WHY DON'T YOU BOOK WITH A TRAVEL AGENT

Dec 19th, 2001, 02:07 PM
  #41  
Penny
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To the previous two posters, you do not deserve a reply. Why don't you grow up and move away from home.
 
Dec 19th, 2001, 02:39 PM
  #42  
What's problem
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Penny, my dear, you seem to have what my grandma used to refer indelicately to as having a hair across your, er, rear. We can certainly understand if professionally you feel like you have been abandoned, but it doesn't seem to me that you really wanted an honest answer to your "question." You just wanted to vent and harp and harangue. You have some worthwhile observations and some unjustifiable assertions. But now you are clearly just in a bad, pre-Holiday, S.A.D. mood.

You could always try to start over again in an entirely new field, as I did at age 50. You won't get as rich and you might have once expected as a travel agent, and you won't get all those perks agents get, but then again you won't have to spend half your day on-line parrying with other posters and getting peeved.
 
Dec 19th, 2001, 04:42 PM
  #43  
Penny
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I'll HAVE YOU KNOW that I am quite deliriously happy with the CAREER I HAVE. I am a LITTLE ANGRY at the airline monopolies. And I EXPECT TO BE PAID THE FEES I deserve as a well-balanced TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL. The rest of you CAN POUND SAND. I....must....have....another....lithium....tablet. ...
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 06:49 AM
  #44  
Penny
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Once again to the previous two posters, especially the defaming one prior to this, take flying leap.

I do love my job, and I come on here, to try and show people that travel agents are not what you two try and make us out to be. I am only human, and I react to personal attacks just as humanly as the next person.

You are biased and prejudiced people, you don't care about anyone or anything. You have been wronged by one or two people and you would have the whole industry suffer for it, but you are not responsible enough to accept any blame in the horrible dealing you obviously have had with a travel agent.

My clients know what a good job I do, and I am not on the verge of losing my job or my career. As long as there are open minded people out in this world, I will never be. I feel sorry for people like you, people who have been hurt, or trampeled on, I hope you lose the grudge you have against this industry, as it takes far greater energy to remain so hostile and bitter towards anyone or anything. And despite you and your attempts to lower me to your level, I will not let you succeed. I will continue smiling and being jovial and work hard and dedicated for those clients who value me. And just so that you will know, NO ONE BUT THE INTERNET BOOKING SITES YOU SO EMPHATICALLY SUPPORT ARE GETTING RICH....I live just like the majority of the population today, month to month...and I have to plan and budget just as surely as the majority of people do, for any purchases. You have got to get over this misconception that we are all rich and luxury oriented, just because we have upscale clients, doesn't mean we are like them at all. Just able to meet and address their expectations.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 09:55 AM
  #45  
Penny
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To the poster imposter that is using my name, Get a Life. Certainly I have hit home to some degree with what I have to say or you would not feel the need to hide behind my name. At least I have the courage to identify myself, and take the bad along with the good responses.
 
Dec 20th, 2001, 04:30 PM
  #46  
Nickel
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Penny,

I strongly suggest you GET A LIFE. At this point, no one CARES what you do, how you do it, whether you are good or bad at it, whether your grandmother wears blue feathered underwear, or how many times you can HOLD DOWN THE SHIFT KEY before it gets stuck there. Quit worrying about people who think using travel agents doesn't make sense and whether they like or respect you personally. It's time to shut down your computer for a few days and regain perspective. This started as a decent discussion and degenerated into a Penny Pout and Whine. Get some sleep.
 
Dec 21st, 2001, 07:57 AM
  #47  
Penny
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Nickel,

The whole point is I DO CARE. And that is what bothers people like you.
 
Dec 21st, 2001, 05:02 PM
  #48  
H
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Penny (and all the other TAs here) -

I can certainly understand you wanted to defend against criticisms of travel agents here. However, you, and to a larger extent, some of the other travel agents who have posted on this thread seem to have a fundamental problem with people who are not criticizing TAs, but simply prefer to plan their trips on their own.

I happen to be one of those people - I simply prefer to plan my own trips, and have never had any trouble doing it. My firm does use a travel agency for our business travel, for the primary purpose of saving time that would be taken away from our secretaries that is better spent on other things. I have had occasional problems with our TA (not many).

My ultimate point is that I don't understand the complaint that people who choose not to use TAs are taking money out of your pockets (the biggest complainer on this point is the poster "tired"). Shouldn't people be free to plan a trip without a TA? Can someone actually defend this position to me?
 
Dec 21st, 2001, 05:04 PM
  #49  
H
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oops - "wanting," not wanted
 
Dec 21st, 2001, 05:35 PM
  #50  
a
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H, Tired = one of Penny's other personalities. Notice Tired is too tired to use cap locks as much as Penny, who REALLY CARES.
 
