In our business we hear a few things often from people that are seeking our assistance with airfare, but also searching the internet fares and tips. After 25 plus years, we can tell you that we have heard a lot and learned a lot along the way too.
WHY DO I NEED A TRAVEL AGENT? I HAVE THE INTERNET!: Having a Travel Agent in your corner is an invaluable asset and here is why: Experience, experience, EXPERIENCE. Because this is ALL we do, our experience and knowledge about travel, from cruises to air, to lodging and ground transportation has taught us a lot. There are also a lot of variables when booking travel and with travel itself, that often get lost when you are self-booking and we can guide you through those. Also, it is good to remember that the thousands upon thousands that travel through our agency, we have their experience — both good and bad, to help you too.
Many times an Agency such as ours has certain perks when booking that you will not receive in booking for yourself, especially on Group Bookings of 10 or more travelers flying the same itinerary. We handle everything for you too, which lets you relax and prepare for your travel.
WHY ARE YOUR FARES HIGHER? I SEE LOWER ON THE INTERNET!: And you may indeed see lower fares, but what you have to keep in mind is that those tickets are for 4-6 people generally and if you are booking more passengers then the fare increases. It is always good to check with a Travel Agent to get the best fares and itineraries. Keep in mind; airfare is based largely on availability, so the lower amount of inventory available will equal a higher fare.
I HAVE BEEN DOING MY OWN PRICING. THE LOWEST FARE IS $____ CAN YOU BEAT THAT? “We can as long as 10 passengers can fit onto the wing, it is cheaper out there” should be the response. This is not a price war scenario where you have carriers against one another. They have no obligation to match what you are given from the competition. AGAIN, it all goes back to availability so if you are asking us to price what you are already holding at that fare the carriers will not do that because you are already there. Please keep in mind that airfare is not a Sam’s and Costco kind of commodity and is not subject to a bidding war.
IF I BOOK ON TUESDAY AT MIDNIGHT I WILL GET THE BEST FARE RIGHT?: Airfare kind of works against the norm and there are not always absolutes. Booking on a Sunday or a Tuesday for travel later in the week SOMETIMES will result in lower fares, but not always. You might want to include a Saturday night stay as sometimes that does help the fare.
I DECIDED TO SHOP AROUND TO FIND THE BEST FARE AND I ASKED THREE DIFFERENT AGENTS AND I CALLED MYSELF! Well that might work if you were looking to do a home renovation, but with airfare you are most likely shooting a hole in the boat. Again, airlines go by inventory and most do not allow for duplicate records so you are causing a lot of work with little yield. If the carrier misses the duplication then you just end up with a higher fare. Let one person work on this for the best results.
IF I BOOK A BUNDLE WITH AIR AND HOTEL AND GROUND IT IS CHEAPER. Sometimes it is and sometimes it is not. Many things impact these packages such as when you are traveling and if it is high season in that area or not. If you travel in the off season you are likely to see the biggest discounts.
I HAVEN’T BOOKED MY LODGING OR GROUND TRANSPORTATION YET BECAUSE I WANTED TO GET THE AIRFARE OUT OF THE WAY FIRST.: Which makes sense in a way but in a way not and here is why. If you see this really great deal on airfare and you book it, what if you have no place to stay. It is good to have a plan in place for all aspects of your travel.
TWO ONE WAYS ARE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A ROUND TRIP. Not always. Sometimes the best fares can come from booking differently. That is why it is best to use a professional as we can look at all of the variables and tell you what the best plan is.
WELL THE WEATHER WAS BAD, SO I GUESSED WE WEREN’T FLYING, CAN I GET MY MONEY BACK? No. Unless you verify with the carrier that the flight is cancelled by them there is no guarantee that they will give you your money back and no guarantee that they will find another flight for you. When travelling the carrier is the final word. Contact them to verify your flights and in the case of inclement weather always check with them prior to going to the airport. If the carrier decides to cancel ask them to accommodate you on another flight.
IT SAID ALL- INCLUSIVE SO WHY DID I HAVE TO PAY AN ADDED FEE.? When we book a cruise or a resort the first thing we look at is what is included in the package and also what is not. Many times extras such as Wi-Fi and excursions are extra when cruising and in a resort the fine line of details is important too. Again, this is why you need an Agent to help you sift through this to see if what you are getting is what you are wanting.
IT IS CHEAPER TO DO IT MYSELF. Not always. You might find a really great fare and a great hotel but often the most seasoned travel will miss something that is a costly mistake. While we are all human it is always better to have experience and an extra set of hands on the booking.
Speaking of books… we could write one, but for now those are the top ten things we hear a lot of. That will be enough there to get us started for now and we will bring you more on here from time to time.