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(Fox News)   Travel agent steals nearly 4 million frequent flyer miles from clients. In other news, there are still travel agents   (foxnews.com) divider line 43
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3053 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jan 2013 at 5:41 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-12 04:01:48 PM
Only because they cut deals with companies in order to remain relevant.  I used to work at a place that got livid at me one day for buying my own ticket.  The next time, I had to go through the travel agent and they waited until the last minute which doubled the price of the ticket.
 
2013-01-12 05:43:54 PM
Well there are still realtors and accountants too so what's your point?
 
2013-01-12 05:46:46 PM
I just used a travel agent. Not sure what you mean subs
 
2013-01-12 05:51:03 PM

skullkrusher: I just used a travel agent. Not sure what you mean subs


Ditto
 
2013-01-12 05:53:56 PM
i.imgur.com

Unavailable for comment.
 
2013-01-12 05:54:01 PM
I can understand a travel agent that specializes, like a person who will set you up on a multi-country visit to Asia that's tailored to your interests and takes you off the beaten path. But if you want to go to Disney World or New York City you're probably better off with the Internet.
 
2013-01-12 05:55:22 PM
Not everyone enjoys the thrill of spending two hours to save $15 on a flight subby :P
 
2013-01-12 05:56:39 PM
I've used my parents travel agent from time to time who has found me deals on hotels not listed online. It would seem that for whatever reason, hotels still exclusively go through travel agents for unloading blocks of rooms at cheap rates.

My understanding is that the travel agent makes almost all of their money through group trips. With cruises, for instance, the cruise lines typically force all group bookings to be done through an agent.
 
2013-01-12 05:57:40 PM

Skanque: skullkrusher: I just used a travel agent. Not sure what you mean subs

Ditto


I'm using one for an up-coming trip. I still did research on my own so that I knew what I wanted ahead of time and overall it's going pretty well so far. They had some companies and packages they tried to recommend that we didn't want but didn't raise a fuss when we said they weren't right for us. For a 3 week trip to another continent, it will probably save me a lot of leg-work and the itinerary is pretty much exactly what I would have done on my own with weeks of emails and phone calls.
 
2013-01-12 05:59:20 PM
The gal and I took a month-long trip to Australia and New Zealand in November. Flew Boston to L.A. to Brisbane where we picked up our rental and started a driving trip from Brisbane to Torquay with multiple overnights along the way. After a few days in Torquay, we went to Tasmania for 4 days and then flew to New Zealand for a week.

I know there is no way in hell I would have been able to plan that trip without the help of a travel agent. I just did not know enough about the areas no matter how much reading up I did. My travel agent had basically done the same trip she planned for us and I have absolutely no regrets about any of it. Worth every penny, which for her I believe was ten percent of the total cost of the trip.
 
2013-01-12 06:00:48 PM
I went from Oregon to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia.

To do this I had to fly from Portland to Chicago, London, then Cape Town. Return trip was Livingstone to Johannesburg to Cape Town to London to Chicago to Portland.

I booked the overlanding tour online. I found the hotels where I stayed when I was not on that part of the trip online, same with the airfare. And this was in 2006. Don't see the point of a travel agent.
 
2013-01-12 06:05:27 PM

Nestchick: I went from Oregon to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia.

To do this I had to fly from Portland to Chicago, London, then Cape Town. Return trip was Livingstone to Johannesburg to Cape Town to London to Chicago to Portland.

I booked the overlanding tour online. I found the hotels where I stayed when I was not on that part of the trip online, same with the airfare. And this was in 2006. Don't see the point of a travel agent.


It depends on what your time is worth.
 
2013-01-12 06:06:50 PM
In other news, there are still travel agents

... and 4 million miles are worth more than a misdemeanor.
 
2013-01-12 06:14:46 PM

LarryDan43: Nestchick: I went from Oregon to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia.

To do this I had to fly from Portland to Chicago, London, then Cape Town. Return trip was Livingstone to Johannesburg to Cape Town to London to Chicago to Portland.

