If something can go wrong, it usually will!
Now, what a coincidental time for this topic to come up, as everything that could go wrong for me last week--did! One of the most common questions I am asked by prospective clients is “WHY should I use a travel advisor when I can just book my own trip online?” I thought I would share just three examples of battles we have fight, that make every penny worth it to book with us:
1. The medical setback – I will never forget the first client I had to work with in regards to a travel insurance claim. At the last minute, she decided to purchase travel insurance as a precaution before her trip. It ended up being the best investment because days before her cruise was set to sail, her son had become seriously ill and in the hospital. I happened to be in Las Vegas on a personal trip when I got the news and sprang into action, making sure she had everything she needed to proceed and file a travel insurance claim. I also worked closely with the travel insurance company to get the process started, so that she could keep her focus on making sure her son was getting better.
2. The mysterious price increase – This one totally gets on my last nerve and my inner mama bear comes out to protect you, my clients! Last November as I was working on booking single cabins for my corporate group, the cruise fare this particular week increased not only once, but twice! I have NEVER seen that happen before in my almost 10 years selling travel. I had to fight tooth and nail to get the cruise line to lower the price for my finicky client (finicky because it took him a while to turn in his paperwork, hence steady price increase). The groups department would honor a reduced rate, but not the original rate. I was able, however, to get the client some onboard credit to offset the price difference.
3. The deceiving advertising gimmick (Ex: 2 for 1, BOGO, "starting at", etc.) - Several travel suppliers have come up with the marketing strategy that consumers love a “deal”…even on an expensive, luxury vacation. So they greatly inflate the “regular price” of their cabins and then offer a “2-for 1” savings, or BOGO…which sometimes brings the price down. A little bit deceitful and frustrating, in my opinion. The problem comes when the ads infer “Great 2-for-1 savings…cruise for $3600”. What they don’t say is that the $3600 is AFTER the 2-for-1 discount and is per person and NOT per cabin… and that there are several hundred dollars of “taxes and fees” tacked on in addition. Sure, it probably explains it in the fine print, but who reads all that stuff, right? I do, but that's my job-- to educate and protect you, my client.
So, the next time you ask yourself “Why should I use a travel advisor when I can book this myself online?” , think about how YOU would feel if one of these situations happened to you…and you didn’t have me in your back pocket acting as your advocate. A lot can go wrong in the world of travel planning. Unfortunately, I can’t always make it right…but you can bet I will go down swinging!