Need for Travel Agents

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  1. Hi all,

    As long as I can remember, I have always booked my travels on-line using travelocity or expedia. Now I've been looking for tickets for Christmas travel and I swear the prices have tripled! I'm wondering if I go through an agent if there is any benefit in price - do they have access to better deals, can they "predict" when I need to buy before prices rise/fall, and how are they compensated? If anyone has any clue or belong to this service industry and can shed some light on this topic, I'd be most grateful!
     
  2. I'm an agent with a cruise agency so I won't be able to help with all of your questions, but I can answer some and hopefully other people will chime in.

    Most cruise lines no longer allow agents to discount the base fare but my agency can provide lower rates through block spaces (cabins the agency has secured at a group rate), on-board credit, etc. I don't always get advance notification if the price for a sailing has decreased unless I personally monitor the prices, but sometimes the cruise lines do let us know that prices will be increasing on a certain date so we can communicate that to our clients and try to get them to book before the price goes up. Also, to answer your last question, as an independent contractor with my particular agency I get paid from commissions. i hope this helps!
     
  3. I would LOVE to shed some light on how this works since I am in the industry.

    There is no "magic" formula for booking airline tickets really. Some say only book on Wednesday others say Thursday. If you fly on the "day of" such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, prices can be different. Almost always better for an advanced purchase, but not always. It is difficult to determine the "best time" as many factors come into play and prices change daily...it seems by the minute...but daily.

    TA's do not make any money off of airline tickets which is why most of them charge a fee for processing airline reservations. Where we make our money is through the Suppliers of hotels/cars/tours/cruises etc. You are not charged a different fee if you go online or through a TA is you book any of the above. There are many benefits of using a TA. We can offer get incentatives not offered otherwise. Often we can get upgrades to rooms, extra goodies, spa services, etc. depending on the property. Check out my Blog under the Home section for more information: www.cle212. Enjoy your holiday travels!
     
  4. Thanks so much for your response! I will definitely check out your blog!
     
  5. You are welcome. People are reluctant to use TA's. After being in this business, I definitely understand both ends of that equation. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. It really is a goof idea to develop a relationship with a trusted professional who can help you navigate the travel land mines out there!:smile: