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Why Use A Travel Agent?

CONSUMERS BEWARE!

It can get pretty scary out there when you book your travel all by yourself, so please consider the following as precautionary measures.

You thought you were pretty smart when you asked that nice travel agent to give  you price quotes for three different cruises. When she handed over all her information, you went and booked everything on your own, thinking you might save yourself some money. You didn’t realize until you got on the ship, however, that you weren’t getting all the amenities and shipboard credits he/she listed because those are only available  through the agency, usually as group space. Foiled again.

You arranged your family’s vacation all by yourself and didn’t think twice when your daughter decided she didn’t want to go with you. She can get a little testy sometimes, so you asked your niece to take her place and just assumed she could use your daughter’s airplane ticket. Not so fast, auntie. The security agent at the gate was super nice when she explained what the airline ticketing rules are, but that didn’t help when you had to call your sister to tell her to come pick up her daughter. Thanksgiving dinner conversation might be a little tense this year.

The listing for the hotel you booked online said that your room was located in the villa section of the resort, so you thought you were getting an actual villa. Turns out, your villa was one of 16 rooms in stand-alone “villa” accommodations and what you actually had was just a regular guestroom. Not what you wanted. Who knew it would be so difficult to navigate all this travel industry lingo?

You assumed the remote city you flew into, and arrived late at night had Uber service. Why wouldn’t it? So you didn’t arrange for a hotel transfer and ended up sleeping at the airport because you had to wait for cab service to begin again in the morning. Rough start to your vacation.

You are done talking to people and just want to communicate over your phone, so when you reserved your annual vacation online with just three clicks of the mouse. Voila! You really are smart and efficient. Unfortunately, you were so proud of yourself you didn’t take time to read the small print on your smart phone and didn’t see that your trip was completely nonrefundable, no matter what. Which was painful to learn when the new owners of the corporation you work for called a mandatory meeting for the very day you were going to depart, and you had no options.

Things were going really well at the airport on your way home from your trip until you heard there was a blizzard back in New York. When “cancelled” signs went up for every flight listed on the departure board your fellow passengers got on the phone with their travel agents to re-book them. But you didn’t use a travel agent, did you? You sent an e-mail to the “info@” address listed on the website you booked your trip on, but didn’t hear back from them until the following Monday; after you’d already rented a car on your own and driven 2,000 miles to get back home.

You were so excited about that “getaway” with a group of your best friends. All of them booked through a travel agent, but you, ever the independent soul, did it on your own because you know you are smarter than most people and wanted a deal. What a horror that first morning turned out to be when you were the only one to get a bill for your first big meal together. Turns out their agent had been able to get them all the valuable perk of a free breakfast, every day! The website you booked on didn’t provide that and potentially more perks. Who knew a breakfast buffet could cost $49? This turned out to be the most expensive trip ever!!!