tickets with the understanding we would be responsible for the cost IF the resort saw fit.

    Just last year the wholesaler had my DH's name wrong on the airline ticket. NO PROBLEM! I just called our TA and SHE handled everything! She had tickets reissued at the tour operators cost within 72 hours.

    Travel Agents cost you nothing. Using one keeps the small businesses in your local community going! Your Travel Agent is an advocate for YOU when things go wrong. Trust me things can and will go wrong....LOL....no matter how little. It is nice to have someone on your side!

    I have a lot more stories from our 25 years of traveling. It all boils down to ....US A TRAVEL AGENT!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

    Default

    We used to use a travel agent, don't anymore. At least not for our trips to Jamaica. We used one at the beginning because we were not sure about making reservations and such as we had not done it before other than for trips close to home, within the States anyway. However the last few years we have booked everything ourselves as we are more comfortable now that we know what we need to worry about and what not to fret about. I suppose that a travel agent allows that bit of comfort and peace of mind that having someone else worry about the details for you provides. If they are reliable they will keep you informed of price fluctuations, airline schedule changes, security issues and even weather conditions in hurricane season. If you are confident that you can look after those things, or whatever else may need to be attended to, then I think a travel agent just adds another layer of bureaucracy that maybe you don't need. Besides, I would be worried about the travel agent doing the things they need to do and checking up on my own behind them. Do what makes you feel at ease with your vacation plans being properly tended to.

    Have a great trip!

  5. #5

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    We have used a travel agent both times we have booked our Couples vacation. Both times it was cheaper than booking directly through the website.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    78

    Default

    TA = if something happens they fix it, Yourself = maybe save $100 but you're on the hook for fixing anything (flight cancellations, etc). We just booked our honeymoon for August (hurricane season). Our travel agent (from couples recommended TA page), was $100 more expensive than the cheapest site I could find the trip (and much cheaper than most), but the insurance I was able to purchase was better (ie: cancel 15 minutes before flight leaves for any reason for $90 pp), and if anything would happen I have someone to call. Don't think I would put a big vacation in my own hands ever again. My vote is for TA (but call several), and I would research online prior to calling to see the prices you find. Our TA discounted the trip $400 to be competitive. Best of luck to you!

  7. #7

    Default

    Always... Doesn't cost anymore... And there always in tune with the deals....mine is great!!! Been to couples 8 times with her...
    Eric from WI

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    43

    Default

    We never used a agent until this year. The advantage this year, was she was able to use many resourses not available to us to get us some wonderful discounts. We did the Secret R. She made some great suggestions that I would not have thought of. Ended up going to CTI and had a wonderful time. We live in the twin cities.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    60

    Default

    There are no disadvantages. Unless of course you get an agent you don't trust or over charges you. Do your research. I'm sure there are many people who have had issues with agents and will tell you not to, this is just my opinion.

    There are a lot of advantages. I am a travel agent and I help get my clients excellent prices, make sure every aspect of their trip is taken care of, fax documents to the hotel if they forget them, help them in emergencies, all without fees. We also help with travel insurance if you need to file a claim. I'm not trying to solicite you, simply just to inform you and answer your question.

    Here's an example from our honeymoon to couples last August.

    I was at Couples CSA (and loved it!!!) while hurricane Irene was blowing through the north east. There were about 15 people at any given time in the lobby making phones calls, sitting in the computer lab tracking flights, all of them wasting precious beach time. They were all frantically trying to figure out how they were getting home. I am from Philly and was also flying home during the hurricane. I sent one email to my manager back home regarding my flights and potentially needing extra nights. Sent the email then went to the beach bar and enjoyed a Red Stripe. When I went back to check my email several hours later the same people were STILL in the lab and still frantic. I didn't lose any time from my vacation...they lost at least most of a full day.

    It's just nice to know you have someone back home to help you. Good luck with your trip...hope you have a wonderful time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    228

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen26 View Post
    There are no disadvantages. Unless of course you get an agent you don't trust or over charges you. Do your research. I'm sure there are many people who have had issues with agents and will tell you not to, this is just my opinion.

    There are a lot of advantages. I am a travel agent and I help get my clients excellent prices, make sure every aspect of their trip is taken care of, fax documents to the hotel if they forget them, help them in emergencies, all without fees. We also help with travel insurance if you need to file a claim. I'm not trying to solicit you, simply just to inform you and answer your question.
    And that's the key part - do your research ahead of time on a TA.

    [full disclosure -- I am not a travel agent, nor do I play one on TV. I have used one for my trips to Couples, as well as for a trip to Hawai'i last year. The good ones earn their money, and then some.]

    Be sure to check a potential TA out on BBB, and on online message boards to see if they're on the up-and-up. Pay with a credit card, and verify airline reservations.

    Every so often you'll hear about a bad egg in the travel biz. They indeed are rare. But make sure you've done your part to make sure you get a good one with some research.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    63

    Default

    I am talking my trips to Jamaica, four times via packaged online vacation brokers Funjet/Apple. Two times on my own via Couple Wednesday escape and air separately via Travelocity.

    Better deals when on my own and I did have one flight cancel on me when I booked on my own and it was far easier for me to deal directly with Couples and the airlines then to go thru the travel agent as the middle man.

    Now, talking about booking via in town travel agent and wasn't to Couples but to Mexico. I had to pay an extra $25 for her services (compared to booking the exact same trip on my own via Funjet/Apple) and asked her to request the best room in our room category, not an upgrade, just the best in our category. Didn't work. Met 2 couples from our home town on the bus to the resort that did book on their own and they had the same room category but got a better view and location. I guess luck of the draw but I wouldn't pay extra for the TA again.

  12. #12

    Default

    We always book our own flight and resort stay. In fact, we have found the best deals and service if you book directly with Couples rather than use a third party agent or site. They actually sometimes have rooms still available at their reservation desk that do not show up on line. Prices are usually guaranteed and if it goes down before your trip they will match the deal. Flights do not all show up on travel sites either. Go to the airlines' own site and see what they offer. With computers and cell phones why pay someone else extra to do what you can do easily.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    651

    Default

    If you use one who is a preferred client of Couples they may be able to give you a % off of your trip. We always saved about $200 off the advertised price.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2,376

    Default

    My travel agent let me down for the last time. I booked our trip for 2013 by calling Hope in reservations, she ROCKS by the way and made it very easy Randymon!
    We live in the Twin Cities and want to find a new agent. Can anyone recommended a good one. I don't trust myself to book our airfare and need help with that.

  15. #15

    Default

    I feel it's a matter of preference. I haven't used a TA in over 10 years and that's what I prefer. I've had TAs take care of problems in the past and I've recently handled them myself and I find it's more stressful to have a TA resolve issues because I'm left waiting for the TA to get back to me and when they do, I might not be happy with the resolution, then I have to send them away to find another resolution which means more stressful waiting and not knowing. Whereas, if I'm the one talking to the airline or resort, I feel less stressed because I'm in control and I've never had any problems working with the airline/hotel/etc to find a resolution. Maybe I've just gotten lucky?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,996

    Default

    I've done the bookings both ways... but now we wouldn't do it any other way than to go to a TA... the reason? Well, the deal on travel insurance is a big one... the service is another, if you find one as good as we've found. The fact that we know exactly what we want and expect, as well as knowing the process, helps her to help us if or when things go awry (not yet, thank Jah...).

    But my parents are elderly, so we have to start thinking about all that. We have grandkids to worry about. So, you never know... peace of mind? Worth it.
    Chris

    "In an abundance of water, the fool is thirsty..." - Bob Marley - "Rat Race"


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