Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    28

    Default Book thru Couples or Travel Agency?

    Hi all!
    Just wondering. When most of you do your booking do you do it direclty thru Couples, either online or on the phone, or do you go through a travel agency? Can you get the deals that Couples offers through a travel agency? Is one better than the other? I would love all opinions!
    We're looking at going to CSS in May 2011 & I wanted to take advantage of the "Early Escapes" package but wasn't sure how to go about it.
    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    772

    Default

    We book directly through Couples. They have the most lenient change/cancellation policy (No fee for up to 45 days out) and they'll match and legit travel agency offer.

    Plus, we like the service that they provide.

    Lastly, we got burned by a travel agency a couple years ago, where they took our money, and didn't book our rooms. Yikes. Fortunately, a quick phone call to Couples and Visa took care of it. (And before you ask, yes they were a legitimate TA that we had used before.)

    In any case, we're Couples Direct Bookers now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,000

    Default

    Some TA's can provide a better "deal" because they are "given" blocks of rooms to sell, with the goal of moving higher volume.

    The other thing to consider is the value of a good TA. If you travel often enough, a good agency is worth its weight in gold. A good agent will know what needs to be done along the way, and will help you to navigate any unexpected issues that may come up.

    There is also the matter of what you're comfort level might be. Are you a very seasoned traveller who's "been there, done that"? Are you experienced in handling last minute delays and problems? Can you navigate the airline booking sites, or do you have a frequent flyer account with miles to burn? These all will determine how much of your itinerary you might want to manage yourself, or how much you might prefer to rely on a travel agent.

    Good luck!
    Chris

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


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,397

    Default

    We always book with Coules and get flight later via the airline direct. You can take advantage of the really early offers Couples offer before flight s are available. If you are not comfortable with doing the booking yourself, then stick with a travel agent. Either way, go to Couples and have a great time.

  5. #5

    Default

    We have a good TA we used for our honeymoon to CN. They hit such a home run with us personally, we've re-used them. I haven't bothered to switch cuz if it aint broke... I can call my TA (Whassup, Megan!) and give her dates and within one business day she gets back to me with a list of rooms, options, flights, etc... Then a few days after we get home, I get a call from her again to make sure everything was great and see if I have any notes on the destination, service, etc...
    Vee, your story about getting burned by a TA you've used before concerns me though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,351

    Default

    We've done it both ways, just depends on the deal we get. We've got a TA who gets us incredible deals, but right now our booking is through Couples as they do the Love Away plan. So it just depends. We are thinking about going in October and if we do, we will book through our TA.
    Juliann & Jeff
    Jamaica Soon Come

  7. #7

    Default

    We booked our recent Couples vacation with a respectable canadian travel agency. We got a better travel deal with that agency than booking hotel and flight separate.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    317

    Default

    For this trip I booked online thru the website. I normally use a TA but, decided to do something different. I did call in to customer service prior to making reservations online but, the person I spoke with didn't speak very good English and I just wasn't pleased with how the encounter was going. I decided to go online and it went fine. I received an email confirmation and it also gives u the date the trip has to be paid off by. I go on a lot of vacations and use my travel agents (2) to death. Just wanted to do something different this time. You still have to get your own airfare anyway. No airfare available for 2011 yet. Just a FYI, TAs do not get commission on airfare just the rooms.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    290

    Default

    I like my travel agent. She is able to book all Couples Specials and she does it at a lower rate then Couples. She was there when our flight got cancelled going to CSA last year. I spent hours on the phone with her when booking my first Couples trip and I pay her back for that with loyalty. She even booked a Wed Special for us and two other couples we are going with for less then Couples web price. That took a lot of calls to coordinate and I like having someone I know and trust to do it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,044

    Default

    We have booked directly with Couples and with online travel sites and both were fine. The price difference between the two is usually very small.

  11. #11

    Default

    We book through the Couples website and have never had a problem. Be sure and take out the insurance just to be safe since you never know if an emergency may come up. I book my flights with my travel agent from work just in case there are any problems there.

  12. #12

    Default

    We Always use a Travel Agent. By booking your air and hotel together, 99% of the time you will get a better price on the package. They are to help in the event of schedule changes and flight cancellations, and if you are booking out, my travel agent will allow me to make payments. If you check-out the Find a Travel Agents on the Couples website.

