While we cannot do a thing about rising gas prices, inclement weather or even grounded planes, our agency, like so many others can help you navigate them. As one of our clients recently said they got lemons, made lemonade but we sweetened the situation.

Last year around June we gave a heads up to as many of our clients, both established and new, that gas prices were rising and that by this time we would see an influx of fuel costs.  Well as the industry was seeing the rising cost of fuel as early as 2017 the carriers were sending out the warning that the potential for fares to increase to absorb the cost would happen.  While domestic flights cannot impose a fuel tax on their fares, international destinations saw a steady increase just as predicted.  Domestic fares were increased as the demand widened.  This year, fuel prices have increased once again and we are steadily reminding clients to book now to lock in the best base fares.  FACT ONE: AS TRAVEL AGENTS WE ARE TRAINED TO WATCH TRENDS AND ARE CONSTANTLY LISTENING TO INDUSTRY LEADERS ON THEIR PROJECTIONS. This helps us help you.

And what about this weather?  This Winter Season has been an unbelievable journey of freakish snows, unseasonable temps and precipitation. Now while we cannot predict or stop weather from happening we are keeping up with closings, cancellations and delays on your behalf and can work with your carrier to have you moved to other flights.  It is absolutely a part of our services to assist you when and as we can.  FACT TWO: WE WATCH THE WEATHER, CHECK OUR EMAILS AND LISTEN FOR VOICEMAILS REGARDING DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS (EVEN AFTER HOURS!) TO HELP INSURE YOU THE BEST TRAVEL POSSIBLE.

And the Boeing Max? Well that is a whole other blog, actually, we could write a small book about our experiences in the past month or so with grounded planes, reschedules and cancelled routes.  The airlines had no choice in the matter so we could not blame anything on them, and it was a safety issue like hasn’t been faced in recent times.  We had a large group on an international trip when the stoppage happened and the carrier we worked with accommodated them by doing what they could and all arrived safely home with only a short delay for half of the group.  Our staff worked directly with the carrier until it was completed.  While it took some time it was a better experience in the end for everyone involved than could have ever been imagined when it started.  Our staff got busy double checking all of our booked flights making sure all flights originally scheduled on the downed equipment were accommodated for.  FACT THREE: TRAVEL AGENTS AND AIRLINE EMPLOYEES WORK TOGETHER ON A DAILY BASIS, DEVELOP STRONG RELATIONSHIPS AND ACQUIRED TRUST.  WE HAVE THE ABILITY AND POWER TO NEGOTIATE ON OUR CLIENT’S BEHALF. 

So that is 3 of about 1000 plus reasons why you need to utilize the services of an agency.  You really need to remember that while you have the ability to price and surf the internet to find your best fares, we actually do this job as our life’s work.  I can honestly say that everyone in this agency and in our affiliates put their best effort into producing a great experience and service for our clients.  We know a lot about travel and yet constantly still learning to be always improving at what we do.

Self-booking is all roses until it isn’t.  Not long ago, a client booked their own airfare via an online service “this time” rather than using our services as they had in times past.  Not only did they end up with flights that had longer layovers than expected, two stops on the outbound, higher fares than expected for some passengers, there was an issue at the airport.  At that time, the airport staff told them that they would need to contact the issuing agency for their tickets.  They were at a loss because there was no one that they could contact to work out the problem.  Had they booked with us, we could have provided them with a different outcome.