Getting the right advice

It’s so simple to book a flight on the internet. Why should we pay a travel agent? Well the key thing is that we will send you to the right place!

The following article was in the Daily Mail and was headline news, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2537961/Couple-booked-bargain-flight-Birmingham-Caribbean-turned-away-ALABAMA.html

Another article springs to mind, the couple who ended up in Sydney Canada instead of Sydney Australia, I just googled this to find that an Italian couple and a Dutch couple have also done this

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2172858.stm

This happens a lot more than you might think. Apparently at least two people a week arrive in Ontario Florida instead of their intended destination Ontario Canada

We have spent years learning our trade and offer advice based on the tried and trusted .

We know which airlines go where and the airport codes for the places you need to go. There are many duplicate airports especially in the USA, for instance Portland Maine and Portland Oregon. Many of my clients are not sure what there closest airport is so if you know the address, I can check that for you

What visas you need? I had a client just before Christmas that booked his flight on the internet and probably saved a minimal amount. He rang me in desperation as he had been denied boarding because he had the wrong visa for Australia. The internet could not give him the support and advice he needed. He wanted to buy another one way ticket to Sydney but he wasn’t aware that by not using the outbound it would invalidate his return. I issued his visa immediately and advised him what he should do. He travelled that night and arrived in Sydney on Christmas Eve having paid just an amendment fee.

As we do flights all the time, we know roughly what it should cost. For instance, we know that a scheduled flight from London to New York can never cost less than £360 and that will only be on a flash sale since the tax element of this is around £350 so you should realistically expect to pay £500-£600 on average

Since we are aware of the expected weather patterns at certain times of year, we will also suggest the right places to go at the right times of year. Of course we cannot predict freak storms or ash clouds but most of the time we get it right. For instance I would advise a longer connecting time through northern USA in winter or wherever possible, a direct flight if the difference is fairly minimal. This is the sort of thing that I would discuss with you.

Travel Counsellors offer 100% financial protection on every flight we book, so if the company goes bust, our insurance pays. Remember Excel? Zoom? Max? Our insurance covered all these airlines when they went under.

One important thing to note though is that booking a flight with accommodation through Travel Counsellors or most other travel agents, both the flight and the accommodation are covered by ATOL or Flight Plus. This costs just £2.50 per person for the peace of mind of being fully covered! We do charge a booking fee for flights but sometimes we have contracts with airlines which means that you can actually end up paying less and you have the benefit of my advice and support throughout. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?  If you book your package on the internet you are unlikely to be covered and you rarely get any back up support. if you book your flight on the internet and the accommodation elsewhere you will be not covered by ATOL. It  really costs so little to have that peace of mind

As I have been in the travel industry for over 40 years, that’s a hell of lot of contacts I can call on if I need to and I also have the backing of the helpdesk at head office.

Even if you are an experienced and savvy traveller, unexpected  things can happen. I recently had a client who was unable to get to her destination due to a storm. I managed to change the non refundable hotel they had booked so they didn’t have to pay again.

I recently had another client who had to cancel her non refundable flight. Most airlines do refund unused taxes which I which try and recover for you for a small admin fee. This client got about £60 back from her £145 fare. If you book on the internet they are unlikely to refund any of it.

If you want the benefit of over 40 years experience in the travel industry, please call me for a competitive quote, peacde of mind and 24/7 support, call 020 3432 4740 or email Cathie.odea@travelcounsellors.com

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2 responses

  1. I can highly recommend Cathie. I love independent travel and often make my own arrangements but using her to book a family trip to New York saved loads of hassle and cost me no more than doing it myself.

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