Travel Agents

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WinterWonderlan... Posts : 658 Registered: 8/23/08
Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 15, 2009 3:50 AM

I have no previous experience with travel agents, but unless we decide to do a cruise for our honeymoon, I'm sure we'll be using one. My question is, how do travel agents get paid? Do they charge the customer, work on some type of compensation, etc? If they do charge us, is it like a percentage or something?

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 15, 2009 9:43 AM Go to message in response to: WinterWonderlan...

Most travel agents do NOT charge you. Unless it's like a nominal booking fee of like $35.

They get paid by the places theat they book you - they often have access to deals that you do not and they get paid booking you there.

I LOVED my travel agent. And I really recommend using one and getting travel insurance. We missed our connecting flight out of Miami, so as we raced to the airline counter, I called her and she started making calls for us. She confirmed that the flight we were placed on was the earliest one leaving, she called the place that was taking us to our hotel to let them know we were on a later flight, and she called our hotel to make sure they held our room.

Another couple in the same predictament, they had booked through expedia, they couldnt' get a hold of ANYONE at their hotel and they then had to worry the whole time on the flight.

Good luck!!

 

 

 

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 15, 2009 11:18 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

We used a travel agent for our honeymoon and I recommend it. And PharmTox is right--they get paid by the places that they book you with. But it's not like that swayed her toward recommending any one travel program or the other, which was nice, too. We were looking for a reasonably-priced trip to Belize, she offered us like 4 different options for Belize tour operators, and we chose.

We also bought trip interruption insurance and she was a big help with that, too, because we ended up having to file a claim (we missed our connecting flight b/c due to weather our first flight couldn't land for an extra hour). So we spent our first honeymoon night in Houston, not Belize as planned, and therefore missed an already-paid-for day of our hotel/tour package. Our agent helped move things along and made contact with the tour operator for us to obtain info when we started gathering cost info for our insurance claim.

BTW we had never used an agent before, either. We found ours by doing a search of www.asta.org, short for the American Society of Travel Agents. Maybe that'll help you find one? Good luck!

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 15, 2009 11:27 AM Go to message in response to: HappyGirl13

HappyGirl - If we had had to stay over in at Miami, we would have gotten it covered through the insurance. So I TOTALLY recommend getting the insurance.

 

 

 

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 15, 2009 11:58 AM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

Agree! We paid out about $150 for our insurance. For our claim we got $650 back. So it definitely paid off.

So I recommend the insurance, too. It's reasonable.

A money-saving tip: Depending on the cost of the trip, consider just insuring half the cost of it. That's what we did. We figured it was unlikely anything really drastic would happen (like the entire country going underwater, or one of us getting so sick we couldn't take the trip) and if it did, we were OK with losing half the cost of the trip. The gamble worked out for us.


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Edited by: HappyGirl13 on Mar 15, 2009 9:04 AM

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karebeartg Posts : 831 Registered: 6/25/08
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 15, 2009 1:16 PM Go to message in response to: HappyGirl13

I don't know much about how travel agents are paid... (even though I used one for my honeymoon recently) but I wanted to pipe in with excellent websites for finding a travel agent and trip insurance. (We got "cancel for any reason" insurance because it was only about $70 more and we figured that if something came up that we had to transfer, we probably wouldn't be in the mood to fight with the trip insurance company, so this would give us an easy out.)

We found our travel agent through www.tripology.com. Basically, you put in the basic details of what you want (location, budget, etc) and up to three "matched" travel agent give you a bid on what they had in mind and how much it would cost. All three who bid were certified by various reputable agencies, so we felt pretty safe using it. We LOVE our travel agent - she worked with us a LOT to figure out where exactly we wanted to go, where to stay and what we want to do. She was really good about setting up day trips, balanced with a couple days to go on our own. (And she's from Argentina, where we are going, which meant she was MUCH more knowledgable than anyone we had talked to around here).

