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Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

NZ
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Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

Hi. Any kiwis especially who book either way i would appreciate hearing from you. Im unsure at this point which way to go booking a two country holiday in asia.

Vancouver, Canada
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for London
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1. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

If you use a capable and good agent in the High Street then s/he may be able to find bargain fares for your selected flights. If you're thinking of buying through an online third party website who will simply book with the airlines on your behalf, do two things.

First, have a look at the airlines' websites and see if they can match the fares shown at the third party sites. Next, consider the potential for irrops whilst travelling. Should you book with an online booking website, if things go wrong you will have to deal with them rather than directly with the airline. Ideally you will have an uneventful journey, but things *do* happen - and do you want to have to increase your aggro in that case?

If you are booking flights only, book directly with the airline. If you're looking to book flights plus accommodation, see what the airlines can offer as well. Simplification can make things much easier, and a little homework now could pay off handsomely in future.

Phoenix, AZ
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2. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

Where do you wish to go?

When do you wish to fly?

Any airline FF programs, to consider?

In very general terms, I recommend booking directly with the airlines, or with a registered, full-service travel agent, rather than via some dodgy 3rd party Web site, that is as likely to steal your $, as provide any service.

Good luck,

Hunt

NZ
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3. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

If it's travel only - there and back with no complicated connections I go direct to the airlines websites after checking it out on either jetabroad or sky scanner . For anything complicated I go to one of the good travel agents and make sure they have a 24 hour contact. I like the AirNZ Holiday shop or some of the more reputable local agents who can step in if things go wrong. Just remember the old adage - You get what you pay for and paying for service sometimes isn't cheap.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

Depends on what kind of holiday. At the top end of things I quite often use a Virtuoso agent, especially if a property is in their list as you get decent benefits at no additional cost. If you're considering Oberois and the like it's certainly worth looking into.

I prefer to plan the trip myself and just use the V agent for the hotels though.

australia
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5. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

It may also be worth checking the forums of the countries you plan to visit. We ended up using a local agent to arrange internal flights, transfers and hotels due to difficulties booking domestic flights in Vietnam. We booked the main flights ourselves.

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

Either use a reputable full service travel agent (as kay01nz suggests) or if you're comfortable with it go DIY and book everything yourself. BUT, if you book it all yourself make sure you book directly with the airline(s).

The worst thing you could do (especially for flights) is go with third party online bookers and get seduced by that word "cheap", as it often works out more expensive and shonky customer service lands you with no end of hassle.

I'm a DIY person who books flights directly with the airline. For hotels I'm ok booking with a reputable online booker like Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, but only if I can get a deal cheaper than the hotel direct. It takes a little more effort and research to look for what suits you (for hotel ideas in particular cities I check Tripadvisor for ratings and reviews and they've always come good) but so far I've found excellent options, both for leisure and business hotels.

My mother and partner (who visit NZ from the UK every 2 years and visit other Asian locations en route) use a highly reputable full service agent. I don't know any NZ equivalents to the UK's Trailfinders or Dial-A-Flight, but if kay01nz's suggestions are similar those are the agents I'd look at.

Happy travels.

Edited: 12:35 am, July 31, 2014
Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

^^^^^*

Damn the only one edit!

One thing to add re DIY options for hotels. I find I can get very good online booker rates compared to booking direct with the hotel, but often those rates exclude things like breakfast, internet, etc. So make sure you factor those in - I can do without a hotel breakfast costing $25 and find a local coffee shop for $5 for example, so those cheaper rates can work for me. YMMV.

Edited: 12:40 am, July 31, 2014
NZ
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8. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

Thankyou everyone for all your great valuable advise.

9. Re: Travel agent verses booking yourself on net

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