I check the online travel newsletters frequently and I was heartened to read this advice by Nick Trend in the latest Sydney Morning Herald Traveller. (8 December 2010).
“Use a top quality agent…The complexity of possible routings, fares and airlines, especially on a round-the-world ticket, is not something that lends itself well to online systems. An idea or suggestion from an on-the-ball consultant who is compiling itineraries every day could save you both time and money.”
I never cease to be amazed by those who ask my advice once they have booked their flights online. Like the couple recently where one of them was flying on a completely airline and laying over for 8 hours in the airport with an eye to saving money when they had a full itinerary on arrival. Or the guy who told my partner recently that he didn’t book with me, he booked online because it was cheaper… it turned out he had booked a red-eye flight and he would be spending some time in transit, overnight as it turned out, and he would need a hotel. (I could have saved him the trouble – and got him a fare at almost the same price without needing the accommodation).
There are some great deals on the internet, and if you doing a short haul flight it is important to book when you see the fare – but if it involves any arrangements at the other end, or is a complicated itinerary it is true that your travel agent can save you time and money! Thank you Nick.