|Ruthanne Terrero, CTC, vice president–Content/editorial director|
Editorial Director Ruthanne Terrero’s recent column, Ten New Top Reasons to Use a Travel Agent drew some great feedback from readers, who echoed the benefits of a consumer using a professional to book vacations, rather than going it alone and ruining their trip with innocent, yet silly little mistakes, such as booking an all-inclusive hotel that didn’t really include much at all, or bringing your kids to a resort who ended up being too young to participate in the children’s club.
On Travel Agent’s Facebook page, Christina Mehan said: “Love it!! It took my own bad experience, which would have been TEN times worse had I not used a travel agent. This experience inspired me to become an agent.
“Yes,” agreed Jaime Lawson Moore. “The knowledge we bring to the table is unsurpassed, especially those who have in the business for over a decade or two. My 17 years are worth at least a phone call to see if I'm worth it, which I believe I am!”
Barbara Sippel Rivera, meanwhile, touted the joys of using a professional for her travel. “I have used many travel agents over the years. I would never book directly with any company. I enjoy supporting a small business and it doesn't cost me a penny more to do so. Plus, I get first hand knowledge from my travel agent and have someone to contact if an issue arrives.”
Chris Morse wrote on TravelAgentCentral.com that, “as travel agents, we must inform our clients that using the Internet for booking is totally not the way to make a reservation. They do not inform you on your location of your villa or room, they do not inform you about the visa that you need, they do not tell you that you need four empty pages on your passport to travel, they do not tell you that specialty meals are not available at your resort (such as gluten free, etc.) and they do not tell you the ocean view room that you are in overlooks the air conditioning units and parking lot before you see the ocean. If your clients are booking through the Internet, you are not a good travel agent!”
Meanwhile, writing as guest on TravelAgentCentral.com, “JRH” summed it all up nicely: “The victims will shrug in embarrassment and the intelligent will have all the great stories to share, thanks to the travel professional they were smart enough to engage with.”
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever heard happen to a traveler who accidentally ruined their vacation by booking their trip on their own? Share it below or on our Facebook page.