The internet has given us the ability to take care of a wide range of consumer transactions online. We can bank, shop, and even make dinner reservations all from the comfort of our own home. So If I wanted to book a vacation, why would I get out of my pyjamas and over to a travel agency when I can book online with the click of a mouse? Well, it turns out that there are a number of great reasons for using the services of a travel agent.
You get advice
Planning a trip can get complicated, especially if you are travelling to a foreign country. You have to think about flights, accommodation, and methods of transportation in addition to ensuring you have all the proper documentation required for your trip. Although much research can be done on the internet, nothing beats the knowledge an experienced travel agent can provide. Often websites can be misleading by using amazing pictures or reviews to draw travellers in. There is nothing worse than arriving at a destination only to be disappointed that the beautiful sights are not what you expected. Travel agents can give you ideas about where to go, what to do, where to eat, and how to get around. They can tailor your trip according to your needs and wants while keeping your budget in mind. And if they have been to that location themselves, they can share their personal experiences with you.
It saves you time
Let’s face it, planning a trip takes time. This is especially true if you are planning a long trip with multiple destinations or are travelling with companions. Everyone has different ideas of what a holiday should be and catering to everyone’s needs is a job all on its own! Having a travel agent do all the research that suits everyone’s requests makes things much easier. The only thing you’ll have to focus on is whether you want to relax on the beach, or by the pool.
You get the scoop on great deals
One of the main reasons people purchase travel online is because they believe it’s cheaper. This isn’t necessarily so. Travel agents are always looking for seat sales or deals for last minute cruises. Many agents also work with specific airlines or travel wholesalers to make sure their prices are competitive within the industry. You also don’t need to worry about the possibility of having hidden taxes or fees sprung up on you.
Someone to call in an emergency & added consumer protection
If something happens during your trip (maybe the hotel doesn’t have your room?), it’s great to have someone you can call to help you out with your travel arrangements. Ask your travel agent if you can call them in an emergency. You may be surprised at how much they can assist you. Also, booking with a BC licensed travel agency means you have added protection of the Travel Assurance Fund (TAF). If you don’t get the travel services you paid for, you may be eligible to claim against the TAF. All travel agencies in British Columbia must be licensed with Consumer Protection BC. You can find a licensed BC travel agent on our website. There is a lot to know about the TAF, visit the consumer help section of our website.
Do you have any success stories you would like to share about using a licensed travel agency? Let us know all about it in comments below!
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13 thoughts on “The benefits of booking with a travel agent”
Thanks for finally talking about >The Benefits of Booking With a Travel Agent
Though not every trip requires the guidance of a travel professional, your two week European excursion to numerous cities using multiple forms of transportation will run much more smoothly with the knowledge and support of a travel agent
If you’re making plans for a holiday then you really need the tour agents or agency. So it will be easy for all the arrangements. Like, Travel dealers have gotten an entry to tor a diffusion of discounts, special charges, insider facts and travel gives that assist them offer the best levels of professional advice for their clients.
Hi Elizabeth, thank you for taking the time to comment on our blog post! You’re absolutely right – it’s always a good idea to book with a licensed travel agent in BC when making travel plans and thank you for offering a link to the blog. However, due to our posting policy we are unable to promote one business over another. As such, and in the spirit of fairness, I had to remove the link. I hope you can understand our reasons for doing so and I sincerely hope we hear from you again in our comments section 🙂
I thought booking with a travel agent was the right thing to do in order to make sure I receive what I am supposed to receive. Unfortunately we paid for a cruise on a new boat where the room was to be about 320 sqft but we got on the boat it was 125 sqft for four of us to stay in. It was not necessarily the Travel agents fault as it was a new boat the the cruise line gave her the wrong information. When I contacted the Travel Agent from the boat to find out what can be done she said to go speak with customer service. After spending over 6 hours we got nowhere and had to deal with it when we got back onto land. We paid a great deal of money more that we should have for what we received anticipating someone would come good for it. My wife and I have over 15 hours of dealing with this issue where we thought that is why we used a Travel agent so if something went wrong they can make it better. Well below is the email I received from our agent and I took names etc out as I am not out to bad mouth anyone but to understand why I should I use an agent and we should receive a credit back. The Cruise line is offering a 40% discount off another cruise but we do not want to spend money to get money back and we already paid for something we never received and want a credit back on our credit card for a portion of the trip as to what the difference was. Sorry my experience was not good. Any input on how I should handle this as I believe the Agent should take some responsibility and when I spoke to the customer service agent with the cruise line he mistakenly told me that he told the Travel Agent that our room was different than what we were supposed to get but she did not tell us anything about this.
