Some travelers prefer to rely on a travel agents and agencies, while others prefer to study travel websites or all kinds of publicity found everywhere because it enables them to analyze the many highs and lows of any particular destination.
If you are a frequent traveler and willing to invest time to find the best deal and the best arrangements, it's heaven. If you would rather let someone else take care of all your travel research and planning, it is 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, suggest the best travel destination and provide "insider information" such as comments and information from others who have taken your proposed business trip or vacation.
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 agency that provides a 24-hour expert service should you experience problems or delays.
Before you accept and pay for any travel agents booking, carefully evaluate the travel agency service fees, clarify all charges and make sure you are protected. Take your time. You are paying for good service, see that the agency delivers.
The main source of income of a travel agency are the commissions for booking services such as car rentals, cruise lines, hotels, railways, sightseeing tours, tours operators... Commissions that vary depending on the service, the supplier and the percentage paid to the travel agent as his or her commission.
Travel agents who are "all inclusive" agents and not pushy. They match online prices, offer special rates, save you time, understand the fine print, make sure you are protected, have expertise, contacts and priceless advice.
They also prevent problems, confirm your reservation at the right moment, offer affordable payment plans and provide troubleshooting support.
Be 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 family members, a partner or a small group, ask the agent to waive all the other travelers’ fees in exchange for the volume.
Be loyal. Choose a reputable agency you are familiar with or that has been referred to you and stick with it for all your travel services.
Request that your agency maintains a file on the business provided by you, your contacts and your family. Do not hesitate to ask for perks--fee waivers as well as 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 regarding travel agents booking travel. So, if you are not interested in alternative options, clearly state your preferences for airlines, airports and flight types. Get all the costs. For example, travel agents are required to outline all taxes, airport fees and fuel surcharges that are part of your airfare.
For more information and more details, 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 agency agent.
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