Travel Agents etiquette??

adamak

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 7, 2000
What's the proper manners towards hiring a Travel Agent. Let's say I have done my research, and I know the ballpark figure of my vacation. I would like to ask a travel agent to see if s/he can do better. However, I do not want to waste his/her time either.

If they cannot come up with a better price, should I just leave? Would it be rude if I tell him I can do better online? Or am I obligated to buy from him/her? Or should I not bother hiring one?
 

roliepolieoliefan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2000
I never feel obligated to use a certain travel agent for any trip. I used one certain agent for a number of trips because he always gave me the best price. Last March, I found an agent who gave me a price my "regular"travel agent couldn't touch. I went with the cheaper price. This Dec. my husband and I are going to Jamaica. I called the agent who gave me the great price in March. With the airline price wars, I can get a better rate if I do it myself. Guess what! I'm doing it myself. Hey, it's my money, I'm not rich that I can throw it away. I feel no obligation to no one and go with the best price, ALWAYS!!!!
 

Pig Pen

To all who have come to this happy place...welcome
Joined
Nov 4, 2001
I too did some research and THEN called the travel agent (I figured they could do it cheaper???). After she quoted me some prices, I told her the prices I had found - which were much lower for similar product.

She told me to book my own vacation and hung up on me.
 
  • Grog

    Semper Gumby
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2000
    In some cases they can get you the internet fare. I've done my own research and gone to an agent and said "I found this, can you do better...if not, can you book this for me?". They're usually able to book what I've found, so they get the commission and I get the internet fare. Works out good for both of us.
     

    pumba

    DIS PUMBARIZER
    Joined
    Dec 28, 1999
    people do check either on line or at another travel agency.......my neice was our travel agent for probably 9 of our disney trips....so we assume did us good....but I sent people to her and they did their homework....like looking on line or going through another agency....and she would see if she could do better....sometimes she could and some times she couldn't....but she did not feel that she had the customer cause she did the work and looked it up.....it is like going to a car dealership...if I find a good price one place and go and look at a few more....to keep the dealership honest.....I tell them.....sorry....we can get it cheaper elsewhere
     

    mrsapalm

    <font color=FF0099>WDWWDS COO & Senior Exec. VP<fo
    Joined
    May 10, 2002
    When my DH and I were in the beginning stages of planning our honeymoon, I asked a family friend who is a travel agent for some advice. She told me that, by visiting a few different sites (i.e. shopping around) I could actually do the same or even better than a travel agent. Using an agent usually involves paying for their services - a fee I don't want to include in my vacation budget. So, I got it straight from the horse's mouth!
    P.S. She was right.
    -MrsAPalm
     

    Kallison

    <font color=red>I'm a lab adorer<br><font color=na
    Joined
    Nov 15, 1999
    I wouldn't bother, you almost certainly will do better booking it yourself.
     
  • LuvTigger

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2000
    I wouldn't rule out using a TA, sometimes they can get cheaper prices (one TA saved me about $200 over the online price on a last minute trip).

    I generally book myself, but if the online prices seem very high and don't show any sign of going down, I will call around. Sometimes TAs get lower prices because they buy blocks of seats on a flight or blocks of hotel rooms, etc.

    I personally prefer calling on the phone rather than going to a TA in person. I also look for local TAs that have online booking, I've found a couple that turned out to be very good deals and provide good service.

    I know what you mean about feeling obligated, but unfortunately, most of the TAs I've dealt with are either not very friendly (like they're doing ME a favor) or they're very friendly, but flakey (one TA didn't tell me that I had a paper ticket instead of E-ticket until a few hours before I was going to the airport), so I've learned to be polite, but know when to say "no thanks." Only recently have I found two very reliable and friendly TAs.

    In your situation, I would politely say that I found a vacation to such-and-such place and give a brief description of what you're getting and for what price range (or maybe just state the lower end of the price range), and just be forthright and say you'd like to give them the business if they can give you a comparable price. Personally, I've never had a TA really push me into buying something, they usually allow time to think about it and might even put a courtesy hold on the flights.

    Just be careful about TAs you're not very familiar with, we've had some problems here in Hawaii where people pay for their vacations and the TA closes up shop and the travellers are left without a plane ticket.
     

    Beauty

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2000
    I actually looked up all the internet resources, called Disney myself and got prices for what I could do myself. I then called 3 different travel agencys and the quotes I got for the same exact trip were almost twice what I could do it myself for.
     

    adamak

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2000
    Thanks. I've done my research work, and I probably will stop by one of the TA this weekend and see. The thing is, with Disney I can always do better by myself. With Atlantis (Paradise Island), seems like I can do slightly better with TA. I also want to stay at Ocean Club in Bahamas, which I have not yet seen any discount online at all.

    Very different from planning a Disney trip. :( We're spoiled. I looked at the room pictures in Atlantis, and not at all impressive. I have seen better in Disney.
     

    shortbun

    <font color=green>Peacenik<br><font color=purple><
    Joined
    Aug 21, 1999
    Adam-rare that the Ocean Club would be
    discounted. Try an agency with a Virtuoso
    affiliation. If you can't find one in Manhattan-
    call 800-548-5670 8-5 mon-fri. They are a
    Virtuoso Agency and if anyone can discount
    the Ocean Club-they might. Atlantis is nice but
    you'll want to avoid their "standard" room category.
    Tell an agent up front what you already know. They
    can often tell you immediately if they can or can not
    match or beat your price. Travel agents where you
    are are a whole other breed-they work on commision only
    and may choose their clientelle based on earning
    potential; time needed to service versus money earned.
    People that are intentionally vague might not get the
    best service if an agent is exceptionally good or busy.
    People with the kind of time it takes to shop and shop
    are often perceived as time wasters in a sea of people
    ready to lay their money down. Everyone has to protect
    their bottom line-not just the customer. :)
    mimi
     



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