I have went through a number of Travel Agents now. Remember a time when they were out there looking for good deals for you and actually helped plan a vacation? Remember when they listened to your instructions? Now I find that all they wish to do is book your trip right away even if there are no deals as of booking. What happened to the Travel Agent that actually looked for a great vacation and knew what their client was looking for. I find now I must look for the deals or vacation and provide instructions on how to book and what I am after. At this point I am finding it is easier to book myself so thing don’t get all screwed up. Disenchanted!
If you find a good TA you’ve gotta hold on tight - they are worth their weight in gold! I absolutely adore my TA. She is always on the look out for the best deal, she gives me suggestions when I ask for them and they are always based on her experience and my prior feedback on what I have liked and disliked. Plus, she puts up with my crazy desire to move my reservations around based upon my crazy thoughts of the day (she swears she finds me entertaining, but I am always worried I will push her too far!). And it helps that she’s a liner and recommended in the Unofficial Guide.
That’s a terrible shame.
There are some good ones still out there
I know and have worked with amazing travel agents. I have always found that if I take the time to communicate with them my needs, that helps them. None of us are mind readers (I am not a TA).
There are very few deals these days (oh- you could maybe find a cruise deal?) so can we help you know if your expectations are reasonable on discounts?
This jumped out at me.
There have been very few deals recently apart from those for FL residents. So you have a choice of booking the trip and hoping for a deal to become available later or waiting. If you choose to wait then you may not get the trip at all.
A good TA should be able to tell you those options, and then follow your instructions as to how flexible you want to be if & when any deals are offered - like switching resorts, dates etc. I guess if you told them you want to wait until a deal is available they would try and persuade you otherwise.
I am now intrigued as to what happened. If they simply told you there were no deals and you should go ahead and book at rack rates, then I’d have to say they have a good point. The alternative is you wait and risk not being able to book. The TA should then ask be able to apply any deal when they come out, according to agreed parameters.
I meant to add that there are of course TAs who do not know the ins and outs of WDW (or DL etc). In which case I suggest using one of the Liner TAs or Touring Plans themselves.
I’ve seen room discounts available for DVC and AP holders too.
You may have noticed recently that the new AP deals came out from Mar to July the 7th. For the first time on the WDW web site you were put in a que for access. Now here are the deals I am talking about. I used to have a agent that would inform me right away but she retired. Now the TA’s I have had recently have not only not informed me of this event but didn’t even do so for a booking I had through them at rack rate. Because I was late in booking this deal myself, I had to except a date later that I preferred not to book. I wanted earlier but those dates went fast. So the question remains just why do I need a travel agency that wants to book me right away but does NOT look for deals as they once did. MVT for example. Once they had great deals but not anymore. They are big on cruises now and not just Disney. Agents tell me it is not their fault as no deals are offered. Really! What about the AP deal that just came out. My agents knew I had AP’s . Another couldn’t follow instructions and screwed up a booking twice. I have used TA’s recently because I was trying to make them a little money for something I could have and used to do myself. Back to self booking. Oh yes, if things do get screwed up I am left to fix it because agents say they cannot correct their mistakes.
You have two options:
book on your own
find a new TA
You wouldn’t happen to be a TA would you. I think I stated that it is exactly what I will resume doing. Book myself. Two reasons I started using TA’s in the first place. MVT HAD great deals. TA’s had better access to WDW customer service. Neither are no longer true. I have nothing against TA’s. If I found one that did there job besides just booking on the spot I would use one in the future. Did you know that when booking one needs to use the exact name on your account. That’s right! miss one letter or spell it wrong and WDW adds these new names to your Friends and Family account. Why would this matter? Because if you have a AP it will not be applied to the different name booking but to the new names in Friends and Family. Therefore you will NOT be able to make park reservations for said booking because you will have no tickets. This was my TA’s mistake even after they were told the correct Spelling of the name to use. Twice. Now I had to cancel two different reservations and wait for a refund for both. Booking oneself you don’t have this problem.
OK, those TAs sound rubbish.
I’ll echo what @OBNurseNH said.
So here’s an example of my amazing TA….she just sent me an email with the subject ‘because I’ve got your back, not sure if these dates work for you’ along with August and November dates for UOR. She knows I have a UOR AP and I usually go end of August. I am absolutely going to book it ($199/night for Royal Pacific!)
See, I have a very different experience…at the very agency you have an issue with. My TA helped me book, let me know it was at rack rate because there weren’t any deals, and worked with me to find the right dates. Then, when the spring/summer rate deal came out, she double checked my existing reservation to be certain it wouldn’t work with it (it didn’t). Then, I changed my reservation again (she’s a saint for putting up with my nonsense) and worked with me to get the resort I wanted, the dates I wanted, and the ticket package I wanted, AND it was a better room category for less than I could book the original category at myself.
I’ll happily work with a TA who can do these things. I understand your frustration; just know that they aren’t all like that. Perhaps try a new one in the company before you give up?
There are a couple of TAs that are also liners, but I won’t call them out (I don’t know if that’s appropriate). Also, TPs has TAs…
Sorry… stupid question maybe? What’s a Liner?
Edit to add… oh wait. I think I realize. It’s just us… the subscribers to Touring Plans… right?? I thought it was something specific to being a travel agent
Touring Plans has the “lines app”. The Touring Plans community members are liners. Welcome liner!
It’s not the Agent in MVT as it is MVT. Although I will say that though I was on a list for notifications, I got nothing to let me know WDW was having a AP special. The problem becomes of TA’s NOT looking for deals for their clients and informing them even if they do NOT know any dates you are interested in. I just contacted MVT and asked if they could get a DP special for May 31 to June 14th. I couldn’t because they were all gone. Once last year I needed some dates in October that I could not get but TA at MVT said they had them available. How, I do not know unless they bought up some slots. I stuck with the dates I had to book because I had already booked flights for those dates. I am looking for a TA who knows various vacations like Key West and such and where to stay. In other words I need a TA that can plan a vacation for I and my wife that we would enjoy. Most these day want to book Disney and Now cruises but cruises are iffy at best with testing requirements and port restrictions. Just canceled one of them. Do you think my agent would tell me of these problems? No, just book and take our chances. I had to do the research and ask myself just what the TA’s do these days besides book. BTW TA’s hit booking flights.
If this isn’t sarcasm, YES she is an amazing TA!
And so are you @dboothsummers
I’ll give just a couple more examples (although it sounds like you’ve made up your mind and that’s fine, TAs aren’t for everyone! And I do know not all TAs are the same and I am incredibly lucky to have an amazing one). When the Boo Bash tickets dropped last year, the waits to call for tickets before they became available online was hours and hours…my TA spent those hours on hold while I continued on about my day.
And my biggest one was actually 20 years ago and a different TA than I have now. I was going to Disney World and on a Disney Cruise for my honeymoon…flying out 9/12/01. The morning of 9/11 when the world was falling apart, I got a call from my TA. I did nothing. He kept me update on his conversations with the airlines and Disney, had me rebooked and ready to go a month later. A week after, I was freaking out because I was changing my name and that was not a time I wanted to have different names on my travel documents. Again, he was all over it - working on getting me updated travel documents for the flight, hotel and cruise line (because everything was paper back then).
TAs should make your life easier (and hopefully less expensive!). If you don’t have a good one, definitely move on. But if you found a great one, you are one lucky traveler