Do travel agents get the best deals

Do travel agents get the best deals

Do travel agents get the best deals

We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies as per our policy which also explains how to change your preferences. Travel agents are closing branches as more people head online to book their holidays. However, our research has found that visiting a high street travel agent can be just as cheap. So, should we turn to them more often?

How a Travel Agent Works

With so many websites offering discount holiday bookings, do you even need a travel agent? We compared travel agents to DIY travel bookings to see which option saved the most money and uncovered the best holiday deals. To do this we set up three hypothetical trips to one of the most popular holiday destinations for Australians — Bali.

Apart from our own verdict , we also checked in with the online booking sites , travel agents and our Facebook community to get their take on the issue. Flying somewhere? We test 15 cabin rollers in our carry-on luggage reviews. The agent asked for a rough overall budget, as well as any specific hotels they d seen or an area they d like to stay in.

The mystery shopper mentioned they liked the Ayana Resort and Spa, but was open to other options in Nusa Dua, an area of Bali well-known for its luxury resorts. The travel agent responded within a few hours with a package below budget. We then looked at reserving the deluxe ocean view room on the same dates at Ayana on its own site and on booking. Our mystery shopper emailed the hotel to find out how much breakfast would cost in addition to the room rate.

Using booking. The travel agent responded the same day to the request and within a few hours had a package deal to stay at Ayana. When the mystery shopper booked themselves, it meant trawling a few different booking websites, emailing the resort directly to get a quote for breakfast and following up to clarify tax rates then booking the flights separately.

But while it was more time-efficient to book through a travel agent, our mystery shopper was able to get a much better deal doing it themselves. Our mystery shopper requested adventure activities and the chance to meet other solo travellers. The package included a nine-day tour around Bali with accommodation, all breakfasts and a couple of other meals, plus organised activities including snorkelling, hiking and visiting traditional Balinese temples.

Booking the same holiday DIY online was straightforward. The family was seeking a family-friendly resort that had child-minding or kids club facilities. The agent then promptly emailed an itinerary, which came in under budget. She provided a quote for the Westin, including breakfast, and the Novotel, without breakfast, both with late checkout. She also quoted return flights with Jetstar with 20kg checked baggage per person, return airport transfers and travel insurance.

When we tried to book the same room a premium double directly through the resort s website, we weren t able to — the room type appeared unavailable for the entire month we were shopping. Sensing something was amiss, our mystery shopper rang the hotel directly. She couldn t explain why our shopper hadn t been able to book the rooms online, chalking it up to a technical problem.

Transfers booked directly through the hotel were also cheaper, while the Jetstar flights were slightly more expensive. Booking holidays DIY worked out cheaper in each of our three scenarios, but it s hard to say whether DIY will always be the way to go. If you re happy to do the research yourself, you can always take the prices you ve found online to a travel agent and ask them to match or beat them. So choosing between a travel agent or DIY may just come down to your appetite for research and need for control.

Overall, booking through a travel agent can potentially save hours of research. We found there were so many accommodation options in Bali it was hard to know where to begin. Each travel agent catered to our specific requests, they responded quickly, and were attentive, friendly and personable. The agents also asked specific questions, which helped with decision-making.

On the other hand, researching and booking your own holiday gives you the flexibility to browse lots of options at your own leisure. You re in control instead of needing to trust someone else, and you don t have to deal with two sets of terms and conditions the travel agent s plus the airline or hotel s policy. Booking websites often have customer reviews on hotels and packages instead of having to rely on an agent s opinion. However, if you use an agent you can always check customer reviews online for the options your agent has put forward.

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents says booking with an accredited travel agent has many benefits including:. In the Australian travel industry became deregulated as the Travel Compensation Fund TCF was abolished, backed by industry and government. The TFC had ensured consumers were compensated when travel agents went broke, but under new rules travel agents no longer have to be licensed.

It means you could be left stranded and out of pocket if a travel agent goes bust. Skip to content Skip to footer navigation. Top of the content. JavaScript is disabled. Travel agent vs do it yourself bookings With so many websites offering discount holiday bookings, do you even need a travel agent? By Zoya Sheftalovich.

