NBC Universal’s Bravo channel has discovered travel agents.
In an article titled “Things You Didn't Know About Travel Agents: For instance that they still exist," Bravo suggests that consumers forgo the hours of work it takes to book travel online “and let someone else do all the hard work, while all you have to do is show up at the airport with a packed bag.”
The article goes on to say that “while millennial-types often consider travel agents archaic, the pros might save you time and money — and they have access to some tools you don't have. So before you roll your eyes in protest, consider this look into the industry.” And then it launches into six reasons to use one—and even quotes some travel agents!
1. Their relationships can get you a better room.
“The OTAs — online travel agents — work on ‘distressed’ merchandise. For example [when] a hotel is only 35 percent full, it will offer special rates to the OTA” for the smallest room, limited view, far or too close to the elevator, “where ours are always guaranteed view and possible upgrade. Ours will also have amenities, gift in the room, spa or dining credit, and free parking, depending on the hotel,” the article quotes travel agent Marcy Gelber as saying.
2. They're always standing by.
3. Some are better than others.
4. A local agent might serve you best.
5. They don't get paid if you don't book.
“We are paid by commission from the suppliers as well as the service fees we charge to cover our personal services — this is like a lawyer charging an hourly fee,” says owner and chief memory officer at Family Travel Boutique Kimberly Milnes. “So it is not cool to go to an agent get information and then book on your own.”
6. They might save your a**.
“You are leaving the country, you need to have a live person available to advocate for you when you get to a hotel, and they don’t have your reservation, want to collect money, or will deny you your room,” Gelber says.