Why You Should Know A Good Travel Agentby David
Do you know a travel agent by their first name? If you don't, let me give you 6 good reasons why you should.
Good travel agents are worth more than you can imagine. The last several years have been very
difficult times for travel agencies. From September 12, 2001 to December 31st, 2001, 40% of the travel agencies in
America closed their doors. Went out of business. The 9/11 tragedy nearly collapsed the travel industry in America.
A few years previous to that, we had come under intense fire for charging service fees to our clients. It seems some people failed to recognize ther value a travel agent offers.
Let me ask you, if your accountant saves you thousands of dollars from the IRS, would you consider the few hundred dollars you paid him a wise investment? Of course you would, who wouldn't?
So why wouldn't you mind paying an agent a $20 or $30 service fee when he or she can consistantly save you time and money. And not only that, they have YOUR best interests at heart all the time.
The airlines have had an agenda to rid the world of travel agents. They consider the commission
they paid us to "represent" them as agents as lost revenue. Starting in February of 1995, they cut and capped our
commissions by about 80%, driving large numbers of agencies out of business. In March of 2002, they finally drove
the last nail in the coffin and stopped paying commissions to travel agencies altogether.
The culprits were the US airlines, Delta, American and United leading the way, the other major
carriers following. Southwest Airline was the the most pro-agent of all the US carriers. They were the last airline
to stop paying agencies a commission for each airline ticket sold. They finally stopped in 2004.
When you call an travel agent, you are getting the closest you can to an unbiased opinion regarding your travel plan. If you call Delta Airlines, do you think they can give you, or will give you their competition's rates? Of course not. It would be like going to a Ford dealership and asking for a Chevrolet price. They just don't have that information in their computer system.
A travel agent has access to ALL the fares in any given market. And not only that, we can see the fare rules that tell us if you alter your plans a little, like switching days, you can get a lower fare. Most airlines will not even come close to that.
One major US airline has a recording when you call their toll free number that says, "We will give you the lowest price for the dates of travel you give us." What does that say? That they haven't been quoting you the lowest fare, they had to start because they were getting caught!
Geeez! Give me a break! When will the airlines learn? It's not uncommon at all for people to call us and our published fares are $20-$40 less than the they have been quoted by an airline. Same dates and flights!
Airline reservationists are order takers, you tell them what you want, they punch it in and a price spits out. They are not trained as sales persons, they only do what you tell them to do. And a lot of them are not friendly either.
A good travel agent is much different. By now, most of the order takers are gone, they have gone out of business or the owners have cut back and only kept the best agents, those that produce SALES!
Travel agents have you in mind, they WANT to please you. Only if they sell to you do they generate revenue for the agency. Without clients, travel agencies go out of business.
Listen, I am telling things here that are only discussed "inside" the industry. But I'm tired of being silent. Thats one reason I want to write these free travel reports, it gives me a platform to tell the public some of the inside secrets.
We are in the age of information, wouldn't you agree. Knowledge empowers. The airlines do not want you to know that you can purchase fares for less from a competitor. Keeping you ignorant of all the facts (fares) makes their advertising more effective. Name recognition is the name of the game for them and they spend HUGE amounts of money each year to this end. Don't be duped by their slick advertising schemes.
One of the best kept secrets about international airline tickets is the fact they can be bought for less than retail prices. And here is the kicker, the airlines cannot sell you one, nor can they sell them on their websites. Wholesale, consolidator or bulk airline tickets can only be purchased through an agency!
ALIGN=JUSTIFYIt's no wonder they are systematically trying to eliminate the source of unbiased knowledge concerning airline tickets, the travel agent.
My advice is to find a good travel agent, build a relationship with him/her and over a period of time, they will save you bucks on your travel arrangements. Try to do that with a reservation center.
Write this number down: (800)488-7901. Thats our toll free office number. Give us a call, ask for
Melanie. She's my best agent and knows how to serve and save you time and money. You'll be glad you did.
Lets recap, here are 6 good reasons to know a travel agent.
Save you time and money
Access to all fares & information
Trained in sales skills & customer service
Airlines can't sell you a wholesale ticket
Have your best interest in mind
David Tinney, an expert in the travel industry, is the owner of Adventure Travel Service
and author of the best selling e-guide, Why Not Fly Free?
All Travel articles by David
are located here.
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