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Is it safer to book plane tickets through an agent?

Is it safer to book plane tickets through an agent?

Jan 10th, 2008, 11:13 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 169
Thanks! We are seriously considering booking that flight through NW airlines. We are waiting to see if AMA (our motor association) can maybe book it for us as we are members - then they can help us if there are any problems.

Now we are just left to consider if we should wait or book now....4 months in advance. Trip is not until May 16.

The only issue with the NW flight is there is a 7hour stop over in Amsterdam - Dh think maybe that is ok, we could look around a bit.

You've all be very helpful! Thank you again,

MollyBrown is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 11:33 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,171
I think a 7-hour layover in Amsterdam is great, because you could visit Leiden or Amsterda.
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 11:49 AM
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I'll always remember our first (and last) experience buying tickets through Orbitz. Since we're on the West Coast, many destinations in Europe require we connect somewhere. Less than 48 hours before departure, we received an automatic email that the first out-bound flight segment had been cancelled. "But, don't worry, we've re-booked you on the following...." Nice, except the re-booked flight arrived after the second flight's scheduled departure, and the second flight had not been re-booked. (I also wonder what would have happened if we hadn't checked our email.) The airline said we had to work through Orbitz, and dealing with an Orbitz human ended up taking two hours. Perhaps I was just unlucky with the human and the phone hold time, but this should have been a very simple problem to solve. What happens if it's complicated?
Jean is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I too think that 7 hours in Amsterdam could be fun. The city is only about 20 minutes or so by train directly from the airport. We only had a 4 hour layover and had enough time to go into the city and look around for an hour or so. With 7 hours you would have time for to sightsee and grab breakfast or lunch before heading back to the airport.

tcreath is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 67
It doesn't make much difference if your ticket is from Orbitz or NW if the carrier decides to cancel flights. Had it happen in September for a flight to Prague when Northwest cancelled hundreds of flights. Ended up with a totally screwed up schedule and 24 hours of travel time each way. Ticket from Orbitz, but NW called me to rebook. No travel agent can save you from that. Buy the least expensive!
lostinplace is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,405

If you can, buy the tickets through the airline. My sister and I recently bought tickets to Paris. I bought my tickets through AF and she through one of the on line sites. I was recently notified that my out going plan had been canceled and we were rebooked on KLM. My sister was not notified and when she called, "cheaptickets.com" they did not know the flight had been canceled. The flight is for the end of Feb. and I am sure they would have received the information and gotten to their customers, but who knows when. Unless the money is very different use the airline web site because you have a more complicated flight.

yipper is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,917
Re cancelled flights: "No travel agent can save you from that." No, but they can do the work to fix the problem rather than the traveler spending time and suffering exasperation shortly before departure.
Jean is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 169
We did it! We decided to book the tickets now. We went with the NW flight through Minneapolis to Paris. Then Venice through Amsterdam and Calgary on the way home the total came out to $1310 each. We also purchased cancellation/baggage insurance for $90 each. In the end we decided to pay a $40 fee to book through AMA (motor association) - this way if anything changes or goes wrong - they will help us fix it. Just a bit of peace of mind.

The tickets are more than I imagined, but when we really sat down and talked to people and shopped around, this was by far the best price out of Edmonton. If not, then we will chop it up to lesson learned!

We are also pleased to be paying for the tickets a few months in advance - this means we aren't dropping all of our $$ down for this trip all at once, so it seems more manageable.

Thank you all for your help and suggestions - this forum has been priceless!

MollyBrown is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,917
Have a wonderful trip!!!
Jean is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 707
These days, it is just as easy, safe, and inexpensive to buy our own tickets rather than going through a travel agent.

Last year the airline tickets my travel agent got me for France and the reservations at the Hotel Carlton in Cannes were the same price I could have gotten.

I purchased my own tickets to Great Britain this year. www.cheaptickets.com

KL467 is offline  

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