We got our trip insurance through www.squaremouth.com. It lets you compare a TON of different companies so you can figure out exactly which package and price point works for you. If anything, they had SO much information that it was a touch overwhelming to narrow it down. But, I'd rather have too much information than not enough.

For travel insurance, we

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SweetSunset Posts : 159 Registered: 1/15/09
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 20, 2009 6:00 PM Go to message in response to: WinterWonderlan...

This is my first time working with a travel agent too and I had a question. Can you negotiate with a travel agent? I understand that they don't get paid by us but from the hotels they are booking us with. I'm just wondering if you could fanagle the price down...

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 21, 2009 9:32 PM Go to message in response to: SweetSunset

Dear SS,

The travel agent is your best advocate for negotiating the prices with travel providers (hotel, cruise, etc). A good travel agent should be able to get you the best price, thus any commission or fee you pay the agent is money well spent.

Remember, that not all travel providers pay commissions. Cruises do; you should not pay a fee to book a cruise. Airlines do not. That's why TAs have to charge for booking airline tickets unless you are also booking something that does pay.

The TA should be properly compensated for their time. However, in return they should give you top notch service and good prices on travel providers.

Personally, I use a TA when the trip is "complex". If I'm just getting a round trip air ticket between Boston and Los Angeles, I use the airline website.

But, if there are hotels, cars, and "weird" connections involved, I'd just as soon turn it over to a travel agent. I would definitely use a TA for a honeymoon.

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 21, 2009 10:54 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

AOTB - Absolutely!! I'm all good with arranging most of my own travel, but for the honeymoon we wanted to be sure.

Also, my job uses a travel agent. So when we have problems traveling for work then we can call them to help us out.

I think that's the big thing for me. That when you miss a connection or something gets canceled then you have an advocate.

 

 

 

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kateo Posts : 18 Registered: 3/30/09
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Mar 30, 2009 5:28 PM Go to message in response to: PharmToxGirl

We loved our travel agent too!! A good travel agent pushes you to try things you wouldn't have the guts to do on your own.. We originaly wanted Sandals for a wedding, but she encouraged us to go for something a bit different and more adventurous - which is totally more us anyway! Who wants to get married on the beach, knowing someone else will be in your spot in a few hours... where's the romance in that! You can also have a 'luxury' experience which is much more personal and original if you look a little further afield for the same price... That's where a good travel agent comes in - get them, to do the work for you!! Our travel agent guaranteed the price would be the same OR LESS than if we booked it direct and it was... they have access to some great deals and can negotiate with the hotels for you... Hilary specializes in Caribbean, Central, South America.. and Europe (she's a Brit) - call her and chat through your ideas: http://www.luxury-honeymoons.com - the numbers on there somewhere! Good luck!

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Stevo Posts : 2 Registered: 4/11/09
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Apr 11, 2009 5:34 PM Go to message in response to: WinterWonderlan...

We are going to a wedding in October and the bride and groom have a honeymoon registry. This is a great way to have your guest contribute to your trip. The website we went on is www.InglesTravel.com to help pay for the honeymoon. They also have live travel agents to answer any questions.

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elitegrp Posts : 1,048 Registered: 9/12/06
Re: Travel Agents
Posted: Apr 16, 2009 4:49 PM Go to message in response to: WinterWonderlan...

Hi all,

I Tammy from Elite Travel.. one of the countries leading agencies on destination weddings and honeymoons. We do not charge any fees.. and you should not go with an agency that charges fees.. we make our money from Hotels that we book. Its not that you cannot book online for your honeymoon or destination wedding.. it is not advised. You should always find an agency that is willing and able to price match anything you find online. The main reason you do want to book with an agency is this is not a normal trip.. you are not just going away for a weekend and you should have someone be accountable for your trip. If you had a problem or an issue.. you dont want either one of you to be blamed because you booked in online and you have no one to help you. Find an agency with alot of expertise in both honeymoons and destination weddings especially.. You cannot mess up this day! Please feel free to ask me any questions.
Thanks

 

Cool Have a great day! and Congrats to you

 

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