I'm really starting to feel sorry for TA's

Aug 23rd, 2002, 07:32 PM
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I'd be happy to use a TA IF they were competent. Earlier this year I did my tickets through a TA (I had found the best fare tho she was to be looking for one for months but never contacted me with good or bad news). The corker was that I needed a visa for Australia; she filled out a form and told me I had my visa. When I changed planes in London and checked in with British Air (to go to ?Australi) they informed me that no way was that paper a visa and I needed to get one from their service desk (for a fee, of couse), further that they'd get in trouble if they let me leave London going to Australia with that non-visa. Again, if TAs are competent, I'll be in line to use them.
Aug 24th, 2002, 04:56 AM
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An Australian visa is from a travel agent is applied for and produced thru an electronic link to the Aussie gov. thru the GDS system. It is electronically approved or denied within seconds. The ETA is then printed for the customer. It includes an approval number. Unless your trip was many years ago BA was wrong in making you get another one. Hard to argue with them tho. Australia is a wonderful place, isn't it?
Aug 24th, 2002, 06:22 AM
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Bad analogy, Doc. Doctors aren't the ones suffering the worst from HMO's, it's the public who get great health care so long as they don't get sick. Once they get sick, too bad. As for the Docs, their suffering isn't a matter of not making as much money as they used to, it's that they spend 80% of their time on the phone arguing with HMO's and have to fit 10 times as many patients in the remaining 20% of their time. If docs went into medicine just to make money, you'd think they wouldn't care whether they earn it taking care of patients or chasing bureaucrats with 8 grade educations who have life-and-death powers of decision.

Feeling sorry for TAs is more like feeling sorry for HMO "patient advocates" who don't advocate for their patients but rather are shils for their bean-counter bosses.

BTW: Medicare's administrative costs are about 8 cents on the dollar; HMOs routinely run between 30-40 cents on the dollar.

Aug 26th, 2002, 05:16 AM
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Msdoc, Although I appreciate your knowledge of the issue, I don't agree. The point is,Dr's are putting in more work to make less money, or the income has not increased, because the industry climate has changed. This is due to managed care. The original post was to feel sorry for TA's, not who was suffering the worst. I feel sorry for patients who don't get the care they need because someone who has no idea about what I do seems to be able to render care. So, I do feel sorry for dr's because they have lost control of what they were educated to do. But I don't think the general population does. And I don't think the general population feels sorry for TA's because southwest will not pay the commission.
Aug 29th, 2002, 06:25 PM
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I was a travel agent for years, specializing in international and adventure travel. Even with the straight 10% commission for domestic airline tickets, it was hardly worth messing with unless you did a lot of corporate travel. I always book online for my domestic tickets. However, I just had a situation where we needed air going into San Diego and out of Fort Lauderdale (trans-canal cruise). On AA, UA, Orbitz and Expedia, fares were in the $1500.00 per person range. Since I had been an agent for many years, I knew enough to check Southwest going to San Diego and ATA back from Fort Lauderdale...got tickets for about $420.00 per person. A good travel agent would have done the same. Also, when booking our cruise, I checked online with the cruise company. The category we wanted was $3500.00 per person. With a local travel agency, it was the same. I checked several on-line cruise agencies and got the suite for $2395.00 per person. Those who are so closed minded and proud that they always book their own travel have probably often time paid way more than necessary. Seems to me to be an expensive little hobby!
Aug 30th, 2002, 05:34 AM
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lilypond - what makes you think that only ex-travel agents know things like the Southwest and ATA fares? Many non-travel agents have actually travelled ten times more than the most experience travel agent. And as far as the .com cruise agencies, I don't count using on-line booking engines like cruise411, cruise.com, expedia, etc. travel agents. Thats still "booking it myself".
Aug 30th, 2002, 12:14 PM
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Oh Peter, you are quite the naive little man. If Expeida, Orbitz, etc. are not travel agencie, albeit on line, what exactly would you call them? Do you really think they are nonprofit organizations?

And you had better believe that you haven't travelled as widely as I.

People who are not experienced making travel arrangements can often pay way more than necessary by doing it themselves. I know this for a fact. But last I heard this is a free country and glad they're doing their part to help the economy! More power to them!

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