I booked the overlanding tour online. I found the hotels where I stayed when I was not on that part of the trip online, same with the airfare. And this was in 2006. Don't see the point of a travel agent.

It depends on what your time is worth.


I've outsourced tasks I didn't want to do (going to IKEA with me with a truck then coming to my place and assembling my new bed, unpacking my boxes when I move) but I didn't mind looking for the trip that I was going to take. I was bored and needed a project, so I browsed a lot of potential places to go before I decided on southern Africa. To me that was part of the fun, not drudge work. Anticipation, yanno?
 
2013-01-12 06:16:57 PM
A travel agent swindled the high school band here and one in Missouri out of over $250,00 and $360,000 respectively that was supposed to go to Hawaiian trips.
 
2013-01-12 06:19:35 PM
Travel agents don't just book flights and hotels. If that's all you need then the internet works for most people. Travel agents also help you decide ahead of time what you itinerary will be and can help you in scheduling your vacation or trip in such a way that you aren't inconvenienced any more than you have to be. They help you in learning the local customs as well as some helpful dos and don'ts such as tipping rules and so on. They even will give you a suggested packing list for what to bring to wear (bring a coat and sweater when you visit some places in California in the summertime for example) that also covers the more mundane stuff (like reminding you to bring a toothbrush).

I bump into tourists infrequently when they visit my city and invariably the ones who didn't use a travel agent are the ones with the wrong set of clothing and end up missing some of the things that they came to see. Summer in San Francisco is not the same as summer in LA but someone from, lets say Texas, who just wanted to see Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, ride a Cable Car and go see a Giants game and perhaps catch a showing of Beach Blanket Babylon probably wouldn't even think of that unless they spent some time on the internet researching it first. A travel agent does all of that for you, including getting you the tickets for Alcatraz and BBB ahead of time (both of which can be hard to get in the summer without up to a week long wait or longer, which a travel agent would know).

If I were to plan a vacation to an unfamiliar area you can sure bet that I'd be seeing a travel agent first to get the skinny on where I was planning on going. I even have one on retainer (in a manner of speaking) through AAA, where I can also get group discounts on some tourist-like things,
 
2013-01-12 06:21:26 PM
Subtard:

Travel Agents exist so I can do my research on the cheapest flights available online.

I then take the list and get a travel agent to book them at the same price. If one of those flights is cancelled, the travel agent is liable to get me a hotel or change my itinerary as required.
 
2013-01-12 06:23:03 PM
Yeah, I thought I'd try a travel agency to bring my fiancee on my last work trip with me, after seeing a sale banner outside one. Turns out the sale banner was only for flights within Canada (we were going YVR to Orlando) and the price we were quoted was exactly 30 dollars more than the cheapest flight on Expedia. Turns out $30 was the agency's fee. Yeah, I'm not paying you 30 dollars to do something I can do in 4 minutes.

I can see if you're booking a multi-leg excursion on another continent they could be useful, but for a week long destination vacation, just use the web.
 
2013-01-12 06:27:48 PM

dryknife: A travel agent swindled the high school band here and one in Missouri out of over $250,00 and $360,000 respectively that was supposed to go to Hawaiian trips.


That sounds like trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P.
 
2013-01-12 06:42:03 PM
Hi Nestchick!
I wish I'd known you were going to Zambia.
I have family there, and they would have loved to show you around.
I hope you enjoyed Zambia, it is really a lovely country, and the people are nicer than just about any people you may have met while visiting th "Dark Continent".
My folks could take you to areas tourists never see.
When I heard about the murder of the supervisors at a mine there I knew it was not Zambians that killed them, and sure enough it was workers from another place in Africa.
You can't always trust smiling faces, but Zambians faces literally light up when they smile...you can't fake a smile like that.
Kampai!
Thai
 
2013-01-12 06:43:36 PM
Stellar job!
 
2013-01-12 06:50:17 PM
Rich people have travel agents handle their flights and hotel reservations for them. Film at 11.
 