This is what the agent sent me;
I trust you are doing well. This email is to clarify my role as a Travel Agent.
All negotiations and communications are between you and XX Cruises. Mr XX is the Customer Service Manager of XX and with whom you should be communicating.
I am acting on your behalf to help relay your wishes only. I do not hold any power or influence as to the outcome of your issue, nor do I have any influence with XX Cruises.
As a travel agent, my role is to book travel for you. I earn a commission from XX for the act of the sale.
I do not Provide the Product. That is XX Cruises. Your issue is with the product, XX Cruises.
Please consider his offer as I believe 40% off XX Club class is generous. I do know that Mr XX has gone to the VP of XXCruises to discuss your issue.
I have spent many hours on your behalf trying to convey your wishes, but as I mentioned, ultimately, it is XX who has the final say and with whom you have your issues.
I have no power or authority over XX Cruises.
I have taken this as far as I can with XX Cruises. Please correspond with Mr XXdirectly.
I have asked Mr XX to keep me informed as to what transpires.
I was happy to see that Mr XX apologized as to the handling of your situation.
I have been in the travel industry for 30 years and never have I had this experience. I do wish for a compromised settlement for you with XX Cruises.
Hi there, Rick. Thank you for your questions and for taking the time to explain your situation. Unfortunately, we don’t have any authority over quality of service issues. If you aren’t happy with the travel services you bought, your best bet is to try and work it out with your travel agent (which it sounds like you are trying your best to do). If you are unable to do so and wish to pursue the issue, you might want to consider looking into court, or speaking to a lawyer. We have written a blog post with some helpful links for what to do when you experience a quality of service issue (an affordable lawyer service, links to the Civil Resolution Tribunal): https://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/2017/11/quality-service-issue-can/. I hope this is helpful to you and best of luck!
I am sorry you had a bad experience. One has to cover oneself too, by reading your invoice, knowing what category you are booked into. Reiterate the info with the agent before getting off the phone. I find dealing with an agent in person is so much better. A lot can be lost over the phone.
So does this means if one books with a Wholesaler themselves, i.e a cruise line, then one is not covered. I thought Wholesalers paid into the fund also, so that we would be covered dealing with them?
Hi Chris, yes – travel wholesalers in BC also have to contribute to the Travel Assurance Fund (TAF). You can check to see if your travel wholesaler is licensed with us on this page by searching. If your travel arrangements didn’t happen, you can always submit a claim using an online form on our website here. Please let us know if you have any other questions!
I’ll need some help planning my family’s next trip. As you mentioned here, it would be a good idea to go with a travel agent. I like how we’d be able to bag on the good deals where other people wouldn’t be able to. I’m all for saving money so my mind is already made up for the most part.
Hi Callum! That’s great to hear. I hope you have a wonderful trip with your family!
This is a late post, but I found the travel assurance fund promises a joke. I was in Hawaii after 911 many years ago and had booked with a travel agent in BC and my airline went bankrupt (Canada 3000). Supposedly, the travel assurance fund was to help us as we desperately rebooked with Air Canada paying a high rate to return to Vancouver. The travel agent did zero, the application to the fund netted zero, and despite all the news coverage saying everyone was looked after, nothing was ever done, except Mastercard (after months of communications) gave me a paltry $300 for a portion of services not received.
So, booking with a travel agent and the travel assurance fund etc. were all empty promises.
The worst part was not the lack of any help……it was reading in the news that everyone was getting help. That was just people spinning a story to make themselves look good.
My last trip was with a travel agent, but I assume I am on my own if anything goes wrong.
Sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience. That sounded frustrating! The Travel Assurance Fund has specific criteria and is assessed on the case-by-case basis. We suggest only using it as a last resort once you have obtained proof that other options like approaching a travel agency or a credit card provider could not resolve the situation. Not the answer I imagine you were looking for, but I hope this helps.