Travel agents


#1

So this is more of a rant than a question so apologies in advance. When I first started planning a Disney trip I was overwhelmed and decided to contact one of these Disney approved travel agents. I entered all my info for the quote and it came back the exact same price that was available on Disneys website. I thought whatever, I won't have to do the leg work and I'll have access to her expertise. I told the lady I wasn't sure of the exact dates or hotel I wanted but said fall 2018 at a deluxe resort. I was thinking she'll reply with her recommendations and we'll go from there, well she never responded. However, every month or month in a half I get an email from her asking if I picked a date and hotel yet and I always reply saying I haven't decided, what are her recommendations and she never writes back (I booked a few weeks ago, but I want to see how long this goes on). She obviously just wants the commission and has no interest in helping me along the way. I also have to wonder if she's going to ignore my questions before she has my business what chance would I have once she got my money.


#2

Ugh I'm so sorry you experienced this! Has the TA already booked anything for you?
If you choose to utilize a travel agent, they should be able to assist you in trip planning and answer any questions you have, and always respond to your inquiries in a reasonable timeframe!
You will likely always find the same price for your package if pricing the same dates, resort, park tickets etc....Travel agents are (should be at least) good at finding the best discounts or promos but don't have cheaper rack rates or discounted ticket prices so to speak.
Also important to note - you should never have to pay any fees to a travel agent. They get a commission directly from Disney after your travel, and their services should be 100% free to you.


#3

I ended up booking everything myself. I'm amused by it at this point. She probably reads the first 3 words of my replies which are "I haven't decided" and ignores the rest.


#4

It could be automated follow up emails you are getting


#5

I have found that not all travel agents are created equally. I had one for a cruise who was awful. I was trying to get back and forth from Port Canaveral to Disney without using the Disney transport due to the long delay in the buses leaving. She told me my only option was to rent a car. So, I went on to Lines (thank you everyone!), got a recommendation for Happy Limo and booked everything myself.

My MVT agent, Brandi on the other hand, is wonderful. She always is responsive to my myriad of questions and changes to my booking. I always get the 'you can book your fastpasses' and 'you can book your ADR' emails with plenty of time. I've asked for recommendations on resorts and she's always given me her honest opinion. Now, even when I book on my own (Such as a bounceback deal), I always transfer the booking to her because of the great experience I've had.

In short, if you really want to make it work with a TA, just ask here for recommendations. We can give you some good ones!


#6

Like any profession there are GREAT travel agents and there are crappy ones. I one time booked through AAA for some reason (although I remember not really wanting to) and I had to basically walk the woman through it.


#7

At least you got a response! I sent inquiry emails to 3, yes 3, different travel agencies recommended on multiple sites. Two I received no responses from. The one I got a response from after I posted a question on their facebook page how long it takes for a quote. I got the standard answer 24-48 hours. So when I replied, it's been 2 weeks since I sent the email, my post was deleted from the page.

Needless to say, I found a good one accidentally from a friend who had just gone on a Disney trip.
:slight_smile:


#8

Yep...I found this out when I booked my runDisney last year. I had no choice but to use a travel agent because I needed a 10k bib that was not available. I had no idea SOME Travel Agents did as much as they do for people, like make ADRs & FPP. I wasn't even looking for them to do that. I was very disappointed with them once I booked all the way up to the end of my vacation. I did make Disney aware of because there happened to be quite a few issues happening on Disney's end that week too that were problems.

From now on I pretty much handle it myself. I know so much from the little I researched after plus TP and FB group help, I really don't need a travel agent unless they have a deal I can't get myself!


#9

I think Travel Agents can be an extraordinary asset - especially with the newbies in a place. I however am a type A super control freak (as I am sure many of you are). I love planning my own vacation and have done a few European trips as well. It takes a TON of time - especially for overseas - but I love learning things about where I am going and all the extra research helps in that. I am sure we are missing something or making a huge mistake with something else - but I also feel no one else "gets" exactly what I want to do more than me. My parents are just the opposite and would never think of doing it themselves - so different stokes for different folks


#10

My feelings exactly! I LOVE the challenge of learning about a new destination and then researching to figure out exactly what we want, and how to make sure that happens.


#11

I get the sense from this board that most of us have gotten so good at planning these things we could be travel agents as a profession ourselves if we wanted to


#12

HA - I have had several people have me "plan" their trips - WDW and otherwise. I do love giving them the information and helping. I love the HUNT for a good deal (not cheap) but a good deal. I love trying to get the best accommodations for the least amount. Getting good airfare while minimizing layovers etc. I also find that by doing it myself - I care more.

When we were in Italy - just because I was curious - we ended up with a PRIVATE train car for LESS than economy. We were going from Venice to Florence (3 hours) and I had done a lot of research. I do a final check. Bing bang boom - for giggles I put in First Class and it came up LESS - I called to confirm and YES - as a family traveling on the weekend there was a special deal. So we got to ride in a private car (think Harry Potter - with private TVs, Full reclining seats, a concierge, complementary food / drinks, warm towels) - for LESS than the price of economy. I LOVE getting those finds - and KNOWN I would never have gotten it if it was up to someone else.


#13

I also had the TA's from USA that never reply, or saw that my trip was more than 12 months away and never answered my questions.

Our TA's here aren't paid by Disney. I pay their commission as part of my 'deal' with them. One never got back to me. One gave me a price higher than the Disney site (because of her commission added), but she was super helpful and told me about the flight expo that was going to happen on the exact date my flights would be available to start booking, so I booked my flights through her and saved around 3k (for the 4 of us).

Having said that, I had to be a bit sneaky to get the booking code to login to the website and change our seats, check the in flight entertainment options and see whether any meals were included. She had given my youngest son the aisle seat and stuck my broad shouldered husband in the middle of a different row to the rest of us by himself... where he would have been squished and complained about it for the rest of his life.

I guess I don't like leaving my plans in the hands of other people!