2013-01-12 06:51:12 PM
I travel a lot for work and used to rely on a travel agent for all that stuff. Then she started making mistakes. The worst was when I showed up to the airport for a flight only to be informed that my flight had actually been booked for the next day -- the day after I wanted to leave. That was the last time I used an agent. Now my wife handles all my travel arrangements.
 
2013-01-12 06:53:21 PM
My honeymoon to the Dominican was booked through travelocity. When one of my flights got changed to a different time, my whole trip was effed and it took hours on the phone with travelocity and airline to get fixed. I ended up flying first class for free, but if I wouldn't have been paying attention my trip would've been ruined and not refunded. I will be going through travel agent in the future for next trip outside of US for sure.
 
2013-01-12 06:53:29 PM
Unless your trip is complicated, don't use a travel agent. They concentrate on big-ticket items and group tours. I worked for a travel agent (whose grave I will dance on), and they're not interested in walk-ins. We put together a $20,000 honeymoon (1995 dollars) for the daughter of a client. Other clients typically spent $30,000 on a cruise so that they wouldn't have to mix the "riff-raff" (his word) in the lower decks. A reputable travel agent can help you navigate the murky waters of tour groups advertised by cruise lines; as in how to get the best cabins. If you're on your own, do your research and you should do well enough.
 
2013-01-12 06:59:13 PM

fatassbastard: Rich people have travel agents handle their flights and hotel reservations for them. Film at 11.


Do poor people travel?
 
2013-01-12 07:02:42 PM

mrswood: Do poor people travel?


Did my post say anything about poor people?
 
2013-01-12 07:04:56 PM
Even internet travel sites are overkill for my needs. I mainly travel between Seattle and Las Vegas. There's only one airline that flies direct - Alaska. I buy my tickets a month ahead of time right from the Alaska website. Takes 3-4 minutes tops and when you don't wait until the last minute, the plane tickets often cost less than a week of parking at the airport. (fark you Seattle Port Authority, you thieving corkstackers!)
 
2013-01-12 07:18:43 PM

Mentat: Only because they cut deals with companies in order to remain relevant.  I used to work at a place that got livid at me one day for buying my own ticket.  The next time, I had to go through the travel agent and they waited until the last minute which doubled the price of the ticket.


My work still forces us to use a travel agent even though its sometimes at a 100% premium over booking the trips ourselves and sometimes causes delays.

\Travel agents suck at booking rental cars.
 
2013-01-12 07:24:53 PM

Omnivorous: In other news, there are still travel agents

... and 4 million miles are worth more than a misdemeanor.


Yea, two 1st class round trips.
 
2013-01-12 07:29:15 PM

louiedog: I can understand a travel agent that specializes, like a person who will set you up on a multi-country visit to Asia that's tailored to your interests and takes you off the beaten path. But if you want to go to Disney World or New York City you're probably better off with the Internet.


I have a travel agent relative. I book most trips myself, but the biggies I let her do so that she gets the commission.

I had her book a family cruise. All the online prices were with $50 of each other on the range of weeks I was looking at and those were the same prices that came up on her booking software. She decided to call Princess to chat with their cruise folks to see if they would discount: "If he books the cruise, we'll knock $1000 off."

Travel agent: -$1000, Internet $0.
 
2013-01-12 07:34:07 PM

mjohnson71: \Travel agents suck at booking rental cars.


No, I'm quite good at booking cars, thank you.
I just cut someone's monthly rental in half yesterday.
 
2013-01-12 07:34:57 PM

RickN99: louiedog: I can understand a travel agent that specializes, like a person who will set you up on a multi-country visit to Asia that's tailored to your interests and takes you off the beaten path. But if you want to go to Disney World or New York City you're probably better off with the Internet.

I have a travel agent relative. I book most trips myself, but the biggies I let her do so that she gets the commission.

I had her book a family cruise. All the online prices were with $50 of each other on the range of weeks I was looking at and those were the same prices that came up on her booking software. She decided to call Princess to chat with their cruise folks to see if they would discount: "If he books the cruise, we'll knock $1000 off."

