5 Signs You’ve Found A Great Corporate Travel Agent

The term ‘travel agent’ is regarded by some as a part of the past, as though the idea is somewhat passé. This, of course, is the furthest thing from the truth, and nothing brings home this point more than the role of the corporate travel agent. This person/entity is pivotal in working with a very different client that needs to top-notch amenities and facilities. For businesses looking to have the upper hand in their industry, having the right corporate travel agent can make all the difference.

Here are five ways to tell that you’ve got not only a good, but a great corporate travel agent:

1. The agent is connected in, and to, your industry. Your agent should have a deep understanding of your business. By knowing how your industry works, your agent has a better way finding venues that work best, what services are essential, and above all else, what makes your company be unique.

2. Your bottom dollar is also their bottom dollar. A great travel agent not only understands your budgetary demands, but he/she tries to find all value available when booking for your company. Their flexibility extends to everything from last-minute travel to relaxing getaways and finding the right price.

3. Your agent reminds calm, composed, and rational regardless of the situation. No matter the chaos, he/she handles the smallest details with ease. Even in the midst of any number of travel scenarios, a great corporate travel agent keeps his/her cool and has a solution at the ready.

4. The right agent operates under your company’s travel policy. Much in the same way that travel experts advise would-be travelers to set a budget and make a plan, great travel agents at the corporate level are able to navigate all necessary travel request while maintaining the integrity of your company’s budget and policies.

5. The agent is able to readily handle every size of client. This day and age requires companies of all sizes to travel so as to make the right connections. Unfortunately, small companies tend to be ignored because they don’t have the larger budgets other companies do. No company wants to feel ignored. At the same time, bigger companies need to know that even though the travel agent accommodates small accounts, their larger needs won’t send the agent into a tailspin. Great agents and agencies do both without dropping the ball.

Bonus Point: A great agent/agency understands your company’s need to maintain privacy. When seeking the right travel agent for your company, always be sure to inquire about their policy and procedure regarding private data. It’s important to keep in mind that not only are you depending on your agent to work with sensitive information with the utmost respect, but your employees are trusting you to do the same in all facets of the business.

Finding the right corporate travel agent takes work and an exhaustive desire to find the best agency for your company’s needs. Ultimately, your hard work will be rewarded with stress-free travel planning.

4 Significant Reasons of Hiring a Travel Agent

In today’s world of digitization, one could easily book his flight tickets and make hotel reservations through the varied travel websites and applications, readily available on the Internet. As the e-commerce business continues to proliferate, such activities become increasingly easy and convenient. If the things are actually as simple as it seems, why would there be a need for a professional travel agent or tour operator? Well, recent studies have shown that while the diverse travel sites claim to narrow down the vast world to us, it actually does the opposite. And though there is an app for pretty much everything, there are some experiences that only human beings could make possible.

In the following discussion, let us explore some of the benefits that one would be able to relish if they seek help from a competent and reputed travel agent.

How can Travel Agents be helpful?

• Saving Your Precious Time

According to the latest research, a normal person needs to scan at least five videos and go through 380 web pages for about two months before making the necessary travel arrangements. Hence, we could fairly deduce that the entire process is quite hectic and time-consuming. However, you could easily avoid this issue if you leave the task of preparations on a professional. This would take all your burdens, offer you relief, and enhance the entire travel experience.

• No need to Break the Bank

Organizing a trip via an agent is quite budget-friendly. This is because these professionals have connections with various networks, which could let you enjoy discounts on flight tickets, hotels, and car rentals.

• Expertise is their Prime Advantage

These professionals offer services to meet the needs and expectations of their clients. For example, the business or corporate travelers have some specific requirements and they mostly travel to unfamiliar and complex locations. In such cases, an agent would most certainly make the journey smooth and hassle-free.

• Best Problem-Solvers

Well, you really cannot hope to have a trip without some common problems. However, the agents could easily handle such disruptions. Starting from errors in residence bookings to lost luggage and transportation delays, these professionals have a perfectly practical solution for all sorts of challenges.

From the aforementioned discussion, we could infer that travel agents are extremely beneficial when it comes to arranging a seamless trip. Even in the contemporary era, when the varied technological innovations have affected almost every sphere of human lives, these professionals quite effectively retained their status. As long as people would undertake trips, the business of the travel agents would continue to grow.

My Travel Agent is a Crook and Other Horror Stories

There was a recent article on CNN where a women listed all the various ills she experienced in her vacation because of a “bad travel agent”. The airplane ticket she bought wasn’t upgradeable or refundable. The hotel wouldn’t upgrade her to a better room. Her car didn’t have unlimited mileage. She said the travel agent had done all these things in order to earn a bigger commission. And the list went on…

My first reaction as a traveler is that she had a good right to be angry and upset that her vacation wasn’t fantastic. My first reaction as a travel agent was – hold the fort – did she ASK for any of those items when she met with the travel agent?

We aren’t mind readers. We do are best to screen our clients to find out likes, dislikes and preferences. However, the client DOES pay a large part in the process.

To understand how best to utilize a travel agent, you should understand how a travel agency operates.

In “the good old days”, travel agents receive commissions from airlines, hotels, cars and resorts for travel purchased on behalf of a client. With the advent of the internet, these commission checks began disappearing. Regular airfare (without hotels or car rentals) is generally not commissionable. That means when the travel agent does the research for your best fare, s(he) isn’t going to receive any money for the time and effort spent on your behalf. Booking airline tickets alone is actually a money losing proposition for the travel agent. However, many good agents will continue to book these flights as a gesture of goodwill in hopes that you will bring them your other travel.

Your budget determines the type of airfare and accommodations you will receive. If you are on a tight budget, you will likely end up with non refundable / non changeable plane tickets and hotel rooms that won’t allow you to upgrade. Make sure to discuss your budget options and the pros and cons associated with your airfare, car and hotel before you make a purchase. Keep in mind that your travel agent is likely to receive a higher commission on the refundable / upgradeable fares so buying non refundable / non changeable tickets really doesn’t benefit the travel agent.

If you want to use airline or hotel points for upgrades, make sure and tell your agent up front. That way s(he) can find you the best upgradeable bargain.

Your travel agent can be an invaluable asset when planning your next trip or vacation. You, as the consumer, do have certain responsibilities to volunteer information if not directly asked.

Questions to ask your agent.

1. Do you charge any research or other fees?

2. Will you work with me if there are any issues?

3. Do you work with any companies that allow me to pay out my vacation?

4. Is there a 24/7 phone number in case of critical issues?

Questions your agent should ask you

1. What areas of travel interest you?

2. What kind of budget do you have?

3. What types of travel do you like – air, cruise, all inclusive etc?

4. Do you have airline seating preferences?

5. Smoking or non smoking hotel rooms (if applicable)?

6. What level of service do you expect – budget, 5 star etc?

7. Ask about visas and passports for international travel.

Fantastic vacations start with detailed planning. So, get together with your travel agent and start planning your next dream trip.