Is using a travel agent worth it?

In an era of artificial intelligence robots and self-booking sites, the idea of using a travel agent seems like an archaic way of booking a trip. While these new technological advancements do make some aspects of booking travel very efficient, there are many things that you lose when not using an agent. For one, should anything go awry in a trip booked yourself, you’re completely on your own.

Organizations, especially need to make note of that because if they decide to forgo using an agent, the travel arranger within the company will have to diffuse the situation on their own.

Many organizations still stray away from using a travel agent because it doesn’t seem “worth it.” Some may even argue that they are able to do the job themselves. Oftentimes, there is this push back because they don’t understand the true benefits of working with a travel agent.

They do more than you think
When you hear someone mention a travel agent, you probably think of a person, using travel applications like Expedia or Trivago to find your flight. Contrary to popular belief, travel agents do so much more than just book your flights. A typical day for a travel agent can consist of creating itineraries, rebooking directly through the airline, upgrading a client’s ticket and so much more. Also, in agencies, it’s more than likely that your agent is using a platform that will give more options than what’s available in platforms available to everyday consumers.

Duty of care
Speaking of travel agent tools, agencies give agents access to technology to stay abreast of events throughout the world that may impact travel. Travel agents work with these tools on a daily basis and after identifying that a traveler’s safety is in jeopardy, will work to discuss options and make time-sensitive itinerary changes.  Should you decide to go against using a travel agent, you and your travelers lose the ability for an agent to support you.

One-on-one connection
Using a travel agent gives you the ability to have a one-on-one relationship with one that can make your trip run smoothly. When using an agent, agents get an opportunity to really understand who you are and anticipate your needs for any future trips. While AI booking tools offer helpful information and efficiency for basic travel tasks, when dealing with more unique cases, they can fall short.

Save you a lot
Save yourself time, stress and money by booking with an agent. In a study, Expedia found that consumers visit an average of 38 sites before booking. As you can imagine, that can eat up a majority of your organization’s time when looking for the most cost-effective flight. As mentioned before, many travel agents have access to technology that provides fares from thousands of vendors. For example, EWA Travel uses Sabre GDS system to complete reservations. Sabre collects data from more than 400 airlines, 100,000 hotel properties, and 25 car rental companies to help agents find the most cost-effective options. Though it may seem like another cost for using a travel agent, with all the money they’ll save you, it quite possibly may be the most economical option.

These are just to name a few of the endless benefits of using a travel agent. They are by your side and able to help in more ways than one. So, if you asked us if using a travel agent is worth it, the answer would always be yes.

Katlyn Pierre