What Services Customers Expect From Travel Agencies?

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It’s a great big world out there and it is just waiting for you to explore it. Of course, it is a romantic idea but not necessarily an easy one. Making travel plans can be complicated and a lot of people really don’t want that headache.  Reasons travel can be complicated include:

  • booking hotels
  • currency exchange
  • time zones
  • air travel
  • cultural considerations
  • customs

Trying to figure out all of these things is time consuming. This is why many people use travel agencies to make their plans.


Travel Agent Responsibilities

The bulk of a travel agent’s responsibilities are to simplify the trip planning process. In some cases they may do all of the work for you (make sure you provide a budget) but they can also narrow down your choices to let you ultimately make the decisions.  Either way, they can handle just about every aspect of your travel plans so that all you have to worry about it is getting to the plane (or train or…)

Travel Agent Limitations

It is important to understand that travel agents have to be registered with either the International Air Transport Association (IATA) or the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) in order to book airlines through their central source.  This gives them direct access to inventory (and flights). But you need to know that not all airlines are linked with these booking engines.  Many smaller regional carriers, like Southwest, are not on these booking engines, so you might not be able to get the most affordable flight available for your trip if you are trying to book a package as a whole.

Travel Agent Payment

Travel agents earn commissions per sale; plain and simple. This is not wholly accurate across the board, but that’s how you should think about it.  They make money—in fees or commission—for every vacation they book.  This could mean that they will simply try to sell you the most expensive vacation package they can but it could also motivate them to work harder.  While you should be wary of any commissioned sales person in any industry there is no need to assume that your travel agent is only in it for the money.  Customer satisfaction—and agency reputation—can go a long way, so assume they will do their best to stretch your travel budget so they can continue to do business.

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