Bad advice on CNN about travel prices

Old Jun 19th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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In defense of TA's: I would tend to agree wholeheartedly with the last poster.

I only use a TA for my group trips which many of you know I do annually.
And she is invaluable.

Of course we all know that you can search and find the perfect Paris hotel for less than $200. But the TA in the article was as the last poster pointing out, protecting herself.

I will go on to say though that even though you may find your your hotel in Paris, take a look of the millions of posts on budget accommodation in Paris. The work and agonizing that goes into many of you finding that under $250 property is more than many people can handle. Bravo to all of you for sticking it out to find a bargain. And of course it helps we have this community.

But don't bash a TA for doing their best. Honestly put yourself in their shoes, would you spend the time and effort to book someone in a cheap room or would you rather seek out clients who can pay you more. Look at your own professions, I am sure many of you would rather sell upscale than work your you know what off just to receive a very small commission.

I will say that TA's , a good one, can do so much more for you if you know how to use them properly. With mine, she has personal relationships with many hotel managers and sees to it we are upgraded and treated royally. Not that you could not do this on your own, but its nice to have some one working on your behalf. And again, it needs to be the right someone. There are many good TA's out there, so please don't just blanket judge.

To me the hotel is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing on the trip. I was raised in the business and to me it's a deal breaker if I get less than a stellar place. I am a voracious reader of all outstanding properties around the worls. DH and I are making it our mission to experience alot of them; it's just what we love and what we do; don't punish us for it!

I know so many of you do not care, but for me, even though I too do not spend every waking hour in the room, it is still just very important.

I know if some of you had all the money in the world, you still would not spend on upscale hotels. But after all the years on this board, I wonder if some of you are not just a little bit jealous that you cannot spend a bit more..... no judgement, just an observation! To each his own!
tripgirl is offline  
Old Jun 19th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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"A major city is a major city," she said.

Well, she's wrong, and should know better than saying anything of the kind. London isn't Paris isn't New York. TAs will do whatever is in their self-interest, which sometimes overlaps with that of their clients, and sometimes doesn't.
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Old Jun 19th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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What a bunch of idiots. Paris is one of the 3 cheapest cities for 1 & 2-star hotels in Europe, it is #8 cheapest for 3-star hotels, and... yes, it is #1 most expensive for 4-star hotels.
For those who enjoy the risk, there are still plenty of hotel rooms for no more than 20 euros in certain neighborhoods. There are 3 of them within 100 meters of my apartment, and I have indeed seen Americans staying in them.
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Old Jun 19th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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I agree with the basic complaint that travel agents, at least ones quoted on CNN, don't know their business that well when they say things like that. I go to NY every year or so, as well as Paris, and from my point of view, the cities are not comparable at all in terms of what kind of hotel you get for a certain budget. That's the point, they are completely different. You get much more for $200, say, in Paris than in NY. Of course you can spend less than that in NY, but unless it's a really low season rate (or priceline, etc), you really can't get a very nice hotel in a central area for less than that. I have paid more for hotels in NY than any other city where I've traveled, in fact, I've paid about $100 more per night in NY than any other city.

So, you can get a hotel in Paris for much less that would be comparable to a $250-300 NY hotel room, that's the main point, I think. HOwever, a lot of folks on Fodors do like to spend 200 euro plus per night because they want to stay in St Germain and places like that where even 3* hotels can charge that.

Kerouac, are you sure Paris is the most expensive city in the world for 4* hotels? That doesn't sound likely to me, I would think some place like London or Tokyo or Hong Kong or something (or even NY), but I don't really know, it just sounds very odd to me.
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Old Jun 19th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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That travel agency owner must stay at those types of hotels only. Either that or she hasn't isn't familiar with the many choices of Paris hotels.
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Old Jun 19th, 2006, 10:23 AM
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I guess if she can't find a room for you at a better rate than that, she isn't much of a TA. Perhaps if she had thrown in the caveat of "...if staying in the most desirable or popular areas", that statement would be more acceptable.
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Old Jun 19th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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this just came across my e mail. It might be useful for some of you. But you decide. It's a list of several hotels in Europe that this site considers on the budget side, under 250E. Some look very nice to me( even to me, miss luxury!!!)
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Old Jun 19th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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What utter rubbish! We rented a lovely garden apartment in Paris through VRBO for less than $100 a day -- across the street from a marvelous bakery, half a block from a metro station, a block from a great supermarket, and surrounded by splendid little restaurants. TAs deserve the fate they are getting -- which is the road to extinction.
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