You don’t need me.
I may be the only travel agent to admit it, but it’s true. Under some circumstances you’re better off booking a trip without my help.
Think about it. Do you need an accountant to make a deposit at the bank? Do you need to see a doctor to treat a headache, or an attorney to pay for a parking ticket?
So here are some situations where using an agency might not make sense:
When it’s a simple itinerary. If you’re talking about a point-to-point ticket on one carrier with no more than one stop, an agent is overkill. But with each change of planes, change of crew, change of scenery, your risk of a problem escalates proportionately. Otherwise, go online or call the airline directly.
If you’re a sole proprietor. If you run a small business with one or two employees, you probably do not need the travel management capabilities of a good travel consultant.
If you’re ‘Net-savvy. If you are computer literate with a high-speed connection, you may be able to find some last-minute fares that are not available elsewhere. However, make sure you read the terms and conditions before you click.
When you’re always on the road. If you are a frequent traveler and are familiar with the myriad of rules and regulations of the various airlines, booking online might work for you.
If you’re a night owl. Of course your travel consultant needs some sleep too. If you like to pull all-nighters and just can’t wait for business hours to make a booking, then hit the Web. Most airlines and Web sites make their revisions in the wee hours of the morning and you might just get the first shot at a terrific fare.
If any of these descriptions apply to you, then what do you need me for? On the other hand, there are many times when not using a professional travel consultant is simply just not an option. You’d be surprised at the pitfalls that lurk for the not-so-careful clicker.
I’ll get to those next time.