Travel agent: -$1000, Internet $0.


Hmmm. I had said "books the specific-dated cruise", but I used html brackets and ended up hiding some words.
 
2013-01-12 07:35:53 PM

Bukharin: I just cut someone's monthly rental in half yesterday.


Hope they had the optional insurance.

/rimshot
 
2013-01-12 07:50:30 PM
The Squirell Princess and I went from Seattle to London, a train up to King's Lynn, two nights there, train back to London then onto the Chunnel train to Paris, two nights in Paris, overnight train to Barcelona, 3 nights in Barcelona then back to the United States with a stopover in Minneapolis for a few days before heading back to Seattle.

Youre damn skippy we used a Travel Agent - worth every penny...
 
2013-01-12 08:00:21 PM

BumpInTheNight: Not everyone enjoys the thrill of spending two hours to save $15 on a flight subby :P


If it takes you 2 hours to purchase a ticket, then I'm surprised you managed to make a comment.
 
2013-01-12 08:51:31 PM

Thai_Mai_Xhu: Hi Nestchick!
I wish I'd known you were going to Zambia.
I have family there, and they would have loved to show you around.
I hope you enjoyed Zambia, it is really a lovely country, and the people are nicer than just about any people you may have met while visiting th "Dark Continent".
My folks could take you to areas tourists never see.
When I heard about the murder of the supervisors at a mine there I knew it was not Zambians that killed them, and sure enough it was workers from another place in Africa.
You can't always trust smiling faces, but Zambians faces literally light up when they smile...you can't fake a smile like that.
Kampai!
Thai


I was on a camping trip with locals to show us around. I had a skydiving accident (earlier in the trip) and finally went to see a doctor in Livingstone. He sent his maid with me to the shopping district to help me buy the supplies I would need- what a surprise! Victoria Falls was a blast and we were there at the height of the water's engorgement? what's the word? biggest runoff? largest capacity? So it was very wet in the park there.

Some of the best pictures I have are from traveling along the Zambezie river. I can't believe I did that! It was so much fun.
 
2013-01-12 08:56:49 PM

spawn73: BumpInTheNight: Not everyone enjoys the thrill of spending two hours to save $15 on a flight subby :P

If it takes you 2 hours to purchase a ticket, then I'm surprised you managed to make a comment.


I'm actually a travel agent, you would be SHOCKED to learn about some people's "strategies" when it comes to booking flights. People will either take 4 days to buy a ticket and save 9 dollars, or will book a flight with 14 hour layovers and an airport change to save 40 dollars. Which to me is just saying, "The most I should make at my work is $3.50 an hour because that is how much I value my time."

I'm not arguing that there aren't areas where a travel agent becomes unnecessary. Luckily for me though, there is a glut of lazy and/or stupid people in the world so even outside of things we're really good for we still make enough money to stay open.

/The perks are terrific
 
2013-01-12 10:59:11 PM

RickN99: louiedog: I can understand a travel agent that specializes, like a person who will set you up on a multi-country visit to Asia that's tailored to your interests and takes you off the beaten path. But if you want to go to Disney World or New York City you're probably better off with the Internet.

I have a travel agent relative. I book most trips myself, but the biggies I let her do so that she gets the commission.

I had her book a family cruise. All the online prices were with $50 of each other on the range of weeks I was looking at and those were the same prices that came up on her booking software. She decided to call Princess to chat with their cruise folks to see if they would discount: "If he books the cruise, we'll knock $1000 off."

Travel agent: -$1000, Internet $0.


What did the cruise line say when you, a person who is not a travel agent, tried?

You know those websites where you get a steep discount by buying blind and just knowing the price and general area within a city? Those rates are lower than the online listings. You can sometimes get rates like that just by calling. There's no magic to it.
 
2013-01-12 11:20:54 PM

Bukharin: mjohnson71: \Travel agents suck at booking rental cars.

No, I'm quite good at booking cars, thank you.
I just cut someone's monthly rental in half yesterday.


Bullshiat, the better man here got the wife and I a few awesome deals on rental cars.  Your agent just sucks, mjohnson71.
 
