The allure of online travel websites is great. With constant pop ups and special offers floating onto screens and into inboxes, it’s no wonder many people decide to book online. The last thing on most people’s minds is what would happen if the airline or the travel company they are booking with went bust. If a natural disaster occurred, how easy would it be to rebook? Here’s why an independent travel consultant is a better option for security and peace of mind.
With more choice comes more risk
One of the most interesting aspects of working in the travel industry is the ever-changing raft of options available for clients to explore. Whether you want to pay a visit to the remote tribes in Ethiopia or trek across the Himalayas, there will be a package available for you.
Along with increased choice and more competitive prices comes the instability of the many companies competing against each other. Overnight Monarch airlines went into administration leaving 110,000 passengers stranded abroad. Then Ryan Air cancelled 20,000 flights affecting over 400,000 passengers. There’s also the threat of natural disaster which can strike at any time and not all travel companies can offer the support needed for their clients. If an event such as these examples happens on your travel date, chaos can ensue.
Protection against sudden change
All companies selling flights and holidays in the UK are required to offer ATOL Protection. This stands for Air Travel Organiser’s Licence. The ATOL scheme protects against companies going bust so you don’t get stranded abroad or lose money. This means that regardless of how you book your holiday, you’ll usually have some protection. However, independent travel agents are personally aware of some of the issues that will affect their clients. If there is a sudden weather related situation such as Hurricane Irma and our clients will be affected, we will already be looking at alternative arrangements on your behalf. This is unlikely to be the case with all online agents.
Communication is everything
The difference between booking online and dealing with a travel agent is that you are not just booking a product, you are booking a service too. You will be known personally by name and your travel arrangements will be known too.
If the worst happens, waiting in the queue to a call centre can be frustrating. Worse still, what if you can’t get hold of anyone. Often in a catastrophe, airports are chaotic and it’s difficult to speak to someone when your flight has been cancelled.
Booking with an independent travel agent gives you a personal service. With availability 24/7, you’ll be able to get hold of someone when and if the worst happens. When the call is received, we can advise you of the most up to date information and intervene on your behalf if need be.
For more information about the advantages of booking with an independent travel agent, call Sarah on 01603 343555.