Dec 22nd, 2001, 11:52 AM
  #51  
Penny
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H,

I do not have a problem at all with those who wish to self-book. I do have a problem however with those who do that bash the TA's in this world. We do not deserve it collectively, only those who have done a pathetic job for a client. I would hate to see a novice scared off from using a TA , due to a biased, prejudicial person, who might have been burned by a TA". Just as in any profession you have the good with the bad. That is why I continue to type away on this board If I use every day commonalities that is because I have no idea what it will take for it to click in some peoples heads. We are not all bad, the majority of us take great pride on our work, and we are not getting rich, and taking glamorous trips all the time. The last trip I was able to take was in 1996. Excluding a week in Germany last year to be with my daughter. We didn't have the opportunity to tour, due to her illness, and my being there to help her recover.

To all who read here, I Wish you a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year.

Even to the poster who used my name on 12/19/01 at 8:49pm. May god bless you and give you peace.
 
Dec 23rd, 2001, 03:32 AM
  #52  
Vic
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Penny's complaint is that airlines are offering web only fares that she can't match. She can buy a ticket on the web like anyone else, but she must charge a fee of say $75 to stay in business. And even if she can buy a web matching fare on her computer, the airlines are paying next to nothing in commissions so she must charge a fee in any case. A fee that you wouldn't pay if you booked directly with the airlines or an independent web site.

I don't think Penny is doing herself any favors by telling web knowledgeable people who frequent these forums that they can save money by buying their own tickets on the web and save money.

Many agents think that their salvation is the consolidator ticket. Unlike a regular ticket, they can hide whatever markup they think they can get from the customer. So when an agent says, I'll sell you a consolidator ticket, watch out.

Not for profit makes a good point. Agents can't be all things to all people. For example, most quaint little hotels that people on these forums seem to prefer don't pay commissions. Agents can't provide any first hand experiences with these hotels because even if they have been in the area, why visit a hotel that doesn't pay commissions? It's a major hassle to make reservations at these hotels, not to mention the expenses of faxes and phone calls. This type of traveler really should plan his own trip or be prepared to pay an agent a substantial fee.
 
Dec 23rd, 2001, 11:31 AM
  #53  
Barbara
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Much of this thread has nothing to do with the virtues of using a travel agent.

For example, Penny says, "I hardly think that our piddly 10% ever put your employer in jeopardy, just your employer's incredible bad business manuevers. The airlines would be better served to try and heal themselves in any means they can....and the best means right now, and in the future would be to re-evaluate their relationship with travel agents. Most tickets do not run that much, so 10% would be a tremendous saving's to them in the long run"

She wants a return to the good old days of 10% commissions on air ticket. The airlines decided a long time ago that they didn't need agents. Common sense tells the industry that agents don't induce people to buy tickets. People buy tickets because they need to go somewhere, visit relatives, go on vacation, do some business, whatever. Buying a plane ticket is dependent on other needs which no agent can induce in the consumer.

Some of the agent posters seem to be saying that the consumer should buy tickets from agents even if they are substantially more expensive than directly from the airline or on the net. I guess the theory is that if agents go the way of buggy whip makers, the airlines will be able to raise fares. That's silly. Competition among airlines, not their distributors, keeps fares in check. I'm far more concerned with keeping Southwest Airlines in business than in keeping agents well fed.
 
Dec 24th, 2001, 07:21 AM
  #54  
Penny
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BArbara,

Keep Southwest well fed, and wish upon an entire industry certain death. We are and have always been adaptable. We will never go away, there are far too many that find they need our services. Just ask the 1000's and 1000's that were stranded by the events of 9/11. The airlines were not available to help, your internet web sites were not available to help, but, the travel agents of America were, and did, over and over and over. For days and weeks. And we did not charge anyone anything, so go ahead and keep believing what you will about me and my profession.

The airlines will have to heal themselves, I guess they'll keep expecting taxpayers like us to bail them out, I for one will and have written to my senators, and I am praying that they launch an investigation into the monopolies created by the airlines, and shut them down. Of course the United pilots may take care of United, who is already struggling, even after the government bailout, maybe they shouldn't have accepted delivery of the fleet of 50 passenger regional jets to lease/time share with corporations.

But the very next time I get a call from one of the airlines pleading with me to move their shares, and pleading with me to do what I can to help them recover because they are slowly sinking (which is what United did a few years back), and more recently another carrier, I will simply tell them to call you and Vic, your certainly able to help them, after all, you both have wished demise and death upon this profession. Be careful of what you wish for.....sometimes it happens.

A very Merry Christmas to you.
 
Dec 24th, 2001, 10:58 AM
  #55  
Vic
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Penny is her own worst enemy. She hates airlines because they took her 10% commission away from her. Her hate makes her irrational. She wants the Congress to investigate the airlines and shut them down. If she gets her wish, no more Penny. It's sheer idiocy.

