Before you use a travel agent...

Thursday, February 28th 2008, 7:18 pm
By: News 9

We just did a story about a sweet couple who used a travel agency to book a trip.  They've been trying to get a hold of the out of state agency for the last year.  After no luck, they called us.

This is what amazes me... it took us 1 phone call and the company responded.  Just 1!  The company obviously can take care of the problem.  It's a shame they wait until News 9 gets involved to make things right.  But I've seen time and time again - that's what it takes. 

The couple used a company out of Florida.  You can sometimes get good deals when you use internet or out of state companies... but I would advise you do so with caution.  If there's a problem, you can't go knock on their door very easily. 

The couple did the right thing by paying with a credit card.  If they hadn't been able to get results from the company, they could have filed a complaint with the credit card company and more than likely been reimbursed that way.

Before you travel, check out these our consumer watch team compiled:

1. Do a background check.  Look for professional certification like CTC (Certified Travel Counselor), CTA (Certified Travel Agent), or DS (Destination Specialist).  These are usually on display at an agency and the certificates show at least 5 years of experience and that they've completed an academic study program and exam.

2.  Check out the   We were able to find the company in our story had 296 complaints!

3.  Plan Ahead.  For major holidays and event try to buy tickets and hotel rooms 4-6 months ahead.

4.  Do NOT rely on verbal agreements alone.  Get everything in writing and signed.  Get all the details like first class tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars in writing.  And then READ THE PAPERWORK CAREFULLY before signing anything - especially package details.

5.  Enjoy the trip!!!