on Wed. 18 Jul., 2012 at 1:48:27 PM
In reply to: Carol_cp "Great article about using travel agents"
for almost 20 years, except for the flight portion of our trip to Asia, and that was only because we needed to coordinate our flights from Hong Kong to Tokyo and from Tokyo home with my DH's flights, and the first part of his trip was business, and his flights were booked through that agent. I booked our accommodations and made all our other arrangements, though. It worked out beautifully. In fact, the last time DH went to Asia on business, he didn't like the choices of accommodation the agent was offering, so I found him a place, and it was perfect for his needs.
The one time I did have a problem, during the BA strike, when one leg of our trip to Paris and London got cancelled, Travelocity, which I'd used to book the flights, did make an effort on my behalf to get the flight rescheduled, and, when that wasn't possible, to get compensation for our tickets on the Eurostar. It took a while, but we did end up being compensated handsomely by the airlines--probably more through my own efforts. I very much doubt a travel agent could have done any better under the particular circumstances of this situation.
In fact, the last time I did use a travel agent, we had booked a rental car and carseats for our children (aged 4 and 1), and it turned out that the rental agency had no carseats for us! The agent wasn't able to miraculously produce carseats for us from a distance, and we ended up having to buy some from a nearby store. So much for using an agent.
I can understand why some people like to use an agent, especially if they are travelling someplace that's really unfamiliar to them. However, I love to research and plan. It adds to the enjoyment of travelling for me.
I don't think any agent is going to spend the amount of time I like to spend researching a trip. And I don't think any agent is going to find the wonderful accommodations I've found--a B&B on an antique yacht moored in a harbour; the Mother Superior's suite in a convent converted to an inn; a casita in a compound owned by a local artist; a top-floor, 2 bedroom apartment in the very centre of Isle St. Louis, 2 blocks from the Left Bank and 2 blocks from the Right Bank; the top floor of a house, sharing the pool and hot tub only with the owners, etc., etc. And most of these for far less than the cost of an ordinary hotel room, and often minus the hotel taxes, too.
It makes no difference to me if some people prefer to use travel agents, but they aren't necessarily the best option for everyone.
Blowing out someone else's candle doesn't make yours shine any brighter.