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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Booking - Travel Agent, Website or...?

    We've been comparing rates on various websites - some are a better deal than others. Is there some reason you would want to book with a travel agent instead? Or for that matter a reason to book on the Couples website vs. one of the others, like CheapCaribbean or Travelocity?

    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    Everyone has their own comfort level. Some folks are so seasoned, experienced and fearless that they don't need a travel agent. Others, not so much... some feel more comfortable with brick & mortar TA's, some with online companies.

    There is something to be said for having a person you can talk to about travel issues, and a good "full service" TA will watch over your reservation and itinerary until after your return.

    So... what's YOUR comfort level, and what are you willing to pay for?
    Chris

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


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,370

    Default

    We always like to book with Couples direct and get our own flights (just our preference). If there are any changes to be made, couples are great at accommodating. Couples will always try to pricematch if you can supply written proof of the other offer.

  4. #4

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    We use a local TA who gets us the same prices but with personal service and is there for us. We booked online once with the Couples site and they sent us wrong flight info causing us to miss our plane. No one was available that early to help with the problem. We just get better service with our TA who's been doing this for decades and cares about our business.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    9

    Default

    We booked with a travel agent as Couples wanted a copy of our credit card AND security code since we where paying for daughter's room and ours. Call me silly but faxing my credit card to a foreign country didn't sound like a great idea! They matched our price, and we actually got more favorable cancellation terms - of course we aren't canceling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Our first two trips were booked with a TA but I'm going to book the hotel part through Couples for our October 2011 trip. The insurance with Couples is cheaper than with the TA we used. She (TA) is wonderful, but we try to save wherever we can these days!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,334

    Default Should we use a TA or website or book direct????

    It all depends on the rate, terms, and customer service.

    Some TA's do have lower rates than Couples because they are selling them taking less of a commission.

    Payment terms are something to look at. Some TA's make you pay everything up front, some just take a deposit and balanced is due 45 days before the trip.


    You need to look at cancellation terms, some TA's you can not cancel/change your room or it cost money as a change order. Some have no cancellation fees, some you lose it all, some $200 14 days out. It all depends. Some allow you to change your reservation if a better deal comes up on a special and charge nothing. Just because Couples has a 45 day policy, your terms with a TA may not be.

    You need to look at the whole picture and book what is best for you. Ask lots of questions if using a TA and make sure they listed on BBB and check it. If they are good, they are listed with no issues. Also, if you use a TA make sure they are on the Couples list. Couples have spent the time to review them and they pay Couples on time. They are also the ones that get the best rates because they sell the most which they can pass onto you.

    We have booked both ways, direct and with a TA. Our TA is a person that answers her phone, not a computer. So we have the best of both worlds, best rate, terms, and real customer service without hitting zero ten times. She is also located in the USA.
    Irie Mon

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default

    We use a travel agent because you have someone to fight on your behalf if something goes wrong. Also, I do my own searching around and if I can find a lower price than the travel agent comes up with, she will call the establishment herself and talk them down and get the price matched.

    For this trip, we are flying with Airtran and when you use a travel agent, they get to pick your seat assignment. Airtran charges a fee per seat per leg of each flight for seat assignment. We booked at the exact same price as the website, but got our seat assignments for free because we used a TA.

    Travel agents can also get around "rules" at resorts like 3 night minimum stays.

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE our TA, but she knows if she can't match the best deal I can find then I'm not booking with her. She ALWAYS talks the establishment into matching, even when it takes several phone calls to higher-ups.

    Just my $.02 )

    Kim

  9. #9

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    We book through a TA that Couples has listed on their site. No hassle, always saves us more money than any other site I have found, and the trip insurance is awesome. Actually had to use it one time and it was no hassle.
    Jamie & David
    CN 11/2005 & 10/2008 & 11/2011
    CSS 9/2007, 9/2009, 9/2010, 11/2011, 9/2012, 9/2013
    CTI 9/2013

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default

    We booked with Unforgettable Honeymoons and they were AWESOME!! Heather was our agent and she went above and beyond for us! I would reccomend them to everyone =) Anytime I called with questions or concerns they were very helpful and knowledgable.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    708

    Default

    This November is our 15th anniversary and we went to Jamaica for our honeymoon and every anniversary since. Used a travel agent to book every trip. I start pricing it on the internet months in advance, mostly for my own entertainment. But when the time comes to book we have either been within $100 or less and sometimes she has even gotten us a better deal than I've found on-line. Money isn't the reason we use her though. If something goes wrong I want a real person who knows me and knows my plans to help me get it fixed. They have a 24 hour number we can call so no matter what goes wrong at what time of day I don't have to argue with an airline myself try to figure out what move I'm supposed to make next. If we get into a mess I can call for help or advice. It's never been needed but I can guarantee you that if it ever is it will be worth it to know she's there and all these years just knowing that she's available has been one less thing to worry about making the trip absolutely stress free.

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