travel agent vs internet

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  #1  
Old 03-13-2013, 07:24 AM
travelguy travelguy is offline
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Default travel agent vs internet

would like to hear from some who have used a travel agent or used direct bookings via the internet or on-line agencies. Pros and cons.
thanks.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:28 AM
nitehawk nitehawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelguy View Post
would like to hear from some who have used a travel agent or used direct bookings via the internet or on-line agencies. Pros and cons.
thanks.
did not know there were still travel agents
  #3  
Old 03-13-2013, 07:33 AM
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George Bieniaszek George Bieniaszek is offline
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We haven't used a travel agent in years. We booked over 25 cruises and countless airline flights, hotel rooms, etc by going directly to the cruise web sites or air or hotel web sites and booking directly with them. We also used sites like Expedia, Ttavelocity or Orbitz as well. No issues or problems ever.

That is not to say that I wouldn't use them if we were booking a vacation that would have included an organized tour which included air, hotel, meals and planned excursions.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:11 AM
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We used a travel agent on our trip to Costa Rica but normally if it's just a cruise or a trip to see our kids, we book it online. It's nice to have someone do all the "leg work" when you go somewhere that is unfamiliar to you. Our travel agent was able to find the best deal with a great hotel (sometimes they look good on the webpage...but). We are using her again for a 12 day land/river cruise to Europe in November.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:16 AM
Applepie Applepie is offline
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My husband and I recently booked a cruise through AAA in LSL. For our efforts, we received $50.00 off the price of the cruise (not much but every little bit helps), priority check in and a bottle of wine in our cabin. It was fast and easy. They even printed out our boarding passes for us.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:17 AM
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I never understood using non cruise line planners to book cruises....or non airline planners to book flights.
How could they possibly be as knowledgeable as the indivuals who are focused on their specific providers products and services only?

We are currently booked on a cruise through a 3rd party planner only because the "special" cruise arrangements are only available through them. I could book with the cruise line, on the same ship, etc for $75-$100 less and what I would miss out on is a "group" cocktail party....IF the planner books the minimum number of cabins to qualify for the freebie. The same arrangements can be made directly through the cruise line who have certain specials and perks for group arrangements.

I prefer to be our travel planner.....lots more flexibilty and almost always for less $$.

btk
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelguy View Post
would like to hear from some who have used a travel agent or used direct bookings via the internet or on-line agencies. Pros and cons.
thanks.
The last time we booked a flight and lodgings to FL we were charged $25 each for their time and that was over 20yrs ago, now we just use the internet or call the place we want to go to.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:29 AM
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I would really recommend Ocala Travel. The Villages office is convenient and everyone is so helpful. If there are any problems on a trip they are there to help. We have used them for years.
  #9  
Old 03-13-2013, 02:13 PM
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Outside of booking flights or train travel, always use a travel agent. If something goes wrong, they are there to resolve any issues---- and you have a name. If you book via the internet and then try to contact someone, you won't get the same person or someone who has a history of your arrangements. Also, in using the same travel agent, they understand your likes and dislikes.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:50 PM
Lbmb24101 Lbmb24101 is offline
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Karenu, thanks!
Will keep your recommendation on mind
I agree with dander and stuck in paradise.

We used to have the most knowledgeable travel agent ever until health took her out of business Our memorable trips were booked thru her.
Now i agree, that routine trips like seeing family or cruises can be done online, but i would much prefer a travel agent for far away trips or exotic trips.
WE use American Express now, not as great as our agent back in the 1990's , but better than going at it alone.
In 2009 we did a Mediterranean cruise w Holland America, but it was Amex who booked us on our PRIVATE tour of the Vatican ; we would have never found this amazing awesome experience on our own.
  #11  
Old 05-28-2013, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitehawk View Post
did not know there were still travel agents
Hi Everyone!

I am a lost breed! A travel agent! I am your neighbor here in the Villages.

First let me say I am in no way soliciting for business. I just thought I add my POV for interest.

The upside to having a travel agent (who you know by name, not a 800 #) is that if there is a snafu before, during or after your trip; you have an advocate working on your behalf. For example the current situation with Grandeur of the Seas fire. You can be one of 2400+ passengers trying to get flights home and get your rebooking information or you can call me and I will be working on your behalf. Often getting you a little extra too!

The other big benefits are money savings! I know ahead of time when many specials will occur, saving you from booking too early or too late.

I always "thank" my clients with goodies like wine in the stateroom, onboard credit (money you can spend on the ship).

It may pay to get the online pricing and then call an agent to see what extras they are offering. It certainly can't hurt!

You migth be interested to know that I work from home and never do any advertising as most of busines comes from return clients the referrals they send me.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:15 PM
swrinfla swrinfla is offline
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I was a travel agent for nearly 20 years. That was now almost 20 years ago! My bottom line, then and now: A knowledgeable agent can provide the client with unimagineable benefits!

The industry has changed immeasureably over the past 20 years or more. Dedicated travelers have learned how to book their own travel on line, without fear or concern that they'll get what they want!

But, there are continuing horror stories of travelers who self-destruct because they don't really know what they're doing, even though their on-line expertise seems to be "top notch!"

Despite my own hard-earned skills, I continue to use the on-going abilities of a former colleague, who now has some 40 years of expertise.

One real benefit of using an active and trusted agent is that he/she may belong to a consortium of some sort which will bring you, the client, unexpected discounts and/or benefits!

Do not ever downplay the advantages of having a personal connection with an experienced travel agent!

SWR
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  #13  
Old 05-29-2013, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitehawk View Post
did not know there were still travel agents
There are many benefits to using a travel agent.
They know the products and can offer you trips or ships that suit your needs.
They can save you money, knowing when a sale will take place ahead of time.
They offer perks like onboard credit on ships and wine in the staterooms.
When you have an issue you can count on them to be your advocate to call the cruise line or travel company to faciliate a settlement for you!
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