Last night I came across an email I sent out over five years ago explaining the major benefits of using a professional travel advisor when you travel. I was amazed to find that all the same reasons I listed four years ago still apply today. Please read my article below (from July 8, 2014) listing eight things a professional travel advisor will do for you that an airline can’t (or won’t).
In today’s new world of air travel, you might be considered officially crazy if you don’t use a travel agent –
Last Thursday I was returning home and walking to my gate at Washington – Dulles airport when I received the dreaded email that my flight had been canceled because of the weather. Just as this happened I looked up at the flight departure monitors and saw a Christmas tree of red lights flashing as dozens of flights quickly canceled. Next came the dreaded mad dash to the airline counter by hundreds of passengers (who did not use a travel agent), while at the same time I simply pulled out my cell phone and dialed one number only to be greeted by a friendly travel advisor who provided me with four fast options to get home. In a matter of minutes, I was scheduled on a flight home that same night while hundreds of people waited hours and hours in line only to find out they would have to wait two days to get to their destinations as the next day’s flights were full. If waiting two days and spending hundreds of dollars on hotels, food, and taxis Is worth saving the small fee of using a travel advisor then I really do think you could be considered officially crazy.
Here are the eight wonderful things a professional travel advisor can do for you that an airline can’t (or won’t).
1. Answer the phone in 17 seconds with a real live person – Last year we answered our phones with a real live person in an average of 17 seconds during our normal business hours. Compare this with waiting on hold for hours with the airlines.
2. One call does it all – When you are making or changing a reservation one simple call to a travel advisor allows you to reserve an airline ticket, hotel, and car reservation. Plus when you change or rebook a reservation one simple call and those same reservations can be changed or canceled. Can you say “Easy”?
3. Find the lowest priced airfares – If you call an airline odds are you will pay too much. Airlines will only offer “THEIR” lowest airfare not other airlines airfares even if they are lower. Your travel advisor works for you and will find the best balance of price and schedules.
4. Offer multiple options on alternative flights – My flight from Washington – Dulles last week was a perfect example. While the airlines were offering to re-accommodate displaced travelers only from Dulles our advisors were looking to find flights departing from Dulles (IAD), Reagan (DCA) and even Baltimore (BWI). Not only were our professional advisors looking for departure city options they were looking for arrival city options for me which included Omaha, Lincoln, Kansas City and even Des Moines (all within a few hours drive from home). Experienced advisors know how to make things happen.
5. Proactively rebook your flight when flights are canceled or delayed – Our travel management company offers special services that will monitor your flight and proactively rebook your flight when flights cancel or are delayed (sometimes while you are mid-flight and are not even aware your next flight has been canceled).
6. We keep all your personal travel info in one (very secure) place – Put away your wallet when you are on the phone with us as we keep (with your permission) all your frequent traveler numbers, as well as billing processes so that you don’t have to find and repeat all those numbers over the phone.
7. Cancel your reservation within 24 hours with no penalty – we can save you hundreds of dollars in cancellation fees that the airlines might charge you when canceling and changing a ticket within 24 hours of making your reservation.
8. Personal service with real people helping real people – Call an airline and you can never get the same person twice. Use a travel agency and we can assign you your own personal travel advisor who can know you and your travel needs and desires. You will know their name, be provided their direct dial phone number as well as their personal email. Travel is very personal. Using a professional travel advisor will save you time and money. Most importantly we can help keep your dream vacation (or business trip) from turning into a nightmare.
Meet Women of Nebraska at Lincoln Women’s Expo, January 18th & 19th!