Some travellers prefer to rely on a travel agency agent, while others prefer the flood of online travel services because it helps them decipher all the travel mysteries and figure out the many historical highs and lows of prices for any particular destination.
If you are a frequent traveller and willing to invest time to find the best deal and the best trip online, it's heaven. If you would rather let someone else take care of all your travel research and planning, it's also heaven.
Knowledgeable in many if not all the travel tips and tools, experienced travel agents can quickly track down discounts and bargains and arrange for last minute travel deals.
Travel agents set up complicated itineraries, find the best travel deals, suggest the best travel destination and provide "insider information" such as reports from others who have taken your proposed vacation or trip.
Then again, some travel agency agents are influenced by the incentives offered by some of their suppliers. With today's travel disruptions and uncertainties, you want to do business with a solid company that can provide you with 24-hour expert service in case you experience problems or delays.
Before you accept and pay for any travel bookings, carefully evaluate the travel agency agent, clarify all charges and learn how to protect yourself. Take your time and think about it. You are paying for good service, see that the agency delivers it.
The main source of income of a travel agency are the commissions paid for booking services such as car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours, tours operators... Commissions that vary depending on the service and the supplier and a percentage paid to the travel agent as his or her commission.
Travel agents who are "all inclusive" agents and who are not pushy. They match online prices, have rates you don't have, save you time, understand the fine print, protect you, have specialized expertise, priceless advice and contacts. They also prevent hassles, confirm your reservation at the right moment, offer affordable payment plans and provide troubleshooting support.
canny about fees. There is a wide
range of fee structures even within a given market, so don’t
hesitate to inquire. If you are making joint bookings for a partner,
family members, or a small group, ask the agent to waive the other
travelers’ fees in exchange for the volume.
loyal. Choose a reputable agency
you’re familiar with or that has been referred and stick with it
for all your travel services. Request that your agency maintain a
file on the business provided by you and your family. And don’t
hesitate to ask for perks--fee waivers, plus the upgrades and
preferred seating that agencies award to good customers.
Stay flexible. Providing a range of travel times may yield a better fare. Also ask about alternative flight types - connecting and direct - as well as competing airlines, or a different airport.
Be precise. You can never be too specific when booking travel. So if you woud rather not consider alternative options, clearly state your preferences for airlines, airports, and flight type. Get all the costs. For example, travel agents are required to outline all taxes, airport fees, and fuel surcharges that are all part of your airfare.
For more information you may wish to visit Agences de voyages in French on the website of the Office de la protection du consommateur Québec for more information on travel agencies.
Montréal PROFESSIONALS Kit
Travel Agency Agent by Rachel Louise Barry