Do travel agents charge extra?

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Oct 7th, 2005, 01:55 PM
  #1
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Do travel agents charge extra?

Does anyone know if you are charged extra at a travel agency? I know they make some kind of commission, does it come out of my pocket? Someone mentioned that you gennerally pay about 1k more than if you were to book it straight through the website of the hotel or flight. HELP!
lily83 is offline  
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Oct 8th, 2005, 10:49 AM
  #2
 
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1 k is very high I think, in fact it seems way unrealistic. TA's have been feeling the pinch for quite some time and some get so little if any commission they impose a service fee to make a booking. What are you planning to do? You may be able to get some good suggestions.
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Oct 8th, 2005, 11:35 AM
  #3
KVR
 
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It depends on the travel agency. Some charge a small fee for their time to look up prices for you since many people are looking and not actually buying, so a lot of thier time wasted for nothing. I've never seen 1k. Usually around or less than $50.00.

I have a personal TA I have used for years and love. I plan my trip and search on-line at several agencies and package tours for the best price and then discuss with her. She will usually match or beat the best on-line price, plus we get personal attention and a few perks along the way. She also always sends me a destiantion related gift with our tickets. She does not charge us any fees. Her commission is paid by the companies/airlines she books us with.

With all the on-line competion, I can't really see travel agenices charging the travelers fees anymore, but some may still do that.
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Oct 9th, 2005, 01:45 AM
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General TAs, of whom there are fewer and fewer these days, rarely make commission on airlines, often on lodging, but that commission is off wholesale rates you most probably would not have access to as a consumer. They generally charge a nominal,under US$50, fee for ticket processing and time. Travel agents working for generalist agencies handle popular mass market destinations such as Orlando, Cancun, the DR, Vegas, cruises, Sandals and the like where they get wholesale rates and commissions -- and once in a blue moon, a 2 night junket, tho FAM/freebie 'familiarity' trips for agents are now very rare. Generalist agents rarely have been off the beaten path and many have never been to the destinations they sell. Specialist agents are entirely a different breed who focus on one area -- or type of traveller. They charge for their time, which is customized to their clients and extremely detailed with clients receiving literally pounds of advance info to help plan their trip in advance.
The difference is like using an extremely well=connected concierge at an upscale hotel vs. the local chamber of commerce info desk...
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Oct 9th, 2005, 06:27 AM
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The agent I use does not charge a fee unless we have to change an airline ticket and that fee is imposed by the airlines directly and not the agent. We also get all our questions and concerns answered without feeling rushed and yes he usually throws in a little perk. Also by using an agent you know that if a problem were to arise you have someone in your corner who you can call and get resolution.
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Oct 9th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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My travel agent charges $150 per trip but she is well worth it. She is listed as one of the top agents in the world by Conde Nast magazine, etc. They don't make commission on plane tickets. She also gives you a very detailed itinery of restaurants, sights, etc. When I plan an easy one stop trip, I don't use her. But if I am planning a more exotic, multi-stop, complicated vacation she is worth every penny.
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Oct 9th, 2005, 01:56 PM
  #7
 
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I highly recommend a travel agent. Ours is very good and she is in our corner if anthing should go wrong with our vacation before, during or even after. Ours will match sell-off prices that I have found on the internet and if we book from the travel brochure we get a discount of 12% of brochure price.
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