The stream of articles, online and off, reminding American consumers that travel agents not only still exist, but they help consumers enhance their travel experiences, continued this month with a feature story at Forbes.com.
In a Nov. 6 article, noted online travel celebrity Johnny Jet penned: “Sure, travel agents and agencies are not as common as they once were, but, they are still in demand. In fact, 34 percent of Millennials used an offline travel agent in 2015 (and many others with some crazy travel requests)! You know, the same generation that can send you a text message or tweet but won't have a face-to-face conversation with you.”
Jet cited expert advice and the ability to cut through complexity, all at a cost travelers can afford, as chief reasons to use a travel agent.
“If you have never been to another continent, what looks appealing on the Internet doesn't always work out so well once you arrive and begin to play tourist. Since the agent has already ‘been there, done that,’ they can immediately tell you where to go so you can maximize every minute of the trip,” said Jet.
“If you don't have the time to research or simply can't seem to put all the pieces to the travel puzzle together, don't be afraid to call a travel agent. After all, it's their job to book these complex fares so that you can have the trip of a lifetime. How often would you regret not going on a complex trip because you were afraid to ask for help?” he asked.
Meanwhile, agents will book a trip at little to no additional cost to the traveler, Jet pointed out.
“Some agents might not charge any additional fees, but, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $50 per person to book your trip for you. If you can afford the convenience or simply do not have the time to research your own flights, hotels, and sightseeing itinerary, this can be money well-spent,” he said.
Jet also provided two reasons why a consumer might not use a travel agent, including redeeming rewards points and simple self confidence in your ability to research and book online.
“The Internet has made it easier than ever for you to book your own travel, and in a lot of cases, you may never need a travel agent,” Jet wrote, summarizing his thoughts. “But, booking travel is the sole profession for travel agents and the good agents can be extremely helpful when you have complex routes or simply don't have the time to research and book the travel yourself.”