Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
For me, that sometimes is when I have to book travel online.
Don’t get me wrong. Online travel websites are a wonderful thing. Unless, of course, you have to book a complex trip with all kinds of connections and different modes of transportation, or are traveling to an unfamiliar or exotic locale. Then even the most ardent DIY (Do It Yourself) advocate might want to seek out a true travel pro.
Not surprisingly, travel pros, aka travel agents, are enjoying a comeback of sorts as travelers of every stripe are bumping up against the realities of endless online options and limited time in which to examine those options.
So says a recent story in The New York Times (“Happy Returns for Travel Agents”). Another key reason for travel agents’ resurgence is consumers’ frustration in the wake of airlines’ cutback of customer service call centers and the continuing lack of phone help at most of the online travel sites.
In fact, the Times article notes, “bricks-and-mortar travel agencies continue to outsell online travel agents for most airlines and hotels.”
Still, the traffic at online travel sites continues to boom. But travel agents have found a definite niche among travelers who are too time-pressed or impatient to deal with the vagaries of the Internet. Why not turn that chore over to the expert?
DIYism is great if you are not up against the clock and are persistent in resolving problems that inevitably crop up during a trip. But if you’re on the road and you need a solution quick, there’s no substitute for an experienced travel agent who has seen it all before.
I’m positive that travel agents are here to stay.
What’s your view?
Airline Futurist • Miami • www.amadeus.com