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Anybody used AMEX for making Travel Plans

Anybody used AMEX for making Travel Plans

Jan 24th, 2002, 12:49 PM
  #1  
john
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Anybody used AMEX for making Travel Plans

I have setup an appointment with an AMEX travel agent to help in preparing an itinerary for my honeymoon. After reading the post here it looks like I could have done without that. However, my primary reason for going there is I feel I will get better rates on hotels due to their contracts.... Any experiences/suggestions in this regards. Thank you
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 01:02 PM
  #2  
Vic
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I have a AMEX Platnium Card which entitles me to use their Platnium service. They're "preferred" hotels are generally expensive business hotels and posh resorts in touristy places. I have not been impressed with either their service or their rates. Their agents even in the Platnium section seem to be just clerks who really don't know much about destinations. Their rates tend to be about what you can get on the hotels website with meaningless perks, like upgrades if available on date of arrival, or afternoon tea at the hotel. So if their premium service is mediocre, I hate to think what their regular service is like.

Decide where you want to go and be a little flexible if money is a major issue. Go to various websites, including the opaque ones like Priceline. You may be pleasantly surpriesed.
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 01:07 PM
  #3  
John
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Thanks for the reply Vic, I am a platinum holder too and thanks for correcting my expectations about the service. The lady I have setup my appt with, has advertised herself as an italian specialist($100 charge). She did seem to know her stuff from the initial conversation. But I will visit other sites as per your advice. Thanks
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 01:10 PM
  #4  
frank
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Amex will get you a good discount rate plus airmiles on expensive hotels but many hotels in Europe refuse Amex.(because they don't see why you should get a better discount & free airmiles than their other customers.The hotel pays the difference)
They run a travel service to try to offset this resistance.
You could probably do better yourself on the net.
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 01:20 PM
  #5  
Vic
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There's no connection between hotels that accept the card and those AMEX's stable of hotels that supposedly provide special rates.

 
Jan 24th, 2002, 01:29 PM
  #6  
Howard
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I've had mixed experiences with Amex. We used Amex for our first trip to Italy, taking what they called an "Independent Tour," meaning they took care of the hotels and train tickets. (We were using FF miles for the air tickets.) Our agent was excellent and most helpful. We felt it was worth it to have these basics taken care of in advance, and everything worked out fine.
For our next trip and not sure what arrangement route we'd follow, we started out by seeking info from Amex. Our original agent was no longer there. We felt the people we spoke with this time were morons and we never went back. We planned that one ourselves and haven't gone back to Amex since.
I'd follow Vic's advice!
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 03:06 PM
  #7  
lucky
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Mark me down on the side of AMEX. I got tired of using my local well known Travel Agency. Frankly, they began to take my business for granted and became indifferent to taking care of my needs. Ergo, I whiched to AMEX and have had good results. Are they the end all be all of travel needs...not. but at least I get a smile thru the phone lines and e-mail airways..and have had good results. It is not always the case..but it has happened on many occassions that I was able to realize a substanstial savings via the hotel rates they could get vs..the hotel rates I could get, or the group who had booked the meetings could get. I for one am a big fan of AMEX.
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 03:18 PM
  #8  
erica
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Who needs AMEX when there is slowtrav.com
THE best site for Italy on the web. Here you'll have many, many people who are happy to help and do speak from their own experiences of travelling there.
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 03:33 PM
  #9  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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John, Use the agent for airline only, if you do not feel comfortable with doing it yourself. For the rest, use the rsources here and the best web sites. I like www.initaly.com as the best single source, but slowtrav.com and www.twenj.net are excellent.
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 03:56 PM
  #10  
Mariarosa
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I live very near an AMEX office (10-minute walk) and last year when I was researching where to stay in Verona, I came across a special rate for the Due Torri Hotel Baglioni, a very nice, historical hotel perfectly situated. The rate was a 2 nights for the price of one if you used your AmEx card.

Since I live so near the AmEx office, I stopped by on the way home the next day to book it at the agency. Imagine my surprise when they did *NOT* have the property in their system. The AmEx system only had 3 hotels in Verona and they were all business hotels in the modern, unattractive outskirts of town. They are limited to the properties that they have in their booking system.

I booked my Verona hotel on-line and everything went smoothly. Maybe this "Italy specialist" charges the $100 to cover the cost of sending faxes, etc., but don't expect that the discounts that AmEx can get you via their regular booking system will be for non-business hotels.
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 05:35 PM
  #11  
richard j vicek
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Good evening, John
Agree with Bob, use the travel agency
for your airline ticket only. There
is much on the travel boards and on
the internet to make your decisions.
If you have problems makeing a decision
come back on the board and you will
get plenty of replys. The same is for
your hotel and final arrangements can
be done either by e mail or if you
prefer via fax, prompt replys can be
expected. Using an agent will not
necessary get you a better hotel, you
will probably get a fair hotel at a
low price and somewhere on the outskirts
of the city...This is only my opinion..
Richard of LaGrange Park, IL>..
 
Jan 24th, 2002, 07:23 PM
  #12  
Kay
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I use AX PTS. I do my own homework, decide where I want to stay, etc. and have an agent that books everything for me through PTS, saving me all that trouble. I check the prices on-line to ensure that I am not paying too much. I don't generally get a discount, but I enjoy the perks. At Le Sirenuse I was greeted by the manager, taken to a lovely room with fresh flowers and chilled champagne (PTS perk.) I like using AX because I know that if I have a problem, they will stand behind me and get it worked out. I charge everything for my trip on AX and get flyer miles for the next trip. I have only had one hotel refuse AX PTS and PTS still booked it for me with another card. My agent calls the hotel direct if need be when the 800 service numbers say a hotel is full, and it doesn't have to be one of the hotels in the system. I know if I show up somewhere and don't have a room, all I have to do is make one call and a room will be found for me. This way, I choose my hotels, etc. but someone else takes care of the details of faxing back and forth to europe. I also sent my daughter and 3 friends on an Independent tour from our local AX office. They chose the upgrade hotels and really enjoyed it. Our local agent was wonderful. I THINK IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE INDIVIDUAL AGENT! The first agent I ever called at AXPTS was no help at all and I just called customer service, told them how unhappy I was and was immediately given a wonderful person that is currently helping me for the 3rd time.

John, I recommend that you do your research on this forum, use your Italian specialist too and then let her book everything for you. But if you are looking for a discount by using AMEX, I don't think you will get one unless you do one of their tours. I think the independent tours are great but you will want to do the upgrade hotels. The downside is that tours usually move you around a lot, and after a wedding, you might want to relax more.
 
Jan 25th, 2002, 10:14 AM
  #13  
john
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Thanks all, all the information has really helped, especially those sites. I will do the research and since my appt with the "specialist" is not until Jan 31st, I have enough time to make the educated decision if it will be worth it. Thanks again guys, very helpful
 

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