Use a Travel Agent to Book a Flight

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Nettie Gary

Oct 8, 2009, 2:28:14 AM10/8/09
to Cheap Airfare Tickets
If you're planning to fly out of Heathrow Airport, you have several
options for booking your flight. You could rely on a travel agent to
arrange your flight, book directly through an airline, or go through
Internet booking sites. There are advantages to booking flights with
each of these resources, and which one you choose will depend on your
preferences and goals.
Booking Flights through Travel Agents
Prior to the development of the Internet travel industry, most people
relied on travel agents to arrange their flights. People used to shop
multiple travel agencies looking for a bargain, or they chose a travel
agent based on service, reputation, or convenience of the agency's
The biggest advantage of booking your flight through a travel agent is
convenience. If you are interested in purchasing a flight from
Heathrow to Boston and back and your primary goal is saving money, a
travel agent may not be your best bet. But if you need to book not
only a flight to Boston, but hotel accommodations, too, plus multiple
flights and accommodations in other cities in the U.S. as part of a
sightseeing vacation, booking through a travel agent makes sense.
Travel agents are paid commissions by airlines when they sell flights,
so it is not always in their best interest to net you the cheapest
possible flight. Of course, they want your business, too, so most
travel agents work hard to try to provide customers with competitive
airfares. Generally speaking, you may pay slightly more for your
Heathrow flight by booking through a travel agent. But if you are
short on time or planning much more than a basic round trip flight,
paying slightly more will be worthwhile.
There's another good reason to consider booking your flight with a
travel agent when you're planning a vacation. Travel agents are in the
know about deals on rental cars, combination hotel accommodation and
flight packages and other discount offers that can save you money on
your trip. Some travel agents can even provide discounts on admission
to tourist attractions in the destinations you plan to visit.
Travel agents are also very familiar with airports around the world,
as well as airlines. They are able to spot potential problems and help
you avoid them, which can help ensure your flight goes smoothly.
When travelers book their flights themselves online, nobody is there
to advise them against a one-hour layover in Airport X when traveling
from Heathrow. In reality, it could well be impossible to pass through
customs, collect your luggage and travel to your next terminal in only
one hour - especially if your flight is delayed and you arrive even a
few minutes late.
A good travel agent will take into consideration all the factors that
could affect your travel, including the seasons, the airlines you're
traveling and the airports you'll pass through in addition to
Heathrow. Although there may be no guarantees, if your flights are
cancelled or changed by your airline, a travel agent may be much more
likely to be able to arrange a suitable alternate flight than you
would be able to on your own - especially on short notice.
These are just some of the many advantages of booking your Heathrow
flight through a travel agent. If you do decide to book your flight
through a travel agency, allow yourself plenty of time to shop around.
Read all the "fine print" terms and conditions before you make a
commitment to any travel agent, and pay close attention to guarantees
and refunds in case you need to change or cancel your flight.

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