Why do use a travel agent?

Why do people use a travel agent when you can book the whole cruise on line and simply go on an airline website if you need to fly? I have never used a TA.

12 Answers

Sometimes the right agent can get deals that the average customer cannot. These deals are passed back to the customer by way of OBC or other considerations.

In the past, I felt as you do, but have found a good "local" agent that seems genuinely interested in seeing that I get what I want.

(Admin - are we allowed to name agents?)

I did use a TA for the cruise this go around because of the price. I booked everything else myself. It was nice it came with travel insurance as well.

We found better prices for flights than the TA could get us and the same with hotel rates so we book the majority of the trip ourselves. I use a Carnival PVP for the cruise booking, in case I have questions about the room etc.

I book through priceline.com for my cruises because they offer obc and $50 coupon for a hotel room.

Sometimes I use a cruise web site and other times I go through the cruise line for just the cruise portion. I prefer to book the flights and hotel myself so I can get what I want, not what they want to sell me. I like the web site where I can do a search for all cruises in the next 90 or less days or to look up a destination and see all the options to pick the line I want (I'm not loyal to just cruise one line, I pick by itinerary, price and ship) I have found I get better prices, times and hotels when I peace a trip together myself.

I have been really lucky. On my first cruise I had a great TA who, as I have mentioned before, she knows us well and we had a great cruise. On the second we had done a great deal of work ahead of time and used a real good Ta . For NCL I use an agent who works for NCL and he is a friend as well.

The next cruise is the Cruiseline,com cruise and we are using our in house team for that.

I have no doubt that TAs are helpful for quite a few travelers, but not for us. Years ago all the cruise lines and for that matter the coach tour outfits like COSMOS, all required their guests to use a TA. I used to be in the air travel game for years and had close affiliations with agencies. I never had a problem with them then and enjoyed working with that element of the industry.

However, after we began world travel, we had a number of real stressful problems not only on cruises but coach tours as well which were a direct result of errors and omissions on the part of an agent. There is nothing worse than to be in a travel predicament on the other side of the globe, in an opposite time zone, and have to try and get in touch with your agent, who happens to be out for the week, so their mess can be straightened out.

When the day finally came where all lines set up their current systems where we can deal directly with the cruise line it was like a breath of fresh air. Since then, no more grief or unexpected booking disasters. Maybe an agent could get me a better deal now and then but I doubt it and even so, elimination of the "middle man" is worth paying a little more as far as I'm concerned.

I agree. I use a TA that I love. Before booking I will also do research and compare the rates. So far my TA has always had the better offers.

I'm very happy with the travel agent I have.


Never mind - I just found the Terms of Service and found out the answer is "No".


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