Travel Agent

Updated on August 27, 2012
L.C. asks from Woodbridge, VA
5 answers

So if you go with a travel agent do you pay them or do they get paid through the resorts and ailinesWhen they book the vacation? I've heard that both apply so does anyone have experience working with one? I would like to take a quick vacation and don't really have the time to do the leg work...

thanks mamas and papas...

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answers from Washington DC on

We've used one 2x for big trips to the UK. We paid the accommodations through them and they got kickbacks by using particular hotels, etc. I will say that I will be unlikely to ever again use one for a complicated vacation (multiple locations, car rentals, flights, etc.) The first time, we got to the place we were supposed to pick up a car well after they closed and could not get to our hotel 40 miles away. We had to pay for another room in town as well as the one we didn't sleep in.

This time, we ended up with a red eye flight for our family leaving Dublin last summer, which stank, because the travel agent messed up. There was so much back and forth that we might as well have done it ourselves. So I have not been impressed. This last time the other thing she did was make us return cars to airports, vs other locations, so we wasted a lot of money trying to then get our family to the right place for the next thing (like the ferry). At one point we were almost left at a bus depot miles from our hotel. She did find us some nice apartments to rent for a few nights, so that was good, but I am overall meh on travel agents. We discovered later that she was outsourcing as well, so it was like a giant game of telephone. We only used one because DH insisted. I feel that if you do use one, use it for not very complicated vacations and follow up on every detail (at which point you might as well do it yourself).

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answers from New York on

The travel agent gets paid by the airline, car rental agency, etc.

We used one for a trip a few years ago. They were very helpful as they had access to so much information and were very knowledgeable. However, they are not mind readers. You need to be specific in telling them what your looking for and any special needs you may have.


answers from Dallas on

I prefer to do it myself and because I am booking flights, hotels, cars weekly it is not a big deal for me. I book all of our business and personal trips online through the respective airline, hotel, and car websites. It is not hard to do and not that time consuming. I've never had trouble getting a solution for any issue. That said.. we are both on the top tier of the reward programs for the 2 major airlines we use, major hotel and cars. My time = $$ and this does not require that much time for me.

I can be finished with everything whereas using an agent and having ongoing email exchanges on times, dates, etc.

I don't care how they are paid but there is a new MLM around with people being "travel agents". I would go to an actual office where the people there had a lot of experience. I would not have an issue paying for quality, legit service if I ever needed it.

I know of 1 in my area and I am in the Dallas area.



answers from Phoenix on

I have just started routinely using a travel agent, and I will never go back! Full disclosure, my step-mom is my travel agent. But I resisted going through her for years because I didn't want to take advantage and I thought I could get a better deal myself. So wrong, especially with kids or complicated plans!! Not only does it save leg work, but you are so much more informed about airport transfers, where you need to go, when to check in, available, if a flight is delayed or cancelled, guess what??? THEY fix it for you!!! No throwing tantrums to apathetic airline employees!!
The vast majority of any fee comes as a commission from the hotels and other vendors. I am sure they will tell you what their fees are, if you ask.



answers from Minneapolis on

When I have used a travel agent to book flights, there has been a small fee (about $10 per person the last time). I like to use a travel agent although I have not for the past couple years because we go on 1 vacation and book the same flight with the same airline every year. But when we were traveling more, it was a huge time saver to have the travel agent searching for the best flight options for us.

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