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Lida just woke up and is pouring herself a cup of coffee. She turns on the TV and she can‘t believe what she is seeing. Two airplanes hit world trade centers. She reads underneath American Airlines flight 11 and United Airlines flight 175. Bob, her husband is somewhere on the east cost this week and she remembers he never email her his flight itinerary. Linda tries his cell phone and it goes straight into his voice mail. She quickly calls his secretary, but since Bob booked this on expedia.
com and never shared it with her either, she has no idea where he is.
Calling expedia did not help either, after she spend 1 hour on hold, they were unable to help her because the privacy act they can’t give out information about their clients. If Bob had booked his flight with a travel agent, his wife would be informed after only 10 seconds of panic that her husband was in Boston and was heading to New York the next day.
Bob and Linda are my friends from San Francisco and it took her 5 hours to talk to her husband, because he was in meetings and was certain that he emailed her the copy of his itinerary.
According to Cnn. com approximately 260000 people are in the air at any given point. While booking online might be faster and more convenient then booking with a travel agent it is not always cheaper and when it gets complicated, travel agents knowledge and expertise is crucial to you, especially if are a frequent traveler.
Let me explain to you what extra services do travel agencies offer, the advantage of booking with a knowledgeable travel agent and how much it actually does cost you, the consumer.
Travel agent can arrange all types of domestic and international travel, hotel and resort reservations, ground transportation, car rental and tour packages. They can provide assistance with travel insurance, passport and visa applications. Services are tailored to meet business and vacations needs, personal interests and budget. They can also book meeting rooms, incentive and group travels, wedding packages, cruises, city tours. Some travel agencies only specialize in one destination, region or country, so they would be your best choice if traveling there.
I hope that you now understand what services do travel agents offer let me tell you why you should make use of their knowledge. If you travel to Australia in December what kind of clothes should you bring. Do you need visa? How long is needed to see Sydney and not to rush? These are the questions you could ask a travel agent and if they are any good they will give you extensive answer. Did you know you can’t chew gum in Singapore? You can’t even have it in your luggage because it is considered smuggling. According to bbc. o. uk they banned import and sales of chewing gum in 1992. In case you heard of a little country of Bosnia with Medjugorje , the great pilgrim city, and you want to travel there, I could be a great person to talk to. First of all cab does not cost $100 for 10 miles, because their median income is $300. But if they see you are an American and you don’t negotiate the fare before hand.. Good luck! You will pay $100. Travel agent will go the extra mile to help you and accommodate all your needs and requests.
They will also help by sharing their knowledge and expertise and probably save you some money and trouble. And when you are in trouble while there is blizzard in New York, volcano eruption in Iceland or earthquake in Tokyo, with your travel agent you are not alone. They will look for an alternative, change you ticket, fight the airlines, while if you booked through one of the webpage’s you are pretty much on your own. It all sounds very good, you are probably thinking but how much does this knowledge and expertise cost Well it all depends.
For domestic tickets travel agencies do charge ticketing fees and the costs vary. According to travel sense. org some travel agent charge flat fees and some charge percentage. Agency I work for charges $30 for tickets over $300 and $10 for everything under. Just remember, these are negotiable. Both travel agencies and travel web pages charge fees for changes as well, but while expedia. com or similar web pages charge their own processing fees along with airline fees travel agents usually don’t charge extra for exchanges, even though these are very time consuming.
While booking online might be faster and more convenient, it might not be cheaper and if it gets complicated the knowledge and expertise of your travel agent is crucial to you, especially if you are a frequent traveler. Traveling to new cities, countries and continents is great, but we have be aware of documents needed, costs, problems , religious and cultural customs of countries we are traveling to and who is better to ask about these then your travel agent. Make a new friend call your travel agent and save yourself some money and trouble.
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