Travel Agent vs. Expedia

Old Oct 27th, 2005, 01:42 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Travel Agent vs. Expedia

We were quoted a price of 3884.40 from a travel agent for airfare and 4 nights Marriott Frenchmans Reef and Morning Star Resort. This also inlcudes taxes, transfers and trip insurance.

From expedia - cost is 2658.82. We have the identical flights, Resort and room. Taxes paid, but not transfers. We can purchase the trip insurance for a total of $212.

This is non inclusive and for 2 adults. We are wondering why the difference between the travel agent and expedia? Expedia quotes the airfare at about $100 per person less and also the room rate was cheeper. This almost sounds like one of those - if it looks to good it probably is. Has anyone traveled using expedia? Are there any missing costs that we haven't thought of? Is the travel agent worth the extra $? I don't mean to offend any travel agents out there - we just have never used one.

Looking forward to your comments!!! This forum has helped us a bunch as we have started to plan this trip.
karen_mitch is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 03:10 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I cant speak for the overall vacation price but I can tell you that I had a similar experience last week with just airline tickets. Expedia had the same tickets as my TA for over a $100 less. My agent said that sometimes the internet rates/best price is posted a day or so before even they get them. Thus I waited a day and low and behold she was able to get them even cheaper. I suppose there was an element of risk that I could have lost out all together but I can say that this time at least I get the best price I ever have from Chicago to Montego Bay. I really think buying tickets can sometimes be compared to playing a slot machine. Good luck !
Michaelpl is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 04:42 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the posting. I will talk with our TA and see if the price has changed in the next day or so.

Still interested to hear if anyone has bought airline tickets and hotel through expedia. Does anyone know the tax rate on the hotel rooms at St. Thomas?
karen_mitch is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 05:44 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 531
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have bought airline tickets thru Orbitz last yr and Expedia this yr. Both times my travel agent looked into it for me and told me go ahead and book as he wasn't able to find a better fare.
vinceygirl is offline  
Old Oct 27th, 2005, 09:31 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,805
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's sad but true that Expedia/Travelocity/Hotwire/Hotels.com are probably putting TA out of business.

Then again, in the past we weren't able to reseach our own hotels and had to rely on the TA. In 2000 we wanted a late vacation in August from the UK, couldn't find anything on line and went to our local TA - we had a wonderful vacation in Turkey, amazing scenery, people and experience.

Now 5 years later all the places we visited are online and we could book flight, hotel, excursions, restaurants all wihout using a TA.

Time moves on, If you don't have time to organise a vacation and know exactly what you want then use a TA but it sounds to me as though you know your way around a computer.

I like to research my own vacations (DH is too busy) and at the end of the day while it might be harder to do it this way I know what I'm getting and whether I have a feel for it or not, if it's a horrible holiday then at least it's my fault

As a bonus as you have discovered you will probably save money.

Let us know how it goes!
alya is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 05:10 AM
  #6  
cdt
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have had good experiences with Expedia and Orbitz - HOWEVER - they can be difficult if you need to make changes.

At that point you need to talk to a real person, and my experience is that their live operators are barely competent.

These sites work best when you book it online and leave it alone.

Your price for trip insurance seems a bit high, unless it's one of those ultra-comprehensive policies that covers everything, including changing your minds.
cdt is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 06:12 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,068
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
alya - I'm in the travel business, and wrote this yesterday on the US site. You might be interested in it.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34698686

Incidentally, people from all departments of our company have gone out to the airports here to help out, and have been there til after midnight every night. There were no expedia people there to help their clients.... I wonder why...

kamahinaohoku is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 06:48 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,068
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One more thing...I also wonder why our company could charter 5 planes (we are taking another one down tomorrow to get the rest of our clients in Cancun) and the airlines can't get there to evacuate their clients????? (who were also our clients!) Our clients did not go to Cancun on charters...they went there on scheduled carriers who can't seem to get their acts together enough to get them home!

There was no one there from the on-line travel companies because they didn't do anything to help their clients.

Sorry, I'm just upset thinking about it.
kamahinaohoku is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 09:19 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,805
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi kamahinaohoku,

A job well done! but it sounds to me like you work for a large company (5 planes), whereas it appears (at least in the posts I've read here on Fodors) that most people use small one/two people local companies.

