Recommendation for savvy travel agent?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Lewis, Dec 25, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lewis

    Lewis Active Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    21
    Status Points:
    95
    Happy holidays,

    Wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a good travel agent -- I recently had the very frustrating experience of being able to assemble exactly the itinerary I wanted using ITA Matrix but was unable to replicate it (it was relatively simple but involved two different carriers) using any tool that would actually be bookable, after spending nearly an entire day trying to do so.

    I eventually re-assembled an itinerary that was almost what I wanted using an OTA, but I found it too limiting for my needs. What I really want is to be able to email the fare construction data from Matrix to a travel agent, pay them for their time, and have them just book it for me.

    I know folks here have had some stellar experiences with "traditional" travel agencies, and I'm looking to get on board. Ideally this agency would be quick to respond via email (especially outside of regular business hours) and would have a strong understanding of frequent flier programs (from the perspective of which fares are mileage-earning, upgradeable, etc.)

    Would greatly appreciate any feedback from the community. Many thanks and happy new year!

    Best,
    Lewis
     
    Kalboz and edekba like this.
  2. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    2,458
    Status Points:
    1,145
    I did exactly the same for a 7 segment ticket a while back. Formulated it on matrix and then spent ages trying to get an OTA to price it. Eventually I emailed a TA and paid 30 euro / ticket giving the exact flight numbers and they booked it for me. Wasn't exactly painless as it took a few round-trips in email to get them to book exactly what I specified in the first email...

    So, no I don't have someone to recommend unfortunately, but I agree it would be good to have a list of TAs that perform this service.

    Note that the fare construction itself isn't sufficient to book a flight. For example, it doesn't speicify airports but only cities, so is only really useful for the TA to confirm that the fare matches the one you specified.
     
    Lewis likes this.
  3. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    1,060
    Status Points:
    825
    I'd recommend Brett (Cranky Flier) with Cranky Concierge http://crankyconcierge.com/ You'll pay a little bit for the service, but you know what they say - you get what you pay for. Good luck!
     
    Kalboz, edekba and Lewis like this.
  4. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    Are they a travel agent? i.e. can they generate a ticket for you?
     
  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    he is ... (or they are). @ FTULAX he mentioned that they were a certified TA... so I am assuming they can issue the tix
     
    iolaire and Lewis like this.
  6. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    2,458
    Status Points:
    1,145
    Looks interesting but it seems over the top for what the OP or I would want. I don't want someone to search for flights for me, I just want someone to book specified flights.
     
    Lewis likes this.
  7. Lewis

    Lewis Active Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    21
    Status Points:
    95
    Right. Point out my mistakes (or things I am overlooking), be a fresh set of eyes, ticket it and send me on my way. Glad to pay whatever is reasonable for the agency's time ($50/ticket or the like.)
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    email them & ask for a quote possibly?
     
  9. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    If you have the right AmEx card, have you tried their PTS/CTS? They have 24/7 toll-free phone travel agents and charge a reasonable fee for etickets. They should be able to book anything that's legal.
     
    Lewis likes this.
  10. Lewis

    Lewis Active Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    21
    Status Points:
    95
    It's a good idea and one that I had been considering (though I wish they had an email option.)
     
  11. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,011
    Likes Received:
    22,448
    Status Points:
    15,020
    edekba likes this.
  12. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    does flightfox book flights for you? I thought they just do ITA stuff and give you the cheapest fare, but not actually book it for you
     
  13. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    2,458
    Status Points:
    1,145
    Indeed. They should tell you how to book the ticket, but can't normally book it for you unless they happen to be a TA themself.
     
  14. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    OP have you tried hipmunk? Apparently it supports ITA type searches/queries
     

Share This Page