How many of you have used/use a travel agent?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by FAST6191, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Following the roaring success of have you still got a microwave, life insurance, still use retail stores and other such threads I thought we would try this.
    So I was out walking the dog earlier and right in the middle of town is an apparently independent travel agent, any non chain shop in the middle of town with the rates and aggravation the council likes to put you through is impressive, a travel agent even more so.
    This being as I have never used one, none of my friends my age or younger have ever used one, of those older then "not since the 90s" and even those really old tend to book coach tours and ferries/cruises online or otherwise direct with the company -- while many of my friends of that age know enough to do things there are still many that will call up if something cool is on TV rather than some kind of text based message. The state of their printing would seem to indicate they are not so computer savvy, not to mention I am not sure how they would do packages on travel sites, and the prices they offer are better than they once were* but still not good.

    *about 2004 I was looking to go to America, we were in town and despite my better judgement (6-7 years earlier still we tried the same, then looked at prices on teletext and again wondered why we bothered with travel agents) we went in one. After about 25 minutes of faffing around we get a quote of several grand a couple of changes. I go online when I get back home and it is more like seven hundred and direct, getting the quote being an easy 5 minute job.

    So where are these people which use travel agents?
  2. leafeon34

    leafeon34 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Sep 30, 2014
    I used one last year. It was my first time going overseas and I wanted to play it safe and have someone to help me plan my trip. Don't see myself using one next time.
  3. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    Apr 4, 2006
    Finally, a question that can honestly and truthfully be answered with "ur mum, hurr hurr".

    No seriously, it is possible to find better deals but some people don't feel like searching, or don't know how to (which includes the stereotypical mum, hurr hurr)*. Travel agents are still used by people who either don't have the google-fu to find the cheapest (trustworthy) deals, or the nerves and/or time to organize all the details of a trip and are willing to pay someone with more experience to do the legwork for them and are looking for a complete package deal even though it's more expensive. Basically it's just another service job, doing a task that people could do themselves but don't have the time/skills/nerves/can't be arsed. The internet has made this particular task much easier, but it's still a hurdle for the idiomatic mum (hurr hurr). And travel agents have dropped their margins in order to compete with the interwebz so their cut isn't as outrageous lately, so a lot of people just say "screw it." And if any part of the trip goes south, it's more satisfying to have a real live person to yell at, instead of looking at a "we apologize for the inconvenience" email and leaving bad Yelp reviews.

    *I will say, though, that my wife got a quote for a trip to Canada, back in 2009 I believe, got one with a better deal than what she was able to find online, so it's not all bad. Her father on the other hand, who lives in Canada, got a quote for about twice as much from his local agents, so this example is a point for neither side.
  4. smile72

    smile72 NewsBot

    Sep 23, 2010
    I used a travel agency called WAS to visit the United States it helped me save 20,000 yen. It was the cheapest option that I could do. There was one other cheaper ticket (much cheaperer) but I would have had to ditch work...obviously impossible, and would have had to use Narita....and I hate Narita.
  5. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Wolf-husky™ Melodramatic fool

    Sep 13, 2009
    I don't travel enough to warrant the use of a travel agent, but I am actually interested in seeing how this turns out. I do plan on visiting (and maybe moving to) Canada. So this thread actually popped up when I needed it most.
  6. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    I'm...sort of using one. More specifically: my girlfriend insisted on using a travel agency for our vacation this year. Seeing how the only way to avoid an argument was to just agree with everything (note: all I insisted on was a "no Turkey", and a departure after my karate stage early July. The latter was sort of hard to pull off), she got planning. Or so I thought.

    We went to TUI in a nearby shopping mall. They do these lazy-ass vacations where you fly to a distant land, get driven to a hotel, stay there for the duration, and then drive and fly back. Since this is the sort of vacation that appeals to her (can't even blame her...her job is more physically demanding), I figure she knew best to prepare.
    She didn't prepare. I wasn't sure why she wanted me to be there in the first place. Despite my stance, she sort of expected me to answer the guy's "where do you want to go?" question. I guess for him it's all routine, but jeez...I really couldn't tell the pictures of pretty hotels apart. This one is so much and is in that location. This one costs so much and is over there. He certainly wasn't faffing around with prices (rather the contrary: since we had no clue where to go and my semi-sarcastic remark of "I'm fine with the ardennes*" obviously didn't satisfy my girlfriend, he asked about the budget. We - or rather: she - hadn't thought of that). I refrained from saying something stupid like "can't we just book a last minute vacation now instead of...y'know...last minute?"**, and bit my tongue not to reply to part of his explanation that 'this hotel was 10 meters closer to the beach than the other one' (this apparently matters to some people, and I don't want to know whether my girlfriend was among those people).

    I guess I could google the price, but why? The TUI guy did a good job of convincing my girlfriend on a time and location, he did warn about things that might be inconvenient, we got an insurance about...erm...something (something with the fuel, but I can't be bothered to remember what), and thus far no extra or hidden costs (which is something that makes googling even harder). And let's be fair here: you can't use google to find out what women might want.

    *that's south Belgium...I'm more at home on a camping or youth hostel than in some stupid hotel
    **this was about half a year before the actual trip
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