Call or click? Last updated: Scenario 1: Travel agent The agent asked for a rough overall budget, as well as any specific hotels they d seen or an area they d like to stay in. Scenario 2: Scenario 3: Family holiday 9 nights at Westin Resort Bali including buffet breakfast, flights and transfers. Travel agent The travel agent called our mystery shopper back quickly, asking a series of questions about their needs.

She recommended the Westin Resort Nusa Dua, which she said she d been to personally and believed would be a good choice because of its kid-friendly facilities, and suggested the Novotel Bali Nusa Dua as an alternative. What the travel agents say The Australian Federation of Travel Agents says booking with an accredited travel agent has many benefits including: Professional and personal travel specialists. A professional travel agent is trained to make your entire experience — from start to end — hassle free.

They also tailor the itinerary to suit specific requests and find packages and products that suit your unique wants and needs. Customer advocacy. If you experience a problem while travelling, your agent will act on your behalf, and is there to rectify any travel-related issues you encounter. Expert guidance. Agents are trained destination and product experts and know how to sort through the myriad of travel information available.

Their knowledge and network means they also have access to the best deals. Time saving. Travel agents are a one-stop shop that can handle every aspect of your travel — from booking airline tickets, ground transfers, tours and activities to arranging travel insurance. A personal touch. A travel agent will ensure the accuracy of your booking details, advise with visa applications, assist with travel documentation, and provide valuable travel hints and tips.

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Get away! Travel agents can be just as cheap as online deals

Sorry if this is a dumb question or if it has been asked before I couldn t find anything using the search function. I m just wondering how a travel agency is able to provide flights at a cheaper price than the airline itself. How do they make any money or stay in business if that s the case? Mind you, I always book direct with the airline because I find that they usually are the cheapest option the few times I ve considered using a travel agent they couldn t provide me with a better deal If airlines have interline agreements with each other including fierce rivals you can get multi-carrier or interline tickets that airlines won t sell on their own websites, or they can t match multi-carrier fares with their own code shares.

The Texan native moved to London six years ago and swiftly built a reputation among his friends for always finding the cheapest fares.

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How Travel Agents Get Paid

Please refresh the page and retry. But are customers really getting a fair fare? Here, Telegraph writer Harry Wallop, who presents the programme, reveals not just some of the tricks Flight Centre allegedly has used, but other ploys that might trip up customers when booking a holiday. The travel agency business model works by the travel agent obtaining discounts from the airlines - because they buy so many flights. The travel agent then sells the flights to consumers with an added fee to cover its own costs. At the end of the day, the customer should get a similar price compared with booking directly with the airline, or quite often a better price. The airline can afford to make slim profits on air fares and bolster profits by selling extras such as insurance or car hire, for instance.

Five myths about travel agents

When my wife and I planned our honeymoon roughly seven years ago, we went to a travel agent in Newton, Mass. We wanted to travel to Paris, Nice, and Barcelona over a day span, wanted to stay in hotels in each location, and wanted to travel by train between cities. We left his office, and began searching travel sites for hotel recommendations and airfare comparison sites for flights. We also ended up booking first-class rail travel from Paris to Nice to Barcelona. But did we sell travel agents short? Is there ever an upside to using a travel agent over an online source? Naturally, the travel agents think so. According to the ASTA study, almost two-thirds of travel-agent users said using one makes the overall trip experience better.

A Clever Secret to Getting a Cheaper Airfare

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser. Basically, travel agents have access to special deals and software that the public don t. They can build an airfare by piecing together flights from different airlines to create one ticket. By submitting your email you are agreeing to Fairfax Media s terms and conditions and privacy policy. You ll be on hold for hours. Nobody wants to answer your questions.

The top 5 online travel agents for the best holiday deals

With so many websites offering discount holiday bookings, do you even need a travel agent? We compared travel agents to DIY travel bookings to see which option saved the most money and uncovered the best holiday deals. To do this we set up three hypothetical trips to one of the most popular holiday destinations for Australians — Bali. Apart from our own verdict , we also checked in with the online booking sites , travel agents and our Facebook community to get their take on the issue. Flying somewhere? We test 15 cabin rollers in our carry-on luggage reviews. The agent asked for a rough overall budget, as well as any specific hotels they d seen or an area they d like to stay in. The mystery shopper mentioned they liked the Ayana Resort and Spa, but was open to other options in Nusa Dua, an area of Bali well-known for its luxury resorts.