2013-01-13 12:18:24 AM

Radioactive Ass: Travel agents don't just book flights and hotels. If that's all you need then the internet works for most people. Travel agents also help you decide ahead of time what you itinerary will be and can help you in scheduling your vacation or trip in such a way that you aren't inconvenienced any more than you have to be. They help you in learning the local customs as well as some helpful dos and don'ts such as tipping rules and so on. They even will give you a suggested packing list for what to bring to wear (bring a coat and sweater when you visit some places in California in the summertime for example) that also covers the more mundane stuff (like reminding you to bring a toothbrush).

I bump into tourists infrequently when they visit my city and invariably the ones who didn't use a travel agent are the ones with the wrong set of clothing and end up missing some of the things that they came to see. Summer in San Francisco is not the same as summer in LA but someone from, lets say Texas, who just wanted to see Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, ride a Cable Car and go see a Giants game and perhaps catch a showing of Beach Blanket Babylon probably wouldn't even think of that unless they spent some time on the internet researching it first. A travel agent does all of that for you, including getting you the tickets for Alcatraz and BBB ahead of time (both of which can be hard to get in the summer without up to a week long wait or longer, which a travel agent would know).

If I were to plan a vacation to an unfamiliar area you can sure bet that I'd be seeing a travel agent first to get the skinny on where I was planning on going. I even have one on retainer (in a manner of speaking) through AAA, where I can also get group discounts on some tourist-like things,


You sound like a travel agent.

For all that, I would recommend two indispensable tools: 1) the internet, and 2) talking to the locals once you arrive. Both will serve you in better stead than a travel agent who probably has never been to where you are going anyways.
 
2013-01-13 01:51:50 AM

louiedog: But if you want to go to Disney World or New York City you're probably better off with the Internet.


Nah, we used a travel agent for Disney World last year and it was pretty damn good. She helped us out with all sorts of seating for events, crap like that. The increase in cost was easily justified by how smoothly things went for us. We literally didn't have to worry about a thing for the entire 10 days.
 
2013-01-13 04:09:33 PM
Hi again Nestchick:
Dayum...glad you survived your jump!
My first (so called hop N pop) could have been described as an accident.
I went out the door (well, a nice place to put a door) wearing an 850 Para-Commander.
I've since learned it would have been better to have a static line on a more traditional parachute.
I got to wondering how all my pals managed to suddenly gain so much altitude....it finally dawned on me that I was LOSING altitude,
As soon as I got me attitude right I pulled, and then I sort of figured out how to steer the thing.
I say sort of because I missed the target zone by about 1/8 of a mile.
I landed in a farmers hay meadow. The farmer came quickly in his pickup to make sure I was okay.
The farmer brought me back to the LZ where my pals were pretty sure I'd died since I pulled at a very low altitude...turns out I sluffed off a lot of speed by NOT knowing how to steer the chute, if I'd had enough sense to steer toward the big red circles I'd have hammered down, as it was me rather more slanted than recommended angle of "down" saved me...but not my jeans.
No...it wasn't the BBS (big brown stain), the wind decided it liked the parachute, and dragged me for a while before I remembered what to pull to release the chute, which had decided we needed more up.
I'm also glad you got to enjoy Zambia, you know what I mean about the folks you meet there, always glad to see you, almost too helpful...folks from the U.S. tend not to trust people who seem just a bit too anxious to see to their well being.
I love just about everybody I know in Zambia.
I say just about because my cousin's wife is a Scot, and is the most hateful person I ever met...it was funny, she found out I was kinda an Azn jewish redneck, and decided I was a waste of protoplasm, to make it worse the folks who brought me to the tribal area were also Bob Marley fans, and our full fledged 420 celebration didn't fit too well with the missionary image my cuz was trying to cultivate.
Good news!
My Zambian friends and I will have reservations in Hell! It'll be nice to see them again!
It sounds like you got in with the right folks, it sounds like you had a blast!
Good on ya!
Love(sticks to your face)
Thai
 
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