The saying goes that there are only two types of travellers: those who book through travel agents and those who’ve never had a problem with booking online. If we had a dime for every time someone contacts us to help them with a booking made directly with an airline, we’d be millionaires!
So when confronted with the infamous question – “Why should I book through a travel agent?”- we basically have to remind ourselves not to give an audible sigh before launching into all the pros of using an experienced agent and diving into the cons of booking online or directly with the airline. Below we break down the argument, should you ever need to prove your worth.
Travel Agents Offer So Much More than Just Flight Bookings
The internet does make it quick and easy to book flights online, so it is undeniably attractive to eschew a travel agent and additional service fees. But a travel agent goes above and beyond what any online system can provide a traveller.
Besides being able to offer expert advice like when a traveller qualifies for a free airport hotel stay or when a layover isn’t long enough, we are invested in our clients experience.
Experience and Training
Whilst travel agents don’t get to travel nearly as much as everyone thinks, those who work in the industry generally do have a passion for travel. We exchange knowledge with our colleagues and can often assist travellers with more than just flights and accommodation. Some of us even spent some time studying to become a travel consultant. This experience and training is very valuable when dealing with airlines and other supplier.
At FlightSiteAgent we employ experienced consultants, so that you’ll always have someone with the necessary skills to rely on and consult with where necessary.
However we as travel agents really come into our own when something goes wrong with a booking. Travel agents have experience and contacts that helps us when it comes to problem-solving. This means that things like name changes, date changes and flight cancellations don’t have to ruin a travellers holiday.
A travel agent can do all this for their clients and save them countless hours on the phone, not to mention the international roaming costs!
Travel Agents Aren’t More Expensive
Cheaper Hotel and Airfares
There are two sides to the coin when it comes to this statement. Sometimes airlines have special fares available exclusively on their website, but in other cases the travel agent might be the one with access to the lowest fare due to their consortium having negotiated a better deal.
Should you as a FlightSiteAgent have a client with a fare you can’t match, please come through to the team as they are always eager to investigate and try and price match on your behalf. Although this can’t be guaranteed, we’d love to try.
Buying Cheap Could be an Expensive Mistake
In Afrikaans we say, “Goedkoop koop is duur koop,” which perfectly encapsulates our sentiment. Putting aside the huge possibility of fraud when booking with an unreliable agent online, there are so many smaller details to consider when making travel arrangements that you really ought to only trust an experienced agent.
Additional taxes, hidden costs, extras excluded and unreliable operators could cause travellers to go over budget whereas a travel agent could offer peace of mind with an all-inclusive package from a reliable operator and advance notice of additional costs.
Online Travel Agencies
This is a great middle-ground for travellers who want to be in control of their travel arrangements, but still have a travel agent on call should something go wrong. Unfortunately though, not all online travel agencies are reputable. Some online travel agencies offer little in the way of after-sales assistance and are ill-equipped to deal with client enquiries.
The lure of online agencies based in foreign countries is also undeniable, as they might be able to access cheaper airfares. Their call centres are usually also based in a foreign country, so there can be a language barrier to overcome plus exorbitant international call rates.
Armed with all the facts, you’ll quickly be able to convince even the most sceptical traveller that they need you on their side! Now you simply need to follow through and offer the excellent service they expect.