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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    152

    Default Book yourself or through Travel Agent?

    Looking at booking on Couples website. If you used a travel agent to book it for you, is the rate the same or does the travel agent get a different rate?
    Thanks,

  2. #2

    Default

    I just booked with a travel agent in my area today. Her rate is as good or better than what the Couples site was showing, we get the $500.00 resort credit, her insurance is a bit cheaper and I feel good knowing that I have someone local I can call with questions or problems.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    345

    Default

    Hi REH, we book through our TA. Her company is listed here under the "FIND A TRAVEL AGENT" tab on the left. She's been our agent for about 20 years and employs three other women in our town. This is very important to me in this tough economy. Well back to your original concern. I really don't check when she books our Couples vacations but I have checked when she's booked our cruises and her prices are always very close. A nice touch is she'll pickup the price of a bottle of wine at dinner when we cruise...<smile>. She also has her finger on the pulse of the airlines so she keeps us informed when specials are announced and we book when the rates are lowest. Even if they change she'll cancel and rebook to get us a better fare. I've heard horror stories of friends booking though websites and getting notices that their flight times have been changed, not for the better, without much notice or any fare reduction. So my advice is to use a local, trustworthy, TA and support a local business in the process. You can always call a TA and get a price from them and bounce it off what you're quoted here before you book. Good luck and welcome to the Couples family!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,011

    Default

    As with so many things, volume counts, I'm sure. My guess is that these volume discounts amount to something, but not being in the business, I have no idea of what "something" is.

    Note, however, that TA's have to make a living, too. They receive commissions and fees for performing a service. Their job is to help smooth your way to your destination and back. Some agents do this better than others. A good TA is a valuable asset if you enjoy travel.
    Chris

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


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    987

    Default

    In the past we have used travel agents for our trips to CSA, three times to be exact. This year we booked it ourselves. I had checked with a couple of travel agents on pricing and scheduling but they all offered package deals with charter flights that had terrible arrival times at MBJ, late afternoon or evening. We want to get to CSA as early as we can the first day so we looked up flight times and fares for several airlines and wound up booking the whole trip through US Airways. The price was as good or better than the prices we got from the travel agents and our arrival at MBJ is before noon and we should be at CSA for a late lunch and some sun on the beach. Of course I have to keep up with changes or adjustments to flights, which has occurred twice since last summer. But it all seems to be working out fine. We did also purchase a vacation insurance package just in case. I think more and more people are doing the booking themselves these days. It seems to be the best way to get what you want and the prices seem to be competitive with travel agent deals.

    Nothing against travel agents, we had always been satisfied with the service we received. But this year we just decided to do it on our own.

  6. #6

    Default

    I used a travel agent. While I did not compare versus the Couples website at the time, as I did more research I did, just out of curiosity price the exact same week in 2011 (next year) and the price compared to what I actually paid was within $100 dollars of each other. I do think they would be very comparable. I'm the type that wants to have someone to call to talk to and ask questions about things. And he's been absolutely fantastic. When I asked about CSA, he said he had stayed there 3 times and just started reeling stuff off about the resort and how wonderful it was. I'll be happy to pass along his name and number if you want. Just let me know. This was after I had a bad experience with another agent from AAA who seemed to not really want to take my money. It took her 3 days to get back with me on any simple question.

  7. #7

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    We used to go with a Travel Agent when they could give better discounts, but now we book direct with Couples (they have the cheapest rates but will also match any legitimate, lower offer). But we never book as a package either since the hotel is cheaper the further out we book and flights are cheaper the closer we get. It's really a personal preference. Some people like the security of a TA so they don't have to do anything, but I prefer to be able to pick up the phone and call Couples direct if I need to, without a middle man.
    Amy Welch...Woooohoooo!!
    CTI - 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013
    CN - 2003/2004 CSS - 2008
    CSA - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    157

    Default

    I agree with Amy. I would rather book directly with Couples. I feel more secure knowing there isn't a third party involved. I also book airfare separately so I can choose my flights and airlines.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    141

    Default

    We've booked both time directly through couples. I don't really see the need for a travel agent, Couples has a phone line you can call for any questions and also these boards are a wonderful resource for those with questions. I have used both to help me- I had to cancel a trip to CN we booked because we decided CTI was calling to us more and so I called the phone line, easy peasy.

    Also, we booked our airfare for our upcoming trip (haven't booked for next year yet) separately from the couples website, which was fine, but the only thing I will change for next year is to get refundable tickets. We had to change a few things and lost some money in the process because the tickets were nonrefundable and nontransferable. Not sure if booking through Couples would have made a difference there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    152

    Default

    Wow, thanks to each and everyone of you for taking the time to answer my question.
    REH

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    725

    Default

    I book direct.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    41

    Default

    I called 2 travel agents in my area of Knoxville, TN. One was $300 more than booking direct and the other was $700 more! (Atrium suite at CSA).

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aprila220 View Post
    I called 2 travel agents in my area of Knoxville, TN. One was $300 more than booking direct and the other was $700 more! (Atrium suite at CSA).
    We lived in Knoxville for over 5 years! In fact, we still have a house in Island Home. Small world!
    Amy Welch...Woooohoooo!!
    CTI - 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013
    CN - 2003/2004 CSS - 2008
    CSA - 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015



  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    We lived in Knoxville for over 5 years! In fact, we still have a house in Island Home. Small world!
    Funny, I live in Kingsport and go to Knoxville quite often! Definitely a small world

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