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Forums » General & Multi-Province » to book with a travel agent or not


to book with a travel agent or not

by /bio/islander »

I've travelled in many places in Canada and used one agency with different travel agents. I also go to different countries each year.

Recently, I had a major problem with my booking when I was in South America and I tried to fix the problem with the airline. They stated I have to contact my agent. Several problems:

1. Since I booked with an agent, the airline will only speak or deal with the agent. I was told that the system in Canada does not allow a passenger to "own" the booking even if I paid it and I am the one travelling.

2. The collect call number that the agency claimed operates 24/7 does not operate 24/7. It will ask you to leave your message and they will call you back. This is also again a problem because cell phones don't usually work in Peru airports and also the agency will have difficulties locating me.

3. My travel agent visited 6 countries but mostly in Europe and has no idea what is in South America or in the Far East. It took him time to get back to me with my questions about Peru.

I'm now going to Argentina. My friend who went to Argentina had the same problem.  She warned me that the collect call number does not work and with the time difference, I might run into major problemts. So I'm now deciding to take control of my own hotel booking and airline booking as I always travel with comprehensive insurance anyway.

My questions:

1. how important are travel agents? I spend thousands of dollars each year and each year I run into problems involving the travel office I  hire. The agent makes error on time difference between countries and the hotel booking info is what I can also read from Frommer forum.

2. Are online "middle men " hotel bookings reliable for example, trivago, expedia?

3. How reliable are hotel bookings made directly by guests, instead of using go-between channels?



Hoping to hear from anyone.

Thank you.




RE: to book with a travel agent or not

by /bio/billiv »

You don't need a travel agent unless you are not capable of using the internet or don't have the patience to do your own research and booking on the internet.  iI's pretty easy, but it does take time if you have very specific wants for your trip.

Yes, websites like orbitz, travelocity, kayak, trivago, vayama,, etc. are reliable.

Of course booking directly with hotels (and airlines, railways, etc.) is reliable.

That said, anyone can make a mistake, and human beings are involved with any form of travel planning and booking you want to use, whether travel agents, direct bookings, services like kayak or orbitz, etc.  Nothing is perfect.

But with all the information available on the internet, there's no reason to use an agent--I tried a travel agency when we were going to Italy for the first time, and I gave up on them when I found that I knew more about our destinations than they did.


RE: to book with a travel agent or not

by /bio/thomson1 »


I would not use Expedia or any of their subsidiary companies;,,,,,,,, Car and Expedia stole $1163 dollars from me in the past and in my opinion, they should join forces with United Airlines who are known to drag and beat up their customers. The CEO of these companies sure did not go to any reputable business school because they failed, big time, on customer service. Booking and traveling for a vacation or business should be a good experience. Not with companies like Expedia and United Airlines. They steal and strong arm you. It’s time people boycott these companies.

Now, a company that I have used recently and was quite good is However, I still recommend dealing directly with the airline because any minor problem usually can be corrected without fees or a small fee (exception is United Airlines).

So, if you’re in the mood to be disrespected, robbed, dragged and manhandled then Expedia and United Airlines await your call.


One pissed off former customer of Expedia



RE: to book with a travel agent or not

by /bio/jamesdespres »

If one does not have the time to go through all the booking process, they can rely on a traveling agent for tickets, hotel booking and many other stuff. But before finalizing any booking one should personally check all the facilities and charges offered by the hotels or travel agents. Like wifi, parking, hotel room safes, 24-hour room service, Non-smoking floors/rooms, check-in and checkout details, currency exchange services are offered by the hotel or not, what if you cancel the booking, was the money refundable or not these all things helps to have the smooth journey.