travel agent

Mar 13th, 2005, 05:04 AM
  #1  
ssp
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travel agent

Does anyone have any suggestions on whether a travel agent is needed. I found a great airfare to Italy, and wanted to book it online. Can anyone think of a reason I should not book online and instead go through a travel agent? Any advice is appreciated.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 05:09 AM
  #2  
 
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I can't think of a good reason you need a travel agent to book this ticket unless you have absolutely no confidence in yourself or else you have a friend who is a travel agent and you'd like to put some extra money in his/her pocket.

I'd venture to say most of us here haven't used a travel agent for anything in years.
Patrick is offline  
Mar 13th, 2005, 05:11 AM
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I agree with Patrick. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't book this flight yourself. I also haven't used a travel agent in years.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 05:15 AM
  #4  
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Thanks for the quick response. I am gong to book it now. I just have one more quick question, if you guys are around. Is one hour enough time to catch a connecting flight at CDG, same airline, Delta?
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Mar 13th, 2005, 05:20 AM
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I've never had a connecting flight in Europe but my experiences in the U.S. are such that I always like to have more than an hour between flights.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 05:28 AM
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I do occasionally use a travel agent, for one of two reasons.

- Stringing together complex itineraries in places that look difficult, when time has been short. I've used them for the tricky part of journeys in the remoter bits of Asia, such as Xinkiang or the North-Western Frontier. I doubt that's relevant here.

- But also, which might be relevant to you (though it might also be a misunderstanding on my part), when finding a good fare for the long-haul bit of a trip, but wanting it on the same physical ticket as messy connections with other airlines. I've always believed (possibly wrongly) that this gave me a better chance of getting connections honoured if I'm delayed on one leg, and of getting baggage through-checked. I may have minsunderstood the principle, but when booking through agents, I've always got my bags through checked and have had connections honoured even when my incoming flight has been delayed. And the agent has been able to sort out hotels in a far-off city if a longhaul flight is so delayed the next connection is a day or so later

But for a simple flight from London to Shanghai or something, it's impossible to see what the point of an agent is.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 05:41 AM
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PS: One hour is not enough at CDG.

It almost certainly isn't the same airline for a start (do Delta fly any intra-Europe flights?) but a codeshare.

If the hour is to catch a westbound flight, you'll probably need to check in more than hour beforehand for a plane going to the US. If it's eastbound, you have to go through immigration for Schengen at CDG, as well as finding the next flight in one of Europe's worst signed airports.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 06:13 AM
  #8  
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Thanks, I will probably not book the "great deal" I found yet. I think there was another option with a 4 hour layover, that should be plenty. I guess that is why I need a travel agent, I haven't travel internationaly in 20 years. I was not thinking about baggage, I figured it would be checked straight through to the US from Italy.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #9  
 
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SSP,
If you are on a connecting flight not on separate flights booked separately, your bags should be checked through to your final destination. You will just have to go through immigration at your Schengen port of entry. You will collect your bags and go through customs at your final destination.
If the airfare you saw is on an airline's website and it is a through flight that connects somewhere prior to final port, the connection time is supposed to be a legal connection (there is SUPPOSED to be enough time to change). That being said, it doesn't mean that it always occurs properly. If you miss it, they are supposed to get you on the next flight to your destination.
If you have separate tickets, then you must account for time to go through immigration, collect your baggage, go through customs, then back to departures to check-in (you and bags) and go through security.
I am like Flanneruk, I use a TA only for complicated trips/itineraries. And I have used ethnic TAs because they have gotten me much better deals to their native countries/areas than I could have on my own. This is esp true for Asia and Eastern Europe.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 06:46 AM
  #10  
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Thanks, the flight I am looking at is booked as one itinerary. No separte tickets or anything like that. I leave Genoa, arrive CDG, Leave CDG 50min later, arrive Boston. So, do I understand you correctly that my bags are checked through, but I have to pick them up, carry them to immigration, and get onto my plane. Is 50 minutes enought time to do this? Sorry, I am being neurotic, I am traveling alone. I want it to reasonably smooth. Thanks
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Mar 13th, 2005, 07:06 AM
  #11  
 
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SSP,
Your bags will be checked through to Boston. You won't retrieve them until you are in Boston and go through US customs. Don't know what CDG is like to connect but if 50 minutes is posted by Delta on their site, it is SUPPOSED to be enough time.
If you are concerned, you can ask delta which gate the Genoa flight usually arrives in and which gate the Bosotn flight will leave from. Hopefully, they won't be too far apart.
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Mar 13th, 2005, 07:13 AM
  #12  
ssp
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Thanks Nibblette,I appreciate your advice.
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