Now that we are in the thick of the annual holiday booking season, perhaps it is a good time to remind intending travelers of the huge benefits to using a licensed and bonded travel agent. Aside from the obvious expertise that travel agents possess, it is the financial peace of mind that they offer that actually represents the best reason for using a travel professional. Because airlines are defined as ‘principals’, they are not required under current legislation to be either licensed or bonded by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) in Ireland despite the fact that both Aer Lingus and Ryanair are, de facto, the two largest travel agents in the country in that they provide consumers with the wherewithal to book their flights, accommodation, transfers and or car hire as part of the one transaction. In the absence of such financial protection, should either one go bust (an admittedly unlikely scenario) no consumer would be reimbursed for monies already paid over. Is such an scenario unlikely — yes. Has a national carrier ever gone bust before? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is also yes. Sabena, the national Belgian carrier went belly up a few years ago. So too did the Hungarian national carrier Malev. Remember Pan Am? Or Braniff? The fact of the matter is that bigger doesn’t necessarily insulate one from the ill winds that are blown by recession. As a matter of fact, the opposite is often the case as larger corporations often lack the ability to be able to downsize quickly or trim costs in the way that smaller companies such as travel agents can. The attrition rate amongst airlines is often higher than consumers realise. Check out this website to see how many other aviation companies have bitten the dust in just the past few years.
Travel agents are not only the most secure way of protecting your money, they are also more likely to save you money because they have access to fares, deals, promotions, net and contract rates that are not usually distributed through the usual Internet channels and it is these additional resources that travel industry professionals such as travel agents have access to that can often represent the difference between just a good deal and a great one!
For more reasons on why you need a travel agent, click here.