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Has anyone used a travel agent?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Lhammer28, Apr 24, 2013.

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  1. Lhammer28

    Lhammer28 High-Roller

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    I was talking to a friend and she suggested getting a travel agent, they can somehow find cheaper flights.. I dont need the hotel, I have free rooms, But I was just curious if anyone has used one and gotten cheaper flights than what we can find on the airline website directly...
     
  2. xmarksx

    xmarksx VIP Whale

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    Wham, I just don't see how a travel agent could cut the cost of a vegas trip when you can book direct with SWA, AirTran or the other discount airlines. They can save you the time it takes to research but that is about all.
     
  3. Jer

    Jer VIP Whale

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    Try finding your lowest price and see if they can beat it with their "fee". The last time I used a TA was in 1995 when my dad died. But Vegas trips have always been cheap enough to book by myself..

    Who knows, maybe they could be? But I highly doubt it.
     
  4. acharlestongirl

    acharlestongirl Newbie

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    I am a Travel Agent and I can assure you that you can book a flight to Vegas that is the same rate I can book it for you. Most Travel Agents won't book just flights as there is no commission paid by the airlines so we would be working for free. I don't happen to charge any fees to my clients. To give you an idea of where someone like me could help you: if you have a group going to Vegas for a special event like a bachelor party or a big birthday or a wedding. I can plan and coordinate everyone's travel, make reservations for hotel and dinner, etc. In that kind of case, I can pretty much always save you money. If I can't book it cheaper, I tell you. I am helpful for folks who don't get the offers for free rooms, etc. Sometimes a package room/flight deal is cheaper than flight alone. Always check that out. Dump the room if you don't want it and use your offer. Sorry to ramble!
     
  5. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    For a flight to Las Vegas a travel agent would likely be a waste of time and money.

    For something like this a travel agent would really only be good for people who either don't want to put in the time/effort/work to search for low airfares or just don't know how to go searching for them.

    A travel agent would be good if you were planning a complex trip like a long multi-stop trip through Europe, Asia or the Middle East or going somewhere you have absolutely no idea about... but not just for booking a little trip like this.

    Thing is, for a flight to a place like Las Vegas they can be misleading: at my local mall their is a travel agent and they frequently advertise things like a round trip flight to Las Vegas for $99 (normal from here is around $220-300) and that looks great on the surface... but if you go in and ask them about the flight it'll usually be restricted to certain days, be a short trip and the listed fare doesn't include the fees (which are around $220-250 per person).

    The biggest thing, I think, in finding cheap airfare is if your schedule is flexible, IE: for us to fly to Las Vegas the cheapest days of the week to fly out are Saturdays and Tuesdays, where Wednesday is often the most expensive.

    Since I hate layovers I only want direct flights. When its getting time to plan a trip what I do is:
    - Have a rough date range of when we can go and return in mind
    - Check my local airport for which airlines are listed in the DEPARTURES for flights to Las Vegas and whats there for ARRIVALS for flights directly from Las Vegas, making a note of each airline and flight number.
    - Check the website for each airline around the time I want to fly, making sure to check far enough in to the booking process to find out if there are any added fees or not. I do this for each day of the week and most likely over a span of about 10 days of flights down. I only do this for one way flights.
    - I then start at the end of my range and check the prices of the one way flights back to my airport, again working my way back to about the minimum range for dates, checking each day whats available.
    - I then do the same thing using Expedia and then using Travelocity, looking at all one way flights down over a specific date range and then all one way flights back over the same range.
    - Then I figure out how long I want to go down for, usually 5-7 nights, and then start working out the cheapest pairings for each day we could fly down and return on.

    I do this all in a spreadsheet and by the time I have all the numbers entered I usually have a pretty good idea of what days our trip will be on.

    This works for me because I have a totally flexible schedule and can go in as little as a couple of days if I wanted a vacation that bad (my shortest turnaround from when I asked my wife "do you want to go to Las Vegas?" to when our flight left was 11 hours, so its pretty flexible).

    And a weird thing with searching for cheap airfares is: even though maybe you don't need a hotel, sometimes you can find packages with a hotel even cheaper than just the airfare by itself. So if one of your local airlines offers vacation packages you might want to check in to that as well.
     
  6. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    Our corporate travel department (outsourced) is available for our personal use and I'll often check with them prior to booking. They also give me a "heads up" on any bona fide good air fares and also if/when they expect fares to skyrocket. Sometimes they can beat the on-line fares (seems mostly with Untied and Frontier) and sometimes they will say it's best for me to book myself on line.

    They will seldom beat player rates for hotels during the week, but sometimes the negotiated corporate rate on the weekend is better.

    I almost always use them to book car rentals.
     
  7. rayrat

    rayrat Low-Roller

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    Consider the VERY knowledgable people here as your travel agent. Seriously.
     
  8. Lhammer28

    Lhammer28 High-Roller

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    Thanks for the imput! I assumed as much, but my friend is a worldy traveler and has used a TA everytime she goes anywhere, but like I told her I dont see them finding a fare cheaper than southwest.com....
     
  9. cnorth3865

    cnorth3865 Tourist

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    Check airline tickets on Tuesday

    I just saw a program on travel tips and they said that the airlines evaluate and post the best prices on Tuesdays at 3:00 pm. I haven't tried this, but it's worth checking.
     
  10. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    Now that is the best advice I have heard in a long time
     
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