What do I owe to a Travel Agent?

Old May 23rd, 2013, 11:28 AM
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What do I owe to a Travel Agent?

I started to use a travel agent (who is tied to a particular airline) for a trip to Asia and had the air and hotels set but in the end the travel agent couldn't get the return flight on the date I needed. Not sure why it took 3 weeks to find out the flight was unavailable which I'm peeved about. However, they did provide good ideas for hotels and some tours.

I'm going to use another travel agent who isn't tied to that airline in hopes of getting the flights I need. I might use the hotel and tour information from the first agent but feel a little guilty.

Do I owe the first agent a fee for the work they put into this trip even though in the end they couldn't deliver?
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 01:13 PM
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If you use the work I would think you owe the agent something. Didn't you discuss payment up front? However, Asia is very easy to do on your own, without an agent. Come talk about your trip on the Asia board and you'll find lots of help. For flights I start at kayak.com
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 02:09 PM
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No, you do not owe the agent anything.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 02:59 PM
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Book it yourself. It is easy and will likely cost less.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 07:26 PM
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Unless you are looking at really odd routings, 95% of the time you can book it yourself. Like Kathie said, typically it will cost less as well. What dates and flights are you looking at?
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Old May 24th, 2013, 02:08 AM
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I research myself and then get a travel agent to make the final booking, price matching what I have found. If I make a mistake and miss the fine print it is my loss, if the agent does it, they have to fix it. I've said that to her as to the reason I go to her and it keeps her in a job!

If they wanted you to pay they would of told you the costs. For my liking you are just enquiring until you actually hand money over. You can drop out any time without paying. This should be why the travel agent words hard to please you.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 05:28 AM
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Sometimes a TA comes in very handy. We have developed a good relationship with one and have used her for things that she gets a commission on(cruises, hotels) and other times she has done alot for us pro bono. I ususally check prices and then relay them to her. She often can get better ones or just uses my quotes.At Christmas or Valentine's Day we send her a card and put in a gift voucher for a dinner. It costs very little and there have been several times when her help has been invaluble..ie: cancelled flight (ORD) to MAD after having left the original departure gate(GRR)..A terrible screw up due to meeting times and unreachable family. She was called and within a short time had either hit the right buttons or called in a few markers but rerouting took place, flights were found to match timing and messages relayed through airline/airport paging. Was glad to say thnks in a tangible way. Don't underestimate the help that you can receive. But to answer your question..no! you don't owe unless you have been advised.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 04:25 PM
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Is the agent asking for payment?
suze is online now  
Old May 25th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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amer-can... my travel agent is not allowed to receive tips or presents. I laughed with her a week ago and said "damn, I can't give you that $5000 tip I was planning on"!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:22 AM
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I am sad to say that it is a profession that is less and less useful because of the internet. Some travel agents though are super and they can take good care of you and specially they can ( should ) respond to you if you are for instance in a foreign place and your flight is cancelled.
The internet though is a great source of information, and what I believe is more detrimental to travel agents is that hotel rates, fares , available seats are on a dinamic course. So the travel agent can get you a great rate at a given hotel, but as time goes by the same hotel may reduced its rates below the rate quoted by your travel agent.
One thing I have found out is that after a reservation is made it is a good thing to keep checking. Personally I hate hotel reservations that cannot be canceled even if they are cheaper.
So I guess it all depends on the travel agent. I believe that if Travel agents are requested to make a lot of research to plan a trip, may be they should charge something in front,to be discounted later, in case the passanger keeps all the information and buys the hotels etc from someone else. tHat would be fare.
So in our case, roboron I guess it is up to you , put on your fair persona hat, and you will know if you own anything to that travel agent.
Personally I do not use travel agents but that is a personal choice.
Graziella5b is offline  
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