The dawn of the Internet Age was like a shot of pure adrenalin for people with do-it-yourself tendencies. As a result, the decline of all sorts of industries was predicted, including travel agencies. Sites like Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia seemed to have travel professionals on the ropes for a while. Ultimately though, it turned out travellers want a whole lot more than cheap fares and accommodations.
And so, here are five reasons travel agencies are still relevant.
Agents Get Deals and Perks
While a point and click reservation at one of the travel sites might get you a great price, you’ll be hard-pressed to get perks like insider tours of non-touristy places, special airport transfers and specific hotel rooms on specific floors. You need an agent with connections to get these hook-ups. And, you won’t pay any more to get them than you do on those “discount” travel sites.
You’ll Pay the Same—for Better Treatment
Agents have relationships at hotels, resorts, cruise lines and with carriers they can leverage to get you better situated for the same,—or sometimes even less— money. While you’ll take a run of house room from a site, an agent will get you exactly what you want.
Travel Agents Know What’s Going on in the World
A good travel agent will ask if you’re sure you want to go to that remote country where 15 of your fellow citizens were just kidnapped. What, you didn’t hear about it on the news? Some things don’t get reported because it’s in the national interest to keep it quiet. But travel agents stay abreast of conditions all over the world, because it’s their job to do so. Plus, they have skin in the game like business insurance for travel agents to make sure they can operate at the peak of their prowess. If you want to have a safe and worry-free trip, you’re much better off booking with a living, breathing agent. Rolling the dice could land you right in the middle of an Ebola epidemic.
The Convenience Factor
OK, so you’ve got a multiple destination trip with a mixed bag of transfers including trains, taxis, boats and who knows what else. You need three different airlines. And, you don’t want a 16-hour layover to get to a place you could get to in four if you had a ride waiting. Yes, this is a real thing and an experienced travel agent can nail it all together on a single cup of Starbucks.
Agents Have Pull
I’m running a hotel. You booked a room in my place on a discount website at a loss-leader price. My assistant tells me you’re holding on the phone with a complaint about your room. Meanwhile, Frankie the travel agent, who sends me business month-in and month-out, is on the other line with a concern about a client’s room too. Care to guess whose call I’m going to take first?
When it comes to convenience, special treatment and your personal safety, travel agents are unrivaled. And, these are just a few of the many reasons travel agents are still relevant.
That they can accomplish all of this and still save you money?
Well that’s the best reason of all.