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73

There are several reasons why such internal policies exist: Your institution may get a discount on certain services of the travel agent if it buys enough from the agent By having a contract with a reasonably-priced travel agent, they make sure that no employee books the flight with a very pricey agent or with a travel agent that happens to be a relative of ...


17

All the answers so far seem to miss an important point: Your university might be legally required to do that. Specifically, above a certain amount of money, in many countries, public sectors organisations have to go through a specific procedure (call for tenders) to procure goods and services.


13

Something not mentioned so far is the fact that the ticket booked through the travel agent may be refundable, where the ticket from the online vendor is most likely not refundable. A number of years ago when I traveled on behalf of a government agency this was the case. We often booked flights that were one or two hundred dollars more than the cheapest price ...


11

On top of the other answer by DCTLIB... You haven't specified where you are and where is 'your' company, but there might be tax or financial book-keeping reasons. E.g. if the company is in EU they might require a proper VAT invoice to properly book it (and maybe get a VAT refund). And some vendors, especially in US, are unlikely to provide that. Using a ...


7

Another reason - they think the time you would be spending looking for cheap flights is worth more than the price difference.


3

Large travel agents have 24/7 assistance numbers. If you end up stranded at 2am on Sunday, they can get you rebooked, find a hotel room, etc. Most organizations are simply unable or unwilling to provide that support. OTA's (online travel agents) such as Expedia and Travelocity are notoriously bad at pointing a finger at the airline or hotel, while the ...


2

At many universities this is recommended but it is rarely a requirement, for the reasons listed in the other answers. However, there are downsides to booking via a travel agency, e.g. if you need to rebook the flight back while you are at the conference. You then need to contact your travel agency to do that for you, and they may ask that you make a payment ...


1

IF in UK, something called ATOL protects all purchased tickets. IF in a backward place like the usa; One suspects that, in the case of 'a problem', they know which building to burn down and who gets a visit from 'BigVinnie' and the 'boys'. Additionally, someone's brother-in-law is probably involved somewhere...



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