Penny always goes back to 911 and that travel agents came to the rescue of stranded passengers battling indifferent or sadistic airlines. What nonsense. What could agents do? The entire system was shut down for 6 days. The press is always alert to conflict and controversy. The stories I read were that the airlines were very accomodating. I never read a story about any travel agent coming to the rescue of a stranded traveler. If the traveler felt that they weren't up to flying,the airlines even refunded non refundable tickets. This outraged some agents because they had to pay commissions back to the airlines.

She talks about airlines pleading with her to shift business their way. That's exactly what I'm talking about, except the airlines don't plead, they pay agents incentives to shift demand often to the determent of passengers.

What Penny can't get through her thick head is that consumers are most influenced by ticket cost. That's what really creates demand. For example, the airlines are competing with the family car on short trips. If the price of the tickets are too much, the family gets in the car. That's one of the major reasons for Southwest's success. And certainly Southwest has never been overly friendly to agents.

So the airlines are always looking for ways to reduce the price of their ticket. One way to get the price down is to go to zero commissions. It's not far away, BA has already there in the UK.
 
Dec 26th, 2001, 07:39 AM
  #56  
Penny
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Vic,

I do not lament the loss of the 10% commission. I do not "wish" congress or anyone else to "shut down the airlines". I do wish the a/l's would stop with their monopolistic behavior, and put us all on a level playing field. I am sick to death of having to see people for circumstances have to pay a great deal more just because they can not afford a computer, just because they do not know how to use one, just because they do not want their credit card used on line, just because they choose to use me instead of an airline.
That is not fair to THEM. I do not make my money on airline tickets. That is completely laughable, just as humurous as your uneducated, Scrooge remarks.
 
Dec 26th, 2001, 10:39 PM
  #57  
Lynn
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To get back to the original question - the reason I personally don't book with travel agents is that I would prefer to do my own booking. I travel frequently for business - I recently hit the 2 million mile mark on one airline and am getting close to 1 million on another. I just prefer to do it myself, because I can depend upon myself to do it correctly - and I couldn't depend upon travel agents to spend the time on the details - getting the best seat on the airplane (there were numerous times that I was booked by travel agents on planes with no seats - oversold situations), making sure that I'm in the queue for an upgrade, booking with the most conveniently located car rental agency, etc.

With all the tools of the internet now available to those of us who travel frequently, I would just rather do it myself. I have no particular animosity towards travel agents - I would just rather do it myself - and I will continue to do so. I'm good at it and I trust the arrangements I make.
 
Dec 28th, 2001, 12:47 PM
  #58  
Faina
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Penny, once I called a TA asking to book me on an international flight. I did not like her initial offer - 8 hours stopover, and asked if she can check other airlines. Her answer was: we don't have an agreement with other airlines to fly to this country. I called another airline myself and got reservations I needed. It was a small tour agency in San Francisco, and I'm sure the TA was not the smartest one to say that. So it's not always about money... although I don't understand why I should think about the TA hardship... when you come to my workplace I can bet anything you don't care if it's hard or easy for me to work, you just want good inexpensive service wheather it's a doctor office, a beauty parlor, a restaurant, etc...
And by the way I like to be on my own. Does it take a rocket scientist to book a trip?
 
Dec 28th, 2001, 01:18 PM
  #59  
Penny
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Faina,

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to book travel I suppose. But it does require to some degree a certain level of knowledge. If you simply booking an airline ticket, it is conceded that almost anyone can do it now-a-days. If you want a modicum of security, someone to help you if something goes wrong, then I would say a Travel Agent is your best bet. Our agency alone last year sold 2.3 million dollars worth of a/l tickets alone. That give's us a little more clout than John Q public purchasing 1 or 2 tickets a year from an online booking site.

As for your incident with the international ticket. It sounds like you called by mistake a tour supplier who might have offered independent air to certain markets. Travel Agencies are a different kind of company from them. We are contracted with all major airlines, unless one of the airlines decides not to allow that agency to issue a/l tickets. That happened to a local agency here with American Airlines. The agency had a tremendous amount of what are called debit memo's from AA and the agency refused to pay them. So AA pulled their plates. When an a/l pulls our plates, we are no longer allowed to issue a/l tickets in any form or fashion for that a/l. It doesn't happen very often.

I would encourage you just as I have other poster's to not discount all travel agents, just because of the mistakes, poor attitude, poor service, what ever it was, of one or 2. There are alot of great agency's out here.

Good luck, and remember do not discount all travel agents because of 1 or 2 bad experiences. Like I say, I had to go to several doctors, before I found one that I liked and would continue using.
 
Dec 28th, 2001, 01:20 PM
  #60  
Penny
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Faina,

I try and think about the hardships of others, I just assumed it was an american thing to do. Was I wrong????
 

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