Travel agents have begun trialling mandatory fees for their service, but even though costs used to be hidden, is there even room for travel agents when we can just book our holiday online?
Thomson, First Choice and Co-op recently announced that they’d be trialling mandatory service fees at some of their travel agent outlets.
Whether their customers would be willing to pay a little more for their advice isn’t clear, especially when many are happy to book online.
In a first for a long time, I used a travel agent to book my last holiday. Previously I’d been caught up, like so many of us, with controlling my decisions by clicking away on the internet. But the options were just too phenomenal and overwhelming.
How could I possibly have time to sift through the two million Google search results for ‘family holidays in New Zealand’? Clearly I don’t, but there was a time when I would’ve at least tried…
Instead, I came to the realisation that if I waited any longer to book my holiday, the prices would either rocket further, or worse, there wouldn’t even be any seats left.
So I called an agent. He was fantastic and sorted it all out for me. All I had to do was hand over my credit card details. It was easy, saved loads of time and when I later checked against internet prices, I was more than happy with the overall cost.
The agent didn’t charge me for the service, nor for using my credit card, for that matter.
Looking back, would I have been willing to pay a service fee to that travel agent? Well, yes, I probably would have. They were incredibly efficient, had a great knowledge of the destination and were prepared to adjust my itinerary if I changed my mind.
A quality service needs to be paid for somewhere, whether hidden in the price of the holiday, or an up front charge.