Travel agents versus Skyscanner: Why you should you be using a travel agent instead of the internet

After all, you can search for travel pricing directly with airlines and hotels, or with discount travel sites like Expedia and Priceline. You can even plug your travel details into a site like Kayak. With that in mind, you may be wondering why anyone would use a travel agent these days. Travel agents say that using their services can help you plan a better trip while also saving you more cash than you can save on your own. Travel agent Lisa Davis of DFS Travel says that she is often able to find group space to book clients into for cruises, along with special fares that may not be available to the public. They may also be notified upfront about upcoming deals. The same can be said for hotels and other lodging options as well since travel agents often have contracted room rates with hotels, resorts, and cruise lines. Brunvoll says that she helped a client save significant sums on both airfare and a European cruise earlier this year. According to the American Society of Travel Agents ASTA , travel agents are trained on how to anticipate delays and travel snafus as well as how to handle them. This often meanings helping you plan for cancelled or delayed flights, even if that means leveraging their own contacts to assist you in the re-booking process.

When people find out what I do for a living, weird things often happen Some will tilt their heads to one side and ask "Do Travel Agents still exist?

Should You Use a Travel Agent or Book Online?

Back before the Internet, when people wanted to plan a vacation, most used a travel agent. These lovely folks would book your flights, cruises, resort stays, honeymoons, and everything in between. All those sites have made it easy for us travelers to cut out the travel agent and plan our own trips by booking directly with airlines and hotels or, nowadays, with locals — thanks, Airbnb, Vayable, and EatWith! There are also so many deal websites out there helping us find cheap airfares and hotel rates — and travel blogs telling us what to see and do — that it makes little sense for your average consumer to go to a travel agent anymore. Ryan concurs: And there is complete transparency. You can bargain-shop with a click of your mouse. In fact, they have seen a surge in demand in recent years millennials are the fastest growing segment using them. Patricia Serrano from Fresh Traveler reinforced that point: Travel agents offer them peace of mind. Alicia Saba from The Splendid Traveler echoes this: The Internet has made it easier to book your own travels, but with that comes informational overload. Agents come in handy when buying in bulk, because they often have access to deals this applies to airline tickets too.

But travel agents, believe it or not, have access to information unavailable to you to get better deals. They obtain much of their information from the same sources as the booking sites we use. Additionally, they receive daily deals via e-mails and faxes that cannot always be found on the Internet. Travel agents also can make phone calls and have direct communication with resorts and hotels to bargain for better deals. Find more tips on traveling smarter. Not at all!

Gone are the days of popping down to your high street travel agent to find out how much that summer holiday will cost you. Keep your hard earned holiday money safe by following this guide to the best travel booking websites and online travel agents. This all-encompassing online travel agent has been a trusted booking service since , and with over 18, reviews its Trustpilot score is excellent. You can book flights, hotels, packages, theatre trips, experiences and Eurostar journeys through Lastminute. The holiday search results are the most sophisticated of all the online travel agents in this list. Hotels are highlighted on the map as you hover over them in the middle section, meaning you can easily find the right location for your trip. Plus, as you navigate the map, the hotel results update to show only the properties you can see in that area. Top tip: Why we rate it: You can filter results based on your outbound flight or your inbound, which means you can opt to go direct one way and have a layover on the way back or vice versa. Opodo also offer shuttle and transfer booking between hotels and the airport. Part of the same group as Opodo — and using extremely similar search functions and results — eDreams sells the basic package: The website is simple to use and when searching for flights it highlights the smartest choice, based on value for money, the airports in each destination, baggage and number of stops. It also highlights the cheapest, fastest and those with checked baggage included.

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Comments: 2
  1. Fesar

    What good luck!

  2. Malazuru

    In it something is also to me it seems it is very good idea. Completely with you I will agree.

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