There could be several reasons for you to choose a travel agency than to travel all on your own. It is very tough for people to schedule their trips on their own. So, it will always be a better option for you to have a pre-planned trip. This is our travel agency’s job we are aware of everything about the destination because of ours past experiences. This is why the travel agency can make better choices for you to make your trip a lot easier. Amelia Wooday said.
What are the benefits in booking with a travel agency?
Marina Byrum (Certified Travel Counselor) Says: "The benefits of booking with a travel agent can be significant. We can find you the best airfare by using consolidators. Some agencies also negotiate special airfares for their clients, which are less expensive than booking online. We also do have negotiated rates with many hotels/motels/resorts around the world. We want your repeat business, so we knock ourselves out trying to get the package/tour/vacation that best suits your needs. In my particular case, my tour operators can match or best any pricing you find online. We want your business! This year, when COVID-19 struck and decimated the travel industry, travel agents were working hard to cancel and retrieve deposits or full payments with the airlines, tour operators, cruise lines, etc. John Q. Public could’’ even get through to the airlines, etc. for days or even weeks. My company has email addresses to get refund/credits handled, so all I had to do was send an email, and my client's needs were addressed. Anytime a cruise line/tour operator/travel provider goes bankrupt, agents are there to advise our clients on how to proceed with getting their refunds. If you have a problem during your travels (booked by us), one phone call to us and we can address that for you with the hotel/airline/cruise line, etc. In other words, we are your advocate, advisor, helper, etc. There are numerous other benefits to using a travel agent, but I will leave you with a few. Happy travels!
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There are so many benefits. First they have access to lower pricing and possibly some upgrades. Second, and this is a big one, if anything goes wrong, they are the one to handle the issue so you can sit back and enjoy your time. Lastly, you are their paycheck so they will make sure you are always happy and will be there for you for any travel need.
Mr. Neale Gray says on Quora: Yes. I was stuck in Australia, needing to get a flight home to London to cut my trip short - it’s a long story. Flightscanner had nothing, Singapore Airlines online had nothing, and I did have a flight booked with Singapore, but that was 2 months away and I needed to get out of there NOW and couldn’t change it online. I’ve written at length about this on here.
I called my travel agent in the UK, and he sorted me a flight for the next day, Oz time (it was midnight in Oz and 2pm in the UK), he dealt with the issue of the other flight I already had booked but couldn’t wait for, and I got on that plane and came home the next day, Oz time, as organized by him.
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There’s nothing to beat talking to a human being, an expert in their field, rather than dealing with a customer “service” agent who doesn’t give a shit and probably doesn’t even speak your language, or has such a foreign accent neither of you can understand each other. They just work in a call center, they don’t know you as your own travel agent knows you. They don’t know your preferred airline, your preferred seat, your preferred stopover, they’re just reading from a script, they really don’t care whatsoever about you. A travel agent does.
Or, having to deal with a completely inflexible computer system that only has what’s on its database. It can’t search other airlines or other options unless you know what those other options are - which your human travel agent knows.
Who would you prefer to have the commission on your booking? A faceless computer, a robotic call center eejit, or a person you know and trust to get what you want/need?
My travel agent has saved my bacon more than once. Another time, he got me an emergency flight to Australia with quite literally 4 hours notice, there was a death in the family and I needed a flight NOW to make it there in time for the funeral, Emirates, Qantas, and Singapore, had no flights available, they said. He booked it through BA instead, and 2 out of the 4 flights were with Qantas - the very same flights that had no seats available, apparently. He knew what he was doing, I didn’t. I made it in time for the funeral, and the first one above, I flew home the very next day and got the hell out of there.
When I booked our holiday in Iceland, I only had the vaguest idea of where we wanted to go or what to do. I said there’s this waterfall I’ve seen on tv, he knew exactly where I meant and booked the entire trip for us, flights (no red-eye flights which were one of the options we stipulated we didn’t want, so we got an afternoon flight), decent hotel, tours, transfers and all. He’d wanted to sell us a package trip, with a whale-watching excursion, but my partner of the time didn’t like being on small boats, so we just left that option out.
Any Brits out there, he’s Mark, the manager for Flight Centre in Manchester Piccadilly.
When my father passed away, my partner of the time left work in Australia and went home via her travel agent. She already had a flight booked to the UK, but that wasn’t for another 2 weeks, we didn’t know we’d lose my Dad. She got the next available flight and was here for his funeral.
Essentially, using a good travel agent eliminates the need for research, and also greatly reduces the chances and/or consequences of oversights and mistakes. If your travel agent knows what he’s doing and isn’t trying to rip you off, he’ll make sure you end up with the best combination of price, terms, etc., tailored to your preferences. An experienced, helpful travel agent is one of the very best things that a frequent traveler can have.
For relatively simple bookings, a travel agent is not really necessary. When you’re returning to a place you’ve visited before, traveling domestically, the itinerary is a simple one, and/or you’re not worried too much about the terms or price, just booking it yourself online is often the fastest and easiest way to go.
Mr. Darin Jensen Says: As others have said it depends on how you define luxury. For some luxury = convenience. An example: you're having dinner at 10 pm at Madera at Rosewood Sand Hill & decide last-minute to spend the night but the front desk tells you the hotel is sold out. Luxury for you might be the ability to text your travel agent & have confirmation of your favorite suite on a trip within 15 minutes. How did your agent do it? Doesn't matter. What matters is you got your suit. To me that's luxury.
My definition of "best" is an agent that will do anything you need whenever you need it regardless of the time of day or location in the world. There are a handful of very specialized agencies that offer this level of service. Most limit membership to a handful of clients (~10 or less) and charge a yearly fee of $30k or higher. That fee gets you unlimited bookings (ie no booking fees) and a dedicated agent who will move heaven & earth for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year (even holidays).
On contrary, Mr. Chris Morse says: There are only disadvantages to using an online travel agency. All travel vendors have gone to equal pricing. That means your travel agent in your area has the same pricing as Expedia or any of the other online agencies. What the vendors also give the travel agent is lower pricing, special booking amenities that the online agencies do not get. Why? Customer service. When you booklet say Carnival online, and something goes wrong, you have to call Carnival if you booked online (they have no customer service). Carnival does not want to take customer service calls, all they want to do is book cruises. If you book your travel with your local travel agent, they become the vendor's customer service department and answer any of your questions. NEVER book online, you are wasting your time and money!
Is it better to book a hotel room directly or through an online travel agency?
- If you value earning loyalty points, book directly with the hotel. Bookings made via OTAs are not eligible to earn loyalty points.
- Hotels tend to be more lenient with their cancellation policies when you book directly with them. This is not to say that you book their most fenced rate and expect that they wouldn't charge you if you didn't show up.
- Additionally, most hotels have preferred rates and services for their loyalty program members - which you can take advantage of only when you book direct.
- Your chances for a complimentary upgrade are the highest if you have booked directly with the hotel and the lowest when booking via a third-party agent.
- Most importantly if you have special and specific requests - be it for room decorations, an allergy you are worried about, an airport transfer that you require, a package you need to get delivered - communication and coordination are a lot easier if you have booked direct.
- OTAs bring in a huge factor of convenience to your bookings. Since you could be traveling to several places over the course of time, booking via one OTA can keep all your bookings at the same place and give you the chance to earn cashback. Additionally, OTAs can handle your travel tickets too - most hotels do not do that for you.
Finally, these are some opinions and answers on the question: What are the benefits/advantages in booking with a travel agency?. You can check all answers and replies on Quora.