  13. #13

    Default

    hey, i book through I travel and found out afterwards a person here booked the resort and saved hundreds of dollars with a better room.check it out it helps to try all options.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    We always book our vacations ourselves. Why put your money in the hands of a third party? A few years ago, there was a popular on-line travel agency that absconded with client funds without paying for reservations. Because the reservations weren't paid for, they were cancelled; clients lost their vacation reservation and their money.

    There are also posts on the MB that pop up now and then about a travel agent booking the wrong room or waiting too long and having the desired room become unavailable by the time the travel agent got around to making the reservation. I never have to worry about someone else making a mistake or being dilatory when I book myself.
    Pamela
    I know everything, and I'm always right (just ask my husband).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    651

    Default

    I was burned a few years ago by an online TA who was a Couples platinum agent. This last time I was gonna book direct but I shopped around to get prices. I called my local TA who was listed as a Couples Platinum agent on this site. She was able to get me a better deal and then took $100 off my total. Her help was great for our first trip not knowing how it all worked. We used her again this time and got a deal as a repeat customer although we could have booked ourselves without a hassle. It was a total savings of about $200 this time using them.

    Every agent is different. I would use one that is recommended by Couples that is in your town and you can meet in person. If you don't get a better deal I would book direct with Couples.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    24

    Default

    I talked to travel agents, travel agents specializing in Jamaican travel, worked directly through the resort, package agencies like Apple, and all of the online services you know about. The best deals were from the travel egent specializing in Jamaican trips (she seemed to just match whatever else I found), and 2 of the online services... oddly enough I found they are the same company. Im not sure which gives the best service or has better policies, etc., but those were the best deals I found for pricing.

  17. #17

    Default

    Even before I started my own travel agency, I always booked with a travel agent simply because of what I feel is an extra layer of added security. I would find the pricing online, do some research, then get with my travel agent at the time with all the questions I had and deposited and paid for trips that way. I just felt more comfortable with being able to see a person face to face, almost reassuring accountability. Even with all of the online agencies, promising better prices, etc. I never felt comfortable with booking through an online agency (By OLA, I'm referring specifically to sites such as orbitz, expedia, etc.) I think that there is a general misconception about how a travel agent is actually paid and that it costs more to use one. Now that I operate my own travel agency, I use the same level of ethics that I expected with my travel agent, and I must say that a lot of my newer clients are past people who used to book with online agencies but got tired of being burned by misrepresentations and lack of customer service. I gained at least 20 clients from the extended closure of CTI because they weren't updated by their OLA's when the fire happened. It was really something.

    HOWEVER, in the case specifically with Couples resorts, I think that booking directly with Couples or with an agent would be beneficial either way because of the level of ethics with this brand and the clear cut black/white with what you're getting. There are no secrets, no hidden fees, etc. Their cancellation policy is clear. They do an outstanding job! Even from the agent side, dealing with Couples hotel management, regional management, wedding department, etc. I have to say that they are bar none! I have only experienced excellence with them. So Couples is definitely a safe bet whether you book with them directly or with an agent.

  18. #18

    Default

    I have read similar threads to this and I still have a question:

    Are you still able to take advantage of the Wednesday Specials if you are booking on a Wednesady with a Travel Agent for a pre-packaged vacation?

    I understand by readng the threads that you can get the specials through a TA if booking on a Wednesday but I am unclear if that was only if the TA is booking your Couples hotel and flight separately or if the special is available to them when booking prepackaged vacations as it would sweeten the deal.

    Any advice from the the experts on the board or experienced Couplicious Canucks would be appreciated.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    345

    Default

    I say book with a travel agent in your local area and support a small buisness. In these tough economic times every little bit helps! We've used our agent for about 15 years now and love her. She's the one who got us to try Couples in the first place having been to all of them herself. She's listed here on the website as an authorized agent so click on the "find a travel agent" on the left side of this page and find an agent near you. Go visit them in person and see if they are people you'd like to do busines with. If not, checkout the next nearest one to you. Don't go to a travel agent website and send your hard earned money to God knows where. Enjoy!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Hi all! Thanks for the great advice and different points of views on this topic. We have booked 2 Couples trips (one to CN and one to CSA) in the past and used the same travel agency both times and they've been good to us both times. So I don't really have any complaints with using a TA. I just decided this go round to explore the possibility of doing it myself since Couples is such a reputable company and their specials are very clear with no hidden fees. But I guess it can't hurt to price it both ways and see where we come out better. I don't mind booking the travel but a TA sure does come in handy for that part of it. Again, thanks to all who took time to share here!

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •