With the popularity of online travel websites rising over the past decade, many travellers are forgetting that booking through a travel agency can bring you many unique booking benefits. Here we’ve listed a few things that a travel agent can do for you that not everyone realizes:
1. We can help you use your frequent flyer points
Booking your own complex flight itineraries with a credit card can be hard enough, but trying to negotiate the rules and intricacies of different frequent flyer programs can turn even the calmest people into raving lunatics within minutes. Many customers who book flights themselves end up booking in the wrong class and then find out that they can’t upgrade with points. Good agents will help you use your caches of points and make sure you get the best value as well.
2. We can change your hotel bookings without fees
Travel Agents generally book hotels through wholesaler groups. One of the benefits of doing it this way is being able to change your reservations without penalty. As long as we’re given plenty of notice (normally 1-7 days) we can swap you to a different hotel, change your dates or even defer the credit to a completely different trip – without charge.
3. We can tailor-make your own special group tour
If our clients have a large family, group of friends or simply don’t want to travel with strangers then we can arrange a personalized tour to fit their needs. We’ll work with experienced, legitimate tour operators to create a trip just for you. Just give us a budget and we’ll do the rest!
4. We can book fares that aren’t available online
Even the most experienced “flight hackers” know they need to use a Travel Agent to book a lot of great fares. You’ll be surprised to hear about a few famous fares out there that are actually too confusing for computers to handle – they require a human to book them in. For example, there are fares that offer unlimited stopovers in a multitude of airports for the same price as a simple one-way. If you’ve got time to spare and want to tick off a few new cities, ask us.
5. We can obtain waivers and favours
Dozens of passengers turn up to the airport every day with tickets booked under incorrect names. Check in staff will generally not care too much as they have 300 people behind you to check in, so you’ll be tossed to the side and left to your own devices. Booked online? There’s not much you can do. Booked with an Agent? Call us, we’ll pick up the phone and get it sorted – 95% of the time.
6. We can hold your booking
Do you need a day or two to get your money together? No worries – leave a small deposit and we’ll guarantee your fare for a few days. Every ticket obviously has its own set of rules, but we can usually hold your seat for up to a week. Just ask.
7. We accept credit card points as payment
If you’ve got 200K credit card points up your sleeve then you might want to think about using them. Most banks will try and steer you towards using their own in-house travel agencies – but would you trust a bank to book your holiday? Also, the value is usually terrible. Check if you can cash your points in for Westfield vouchers, as most major agencies will have branches there – or you may be able to obtain vouchers directly for your favourite agency.
Article originally published on Karry On here