In the UK we had shops on the High Street that you could walk into, pick up brochures and book a vacation.

I don't know about anywhere else in the States but here in MA I drive past a couple of places that advertise themselves as Travel Agents - they are small companies that are home based. It's a pity you can't advertise who you work for I'd like to use your experience.

Have a lovely relaxing weekend - it sounds as though you need it
alya is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 10:43 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,711
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I spoke with my TA last night.He was telling me about a honeymoon he was arranging and Cancun was the destination.They couple came in this week and wanted to know what their options were.They told him that if he could not change it to go to Cabo, then just refund it and she would book the exact same package on Expedia for $1,000 less than he had found.He didnt check into Expedia as he could make the change for them.I guess it does happen.Regarding home based agents: my TA is part of a local agency independently owned but part of a large consortium.The owner has 50 "home-based" and outside agents.These agents choose not be to be full time, office bound agents.My TA is the only store front location in the network.Its fairly easy for an agent to be home based if thats what they want to be.
BeachBoi is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 01:17 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 531
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My TA works with me to help me get what I'm looking for. He is aware I look online for airfare sales and is honest when he isn't able to get a better price. He has helped me plan my Caribbean trips over the yrs. If I need a hotel outside my usual destinations I book thru him. I travel to SVG almost yearly and return to the same hotel he originally booked for me 14 yrs ago. I now book independently. Over that length of time the proprietors have become personal friends. I talk with them on a regular basis thru out the yr. This past summer he booked me a trip to Vegas. When booking airfare to visit relatives in Florida I take care of it myself. My choice of whether or not to use my TA depends on my destination.
vinceygirl is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 02:05 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,121
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Karen!
We have used Travelocity,Expedia and a travel agent.I still believe that Expedia and Travelocity are cheaper than using a TA.The only thing the TA did was find us the accomodations and flights for our trip to Aruba (April 04)and if you don't mind doing that yourself..it will definitely save you some money! I will always make my own arrangements for travel..from now on.

To answer a question you asked about Expedia..are there any hidden costs? NO..we paid what we were quoted and then got the trip insurance and it will tell you the total before your final purchase.We have used them for 2 trips now and never any problems.We used Travelocity once because they were cheaper for St John than Expedia..shop around and get the best deal.Here are some more sites similar to expedia.

www.travelocity.com
www.priceline.com
www.orbitz.com
www.cheaptickets.com

I always shop around before purchasing tickets.Hope that this helps!

Christie
christiegr is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2005, 03:40 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was able to book our honeymoon through expedia for about $1200 cheaper than through a travel agent. We've booked additional flights and hotels through them and haven't had any problems. Hope this helps!
zialot is offline  
Old Oct 29th, 2005, 05:06 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 10,158
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I quit using TA's years ago. In 2001 we went to Fiji thru Costco and the price difference was phenomenal. The TA was charging around $800.00 more PER PERSON forthe exact same air/hotel package. Though this difference is extreme Costco has saved us hundreds in subsequent yrs. Recently a friend of my referred me to his TA for a cruise quote. Costco still beat it by around $300.00.
jacketwatch is offline  
Old Oct 29th, 2005, 07:28 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone for the posts. They have given me food for thought. I do unserstand the TA is someone to go back to for help if there are problems and you lose that when booking through tavelocity, expedia etc. But the savings is enough, that we are willing to take the gamble. With the savings we are able to upgrade our room. We are going to stay at the Morning Star beachfront - it sounds very nice to have the beach so close. The rest of the resort - Frenchmans Reef part is also there if we want it. Can't wait to go!!
karen_mitch is offline  
Old Oct 29th, 2005, 10:13 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have not used a T.A. in years . Do it all ourselves , and have used Expedia with no troubles ....
faithie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
BadgerRedd
Mexico & Central America
11
Oct 20th, 2006 08:54 AM
melh
United States
8
Jul 31st, 2005 02:30 PM
anniegal2
Air Travel
7
Jun 12th, 2005 04:34 AM
ChicagoDill
Africa & the Middle East
5
Feb 7th, 2005 04:36 PM
Judy
Caribbean Islands
5
Nov 11th, 2002 06:47 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:15 PM.