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16

In the UK, one major thing you lose by not using a travel agent is ATOL protection. This may not be relevant if you're not booking hotels though the agent (did you recieve an ATOL certificate?). But if you do and the airline goes bust while you're away ATOL will: ...make sure you can finish your trip and return home. If your holiday is booked but you ...


14

I can't list all possible things you might lose by not booking through travel agents, but I know one or two for sure, in regards to cheaper prices. Airlines do sell seats in bulks, same as in manufacturers sell goods in bulk, these bulk seats will be cheaper and customers to these bulk seats are travel agents. This type of seats are called consolidated ...


14

If a travel agent or someone in an allied industry needs a copy of your passport, you can always send an image with redacted information. This is an example from the Home Office site... As can be seen, information which is exempt is blotted out (blue rectangles). It shows, yes, you are a British citizen; yes, you have a current passport, and yes, it was ...


12

The Internet was a game changer in many businesses and the travel agency world is no exception. Nowadays people can easily (this is arguable) find the cheapest price in a quick search; therefore, agencies need to present the best price to be able to sell since that's a key factor. How can they do this? (These are assumptions based on general commercial ...


8

It happens in quite a few countries, even in the USA. It depends on the card processing bank that the merchant is using. Some request that the merchant document validity of the card in "card not present" transactions. You find it most when a charge is done manually, such as sending your card details to a Travel Company or hotel and then they process the ...


7

The biggest difference between doing it yourself on an airline's website and going through through a travel agent is less flexibility. The travel agent's reservation system shows them how many seats in each fare class, allowing them to build your booking flight by flight. The airline system uses algorithms that cover many possibilities, but not all. So an ...


5

I will give you some practical reasons: Book now, pay later - this option is universally available at agents; very rarely available at the website. I use this all the time when I need to show a reservation (for example, as part of visa requirements) but do not want to commit to buying a ticket. Corporate accounts - a majority of agent's business is ...


4

No experience specifically with the UK, but in general, commissions paid to travel agents are both low and fixed, which makes negotiating a bit pointless. For example, if they sell you a $1000 flight ticket, they might get 2% ($20) as commission. Even if you manage to cut that in half through negotiation, they lose half their incentive, and you only save ...


4

Kayak Explore does just this: http://www.kayak.com/explore/


3

Booking with a single airline puts the onus on them if a leg is delayed so long that you miss a connection. If you book a journey on multiple airlines (eg to China and then within China can easily make a change of carriers a good choice) then if you make the bookings yourself separately you may not be covered for a missed leg in the case of a delay. Subject ...


3

Some travel agents have negotiated fares with airlines, which means that they get specific prices at which they sell the tickets, these prices can be much lower than the prices online. As for your questions as to how flight agents make profit - there are two common ways. Firstly the airline gives flight agents commission on the tickets you sell, which is ...


3

Having consulted for a few travel agencies, here is some insight: The bigger the agency, the more discounts they get on tickets. This means that the more the agency is popular, the more the airlines are willing to give them a rate because they sell out their allocation. Some agencies reserve (block) slots in advance which gives them a discounted price. ...


3

The short answer - Not really. Good perks come with sales. Travel agents qualify for discounts on a number of items, like flights, cruises, hotels. But these discounts are usually applied to full fares or rack rates, so with the discount their cost is often the same as the discounted internet rate you and I get. The only difference is with their discount ...


2

My wife and I visited Hanoi, Sapa and Halong Bay last year and used a travel agent (and house/room rental B&B) through AirBnB. It was the many positive reviews, pictures on Facebook, etc., that provided confidence.


2

From personal experience (I lived in Vietnam for 2 years and travelled extensively) I would say avoid the Vietnamese run tour companies like the plague....The good local ones are few and far between... Your best bet is to either plan to travel independently, and when you want to go to somewhere like Ha Long Bay, organize the trip either through the ...


2

Unless the online agency's card processor prohibits them from accepting credit cards from outside Sweden, there should be no issue with using your card. These days most online businesses accept cards from around the world, but occasionally you find a business with restrictions. As to the fee, you need to contact your bank or card issuer and ask what their ...


2

One thing that I get from a travel agent that I have yet to find from an airline website is ticket reservation without paying for it. In other words, I want to hold a seat for me now, because I might be traveling on future date X; lets say its four days from now. If tomorrow I decide to cancel my trip, I can cancel and then do the refund process through ...


2

A few years ago (online) travel agents would pretty much always offer lower price than the airline on its website (e.g. British Airways). At some point it seemed to change though, and now many airlines (including BA), but by no chance all, make sure that their online prices are not worse than the agents. I am not sure what is American Airline's approach. ...


2

Just to post a followup. After a lot of emailing back and forth (with some totally unacceptable language being used on their part), the travel agent said they had been trying to make contact with Delta to resolve the matter and were unable to do so but they would honor the tickets on their end. Happy days.


1

For the most part there are no legalities that prohibit it. Perhaps some totalitarian countries might restrict their people's air travel buying ability visa the internet (thinking North Korea), but developed nations do not. Our tour company's primary air ticketing partner is based in the USA, but our clients come from all over the globe. They have arranged ...


1

I had good experiences with Vietnamese run tour companies, by: Checking for recommendations both in guidebooks and recent online reviews. Both because online reviews can be faked, businesses that were reputable 4 years ago can be taken over, but it's very difficult to turn a formerly-reputable business into a rip-off tourist trap without incurring the ...


1

Flight booking websites tend to push connecting flights via hub, even if there are also multiple direct flights between your airports. For instance, check your favorite website trying to book a return flight between Zurich and Frankfurt. At least five direct flights daily are offered by Lufthansa alone, in both directions. However many booking sites will ...


1

My answer is short and simple: when I tried to buy a ticket for my forthcoming flight on date X/Y/Z (other dates was less convenient) there was already no tickets by airline. However one of travel agents have one remaining ticket (with almost the same price). So sometimes travel agents can give you more possibilities.



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