6 Reasons a Travel Agent is Better Than Any Search Engine
This post originally appeared on Flight Centre CA.
We see your search engine, and we raise you a human. Actually, almost 1,000 of them.
You may have seen the recent articles circulating that suggest the tricks of a certain search engine are the best in the trade, but we're willing to bet that we can still offer more. Here are 6 reasons a travel agent is better than any search engine.
1. Expertise: Airfares and Beyond
Not only are travel agents trained to be as smart as a search engine, but we're taught to get creative to save you time and money. We work with complex, multi-stop itineraries where we can achieve things like:
- Pairing non-alliance airlines on the same itinerary – When flying into a large continent like Europe, it's often cheaper to fly on a regional/charter airline that may not be part of the same alliance as another airline (whereas the internet often provides only alliance options).
- Booking open jaw flights – A Travel Agent can fly you into one city and out of another, all on the same ticket. This is not always possible with the internet as it will often only offer 2 one-way flights.
Booking flights is not all we do! We can book your hotel, car rental, insurance, tours, and more. We'll help you plan your destination wedding, get all your guests there, arrange the perfect honeymoon, and fly your parents out to see your first born if that's what you need them for. We can get your entries to sports events like New York Marathon, help you with your yoga holiday, and even recommend great dive sites. We are specialists in our field. We are people who have been to these destinations and can recommend where to eat, what to see, what to wear and what to avoid.
2. Lowest Airfare Guarantee
If you're not dealing with a complex routing and you just want to book a flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok, can't you just do that online? Sure you can, but why would you when it doesn't cost you anything more to book with a consultant? Trust us, you want someone in your corner (see #5).
How does the Lowest Airfare Guarantee work? It promises you the best deals on flights from Hong Kong to anywhere in the world. At Flight Centre, we'll beat any comparable airfare quote and that's our guarantee–if not, you fly free.
3. Buying Power
Our global buying power is unmatched as a travel retailer. We have exclusive airfare and vacation packages available only through us. Our partnerships with airlines and vacation providers entitle our customers to additional benefits just for booking through us, and we can leverage these relationships to ensure our contracts allow us to often secure better pricing than the internet.
4. Personalized Travel
The internet uses your search history to serve up different destinations it thinks you might like; we use a real conversation to understand your wants and needs, and to turn your dream vacation into a reality. We'll maximize your time and itinerary by recommending stopovers, and we'll keep frequent flyer info on file and in mind when choosing an airline for you. We'll also simplify frequent flyer programs for people who aren't familiar with them, don't have the time to do the work, or just don't care to wrap their heads around it.
We can also hold seats and hotel rooms, request upgrades for special occasions and more! It's pretty fancy stuff.
5. Customer Support
Our job is not done once you've booked. We're here for you through your entire journey, from the moment you start researching your vacation to the minute you walk back through your front door. Life happens and sometimes you need to change your flight or sadly, ask for a refund. These processes can be long and frustrating for a traveller, but it's okay because we'll sit on hold so you don't have to.
We also offer 24/7 support for when things go wrong. Below is a real call that came in to one of our consultants. This is a hand we're not bluffing about:
And on that note:
6. We're Human
We know that sometimes people have to travel for some not-so-fun reasons; we'll take care of all the details so you can focus on what's important. We also know how amazing travel can be and we'll get excited with you because our wanderlust is what landed us at Flight Centre in the first place! Simply put, a search engine won't high five you after you book and it's just not as good looking as we are.