How in the hell does Flight Centre and Travel Cuts stay in business?
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Thread: How in the hell does Flight Centre and Travel Cuts stay in business?

  1. #1
    Life is Good! Array mikey604's Avatar
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    How in the hell does Flight Centre and Travel Cuts stay in business?

    Who would actually go into a travel agency when there is so many options available online? I thought they would all close just like the Blockbuster Video's!


    What is the benefit of actually going to an agency?

    Weird

  2. #2
    BannedSpammer Array malamikigo's Avatar
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    I can't speak to how Flight Centre and Travel Cuts stay in business, however I do have a reply to "what is the benefit of actually going to an agency".

    In my experience in booking vacations (and I've booked quite a few), if you find a *quality* travel agent that really knows their stuff, you can get a MUCH more interesting vacation booked. Booking online offers you cheap prices, and if that's all you care about....go for it. However, you're gonna be going to the same places as everyone else, staying in the same resorts, drinkin the same booze, eating the same food, going on the same pre-fabbed "adventures".

    An agency can offer you a more customized experience, tailored to exactly what you're after. It can offer you options that you would never see in an online package. They can send you "off the beaten path", and give you experiences that are truly unique and you'll never forget.

    But yea...if you're just after some beaches, booze, and cheap prices...TravelCuts'll get you good and drunk on a Mexican beach without hurtin the bank account.

  3. #3
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    I used Flight Center on Broadway twice last year. Both times I had an excellent experience and got incredible deals on my travel and all the extras. I paid less for my flights, accomodation, rentals and activities because of the bundle pricing offered. (I couldn't find anything that brought me a lower price even though I shopped the deal on-line). I dealt with Jenny Scott and she was professional, responsive and incredibly well organised, right down to checklists for everything.

    On my first trip I booked the hotel myself (Super 8 in Markham, Ontario) and ended up getting a great price from a brokering site (I thought I was buying directly from the hotel chain but was conned), but no refund even though the hotel admitted that the room was disgusting (Smelled of mould, peeling paint, just nasty) and service was awful (the front desk guy wouldn't change my room and got really rude). If I'd booked through a travel agent, I would not have had to deal with them directly and know I would have gotten a refund.

    For the amount of travelling I do (not much), it's simply less hassle for a better deal, and frankly the best way to go for me.

  4. #4
    Mortgage Pimp Array J_Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slingshot View Post
    I used Flight Center on Broadway twice last year. Both times I had an excellent experience and got incredible deals on my travel and all the extras. I paid less for my flights, accomodation, rentals and activities because of the bundle pricing offered. (I couldn't find anything that brought me a lower price even though I shopped the deal on-line). I dealt with Jenny Scott and she was professional, responsive and incredibly well organised, right down to checklists for everything.

    On my first trip I booked the hotel myself (Super 8 in Markham, Ontario) and ended up getting a great price from a brokering site (I thought I was buying directly from the hotel chain but was conned), but no refund even though the hotel admitted that the room was disgusting (Smelled of mould, peeling paint, just nasty) and service was awful (the front desk guy wouldn't change my room and got really rude). If I'd booked through a travel agent, I would not have had to deal with them directly and know I would have gotten a refund.

    For the amount of travelling I do (not much), it's simply less hassle for a better deal, and frankly the best way to go for me.
    X2 Never thought I would do it. But I've had a travel agency save me more than any online booking could for my last two vacations. They also take care of a lot of issues for you.

    It's weird, but the model still works. It's just that people don't know they still work so I'm surprised they're in business too.

  5. #5
    Three hour tour guide Array silverD's Avatar
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    I'm guessing most folks here aren't that way, but I'm thinking there is still a large part of the population that's not comfortable booking anything, yet alone a thousand dollar or more vacation online, and want the personal touch and face to face contact a travel agent provides.
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  6. #6
    Moderator Array Shovelhead's Avatar
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    my sister and her husband had a travel agency in Quebec for over 25 years,
    the internet killed their business 4 years ago.
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  7. #7
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    Flight centre was/is a discount travel house anyway. They will match or beat any online deal cept for last minute stuff but they have those too. Also they have better garauntees and refund policies. As they should because u can physically go back and wring the neck of the person who sold u the holiday. Try that with an online travel broker .

    Not that I'm any kind of globe trotter, but I've used them twice for mexican all inclusives and they were within 30 buks of the online places both times. Also bought a van Toronto ticket once. Exact same price as Expedia etc or buying direct from westjet.

  8. #8
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    It's like asking why local bike shops still sell tangibles when you can buy it online for up to half the price? Simple, convenience. I don't know about you, but I probably put at least 10 hours into booking a vacation, trying to find the best deal over several weeks.

  9. #9
    Registered User Array ParkJunkie's Avatar
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    They're primarily driven by corporations. For the individual it seems like a no-brainer to book your own vacation and save a few hundred, for the bigger companies that are constantly sending employees travelling for business it's not worth their time to look into each trip individually. Their core competency isn't lining up flights and hotels so they just outsource it like anything else.
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  10. #10
    Insert User Title Here. Array TripleTime's Avatar
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    For anyone doing more than 5-7 nights a year on business or other hotel travel, check out www.cpsa.com. the Canadian Professional Sales Association. MASSIVE discounts on hotel rooms. In Alberta, I typically save $40-50 per night below the best rate I can grind the reservations people out of. Typically though, $20-30 per night at Holiday Inn Expresses....

    @slingshot - shame on you for staying Super 8 sight-unseen. HIE FTW

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrostyFire View Post
    It's like asking why local bike shops still sell tangibles when you can buy it online for up to half the price? Simple, convenience. I don't know about you, but I probably put at least 10 hours into booking a vacation, trying to find the best deal over several weeks.
    Yep, convenience. For $45 I don't have to spend that 10 hours looking around. Gives me a headache.
    Hey, for those that like that internet digging, have at 'er.
    When my old Vancouver travel agent said she had to charge me $50 now, I didn't hesitate.
    And she ended up being cheaper than the internet.
    I bet a good travel agent knows when a company is going down the tubes, and not to book your vacation with them.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TripleTime View Post
    @slingshot - shame on you for staying Super 8 sight-unseen. HIE FTW
    Yep, my bad. Some lessons just have to be learned first-hand

  13. #13
    'Busa girls, God love 'em Array Argyle's Avatar
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    Expedia offered to match any price drop that came up, which always seems to happen after you book a trip no matter how good the deal.

    They mail you a check if your price drops but only after you actually go on the trip. I have had no issues with Expedia and recommend them.

    I booked a flight to the Phillipines with travelocity ended up paying quite a bit more and they refused to price match, they also listed price in Canadian dollars but charged you in US funds. Our dollar was lower and it stung and I felt was very misleading and again they didn't give a shit.

    When I used travel agents they were great in phoning you with last minute deals.

  14. #14
    BCSB Public Relations Array kerunt's Avatar
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    Interesting to hear all this good feedback about travel agencies. Will have to try one the next time I go somewhere.
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  15. #15
    Fookin Prawn Array
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    FYI if anyone is booking airfare, check www.itravel2000.com . I usually use them for booking Mexico all-inclusives only. The last time I booked flights to South Africa, they came out $200 cheaper than all the other online majors.

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