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Nothing Beats A Real Agent
7/21/2008 9:55:22 AM Link |  | Add comment

Most agents have:

 
1. Knowledge of various forms of transportation to the suggested destination; knowledge about the destination and knowledge about the carrier / tour op;
 
2. Most on-line systems aren't bonded or offer financial security other than those offered by a credit card company;
 
3. What travel agent has long pages of terms and conditions? These are only necessary when a business seeks to escape, or minimize, liability;
 
4. On-line bookers are useless at booking multi-segment flights. I always test them with a Quebec City or Winnipeg start point and a destination of Phnom Penh, Cambodia or Vientiane, Laos. I bet none will offer either optimal routing (avoiding the USA) or the cheapest flights;
 
5. A real live travel agent can offer many services, either unavailable or only with hassles from on-line hustlers, before, during and after a journey. Although I use my hand / cell phone for booking domestic / regional flights, I always use a real live agent, in Canada which is on the opposite side of the world from where I live, and have done for 30+ years, because I know a quick e-mail will get any problems sorted out by the time I hot my e-mail at my next airport;
 
6. Many on-line ticket sellers scrape the dregs of seats so they can fill every seat, for hidden financial benefits from the carriers, whereas a travel agent gets better seating.
 
7, No on-line system will hold a clients travel requests for days or weeks whilst it checks out many carrier / routing options as a real live travel agent can. They operate in real-time which is not always the most optimal way of purchasing travel. 
 
Guidebooks are dated when they hit the bookstands, particularly the one owned by the BBC.
 
Real live travel agents have so many ways to better the on-line majors.
 
Jon Hewson
ManagingPartner-Special ProjectsVirtuallyThere.ca
11 July 2008, 22:11:37 GMT
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