Two Cents - How Agents Help.

Updated: Jul 8

by Frontier Travel

You want to go to the Greek Islands.

You google best hotels in Greek Islands, followed by cheapest flights to Greek Islands. Three hours later, you are still browsing Greek Island hotels, completely overwhelmed due to conflicting reviews.

You haven’t even made it to flights. Did we mention places to go, things to do, best restaurants? Transfers? Are you breaking out in hives yet?

We’re not surprised.

You’ve probably got a huge chunk of change set aside to tick the Greek Islands off your bucket list and now you are exhausted and you haven’t even booked a hotel yet.

The internet is amazing, and while it has made life easier in so many ways, it has also left travellers overloaded with information and at times vulnerable to scams on less established booking sites.

So here’s the thing. It’s a big wide world out there and you’re not supposed to be an expert. You’re supposed to be a traveller. We are the experts. It is literally our job to make sure you have the best vacation of your life. What’s not to like?

A while back it was widely predicted that the internet was going to kill off travel agents, placing digital tools at the disposal of every traveller. Well that hasn’t happened and there are several good reasons why.

We find the best deals

We are your advocate

We take care of the little things

We are true experts

We don’t cost extra.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg and let's face it, there’s never been a more important time to feel safe and secure when it comes to your travel plans.

Here are a few more reasons you should use a travel agent:

Emergencies: Stuff happens, take Mother Nature for example. That woman is unpredictable and sooner or later she will interrupt your travel plans. But she’s not alone. Strikes, civil unrest, wildfires and disease can all put the brakes on your plans. What about airlines and travel sites that go bust? A cancelled flight or cruise means a delay, delays cause headaches, headaches mean long waits on hold to help desks. Now I don’t know about you but that’s not my idea of a holiday.

That is when you need an agent. We have your back. It is our job to know about these things and head the problems off at the pass. While everyone else is stranded and waiting in line or on hold, we have you and your needs prioritised. It’s our pleasure to help.

Take this example from our director Roland:

A corporate client who is a top tier Chairman's Lounge Platinum One member with Qantas on a short trip to Dallas in the USA, tight schedule and needed to be back in Australia for commitments. Qantas cancelled the direct flight. We had rebooked the flight, organised for a First Class seat to be released on the oversold LA-Sydney flight and reissued the ticket all before Qantas Premium contacted the client to tell them of the cancellation. If he had waited for Qantas to call, he would have not got home til the following day.

Expertise & Connections: No one is an expert in all areas of travel, the world is just too big, but we pride ourselves on having curated a group of agents who together are experts in their field. Their forte is custom creating the perfect itinerary for you. How do we achieve that? We get to know you, your personality and preferences. We don't just find you the best hotel for your budget, we find the best hotel for you.

Then it comes down to the saying “it's not what you know, it’s who you know”, yep that old chestnut and it is bang on. A great agent has excellent connections. Our relationships with industry leaders are second to none. They have been carefully cultivated for decades and are the reason we can often find you a room in a sold out hotel or get you dinner at a booked out restaurant. Again, it’s our pleasure.

Here is an example from our agent Sarah:

We knew we had some clients interested in doing a luxury train journey. One of our favourite partner suppliers, Belmond came to us and offered the last few cabins on one of their departures from Bangkok to Singapore at a reduced price. This journey is a beautiful 3 day itinerary travelling by train with all luxury inclusions. It is usually sold out months if not years in advance but they had some cabins spare at the last minute. We knew some clients who were interested in trying this sort of travel and could arrange flights and an extra few nights of accommodation for them, all at very short notice. Because Belmond knew we would be able to fill the cabins, they came to us exclusively and we were able to match the right clients to this product quickly. Our guests were offered a great price for filling the train at the last minute and had a wonderful, slightly unexpected holiday.

Extras: We have a saying - our clients don’t pay more when you book with us, but they get more. And let’s face it. Who doesn't love a freebie or to be treated like a VIP?

From welcome amenities to upgrades and hotel credit, free Wi-Fi, early check in and late check out. Getting more for the same price or less is the best feeling, particularly on holiday and it is our pleasure to arrange these bonuses for you wherever possible.

How do we do it? We are a proud member of Virtuoso, an invitation only network of top tier travel agencies, most in the luxury realm. Virtuoso has specific relationships with over 1,800 travel partners, including 1400 hotels in over 100 plus cities, airlines, cruises and tours. It negotiates exclusive benefits which we pass on to our clients. You are welcome.

Our agent Cath has shared this example:

One of my favourite Virtuoso properties is Cape Grace in Cape Town. Not only do you get the classic Virtuoso inclusions like the upgrade on arrival and the full breakfast but Virtuoso guests have the choice of a complimentary bottle of wine from the hotel's very own wine cellar, exclusively for Virtuoso members. Another hotel with an extra special perk is the Beaumont in London, they offer a one way airport transfer from Gatwick, Heathrow or London City Airport straight to the hotel, plus free reign over their minibar! Closer to home, Crown Towers Melbourne offers an upgrade at the time of booking & access to the Crystal Club Lounge and Crown Spa.

Air: Even the best agents struggle to get airline tickets for less than you can buy online. So why book with one? Because when something goes wrong, and occasionally it does, and you are stuck in transit after a 13 hour flight, the last thing you want is to have to deal with rebooking flights and finding somewhere to sleep. Booking with an agent means you have a safety net, we can save you the time and money and handle the headache.

Still wondering about those Greek Island flights? What about connecting through to Santorini from Athens. Which airline do you use? How much time between flights should you have? Do I buy that separately or can I do it on the same ticket? Chill time. That’s what we are here for.

Agent James is very creative with fares, take this for example:

A lot of people usually think that, when buying an air ticket, you can only go to and from the city you choose (i.e, arrive in and depart from Athens) and then have to purchase other tickets separately. But did you know that several airlines have agreements with European carriers that allow you to put those little flights onto the same ticket as your international flights? For example, Etihad could fly you all the way to Athens, and then connect up with their partner Aegean Airlines to get you out to the islands. This means that your baggage is checked all the way through to your final destination, one change / cancellation fee should it come to that, and best of all - most of the time you only pay the taxes associated with those smaller domestic flights, rather than a full fare!

How about our fares with British Airways, which allow you to stopover at a variety of Asian cities on your way through to London? Online you’ll find BA15 and BA16, flying through Singapore with no stopover. But, as an example, we’re able to turn that into an itinerary including Hong Kong and Tokyo on the way over, and Singapore and Bangkok on the way back! That’s not the limit of the potential stopover cities either - there are plenty more!

The world’s greatest holiday: So here is the bottom line. A good travel advisor knows more than you do, because it is their job. They are connected, because it is their job. They have access to benefits and are super well connected, because it is their job. They can match and often beat any price you have found, because it is their job. They are a safetynet, because it is their job. They plan a better trip, because it is their job - and in our case, our absolute pleasure.

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Get in touch with us

Phone: 02 9331 0037

Suite 101/161 Walker Street, North Sydney NSW 2060

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