Is the travel agent outdated by the internet?
Travel agents embrace the web as a valuable source of travel information. However, customers MUST exercise caution before buying travel products online. Word of advice: Think, Read Well, Understand what is at stake, before You Click.
Is the Internet a straightforward process?
You have to know what you exactly require, search for it, read thoroughly Terms & Conditions, Rules & Regulations and even go to the very last step i.e. booking finalization in order to get to the Final Price: Final Step that includes Taxes, Service Charges, Technical Stops, Credit Card Charges, and the list is not exhaustive. Otherwise, you could end up wasting hundreds of dollars and countless hours on a trip that fails to meet your expectations.
Can we find Cheaper AIRFARE Tickets Online. Is that always a Fact?
NOT Always. Some bargains sold online are usually for: Limited Time and Availability, on “First-come First-served basis”, Highly Restrictive as in: minimum number of stay, sometimes with constringent terms & conditions, e.g.: non-refundable ticket, non-exchangeable, etc. And other times, if the traveler needs to amend dates and/or face a no-show situation; than the traveler may pay high charges to perform a change; and/or may find difficulties, or may face the impossibility of calling some airlines and be served.
Some airlines do sell online at equal or cheaper rates than travel agents. However, the difference may be so minimal and negligible – that to a certain extent – it is not worth the Time, Efforts, Risks nor the absence of the After-service needs. At the end of the day, it all boils down to Trust.
In other cases, the traveler may NOT be comparing on an apple-to-apple basis i.e. Internet Price versus Travel Agent Price.
What are the factors that determine the Ticket’s Price?
FARES are strongly correlated to the below Parameters / Listing:
- Destination, Carrier, Classes (First, Business, Economy) and Sub Classes in both Economy & Business:
- Season (Low, Shoulder, High)
- Ticket Type (One Way, Round Trip)
- Airline Contracts (Code Share, Combinability, etc.)
- Terms & Conditions (Stopover, Advance Purchase, other)
- Promotional Prices
Is the Price fixed?
Nothing is fixed except Change. The price is correlated to the above mentioned points, in addition to other Economical External Factors such as but not limited to, Fluctuation in: Exchange Rate Currency and Oil Prices.
Should the customer use the Internet to plan a trip? Can I find what I need at Intertravel’s?
Absolutely! But the key word here is “PLAN”. The Internet is a great source of information on: destinations, country profile, landmarks, what to see and when to go, attractions, hotel profiles, local transportation, weather, currency.
And YES, you can find profound information and rich content in Intertravel’s website, as it is linked to some discerning web resources.
Can we find Cheaper HOTEL Fares Online. Is that always a Fact?
Not always. Some bargains sold online are usually for: Limited Time and Availability, Highly Restrictive as in: Minimum number of stay, Non-refundable, with Advance Purchase conditions.
Some hotels do sell online at equal or cheaper rates than travel agents. Hotels monitor daily if not hourly their occupancy. And sometimes, the Hotel Forecast / Occupancy Rate or Expectations differ from the “real situation”. Hence, if the occupancy is Low, hotels may decrease their Prices. If the occupancy is High, hotels may increase them. And it may depend as well of the Management’s Strategies.
However, the difference may be marginal when you know the work it entails for the Travel Agent to search for the Suitable Hotel according to customer’s requirements e.g.:
- Location e.g. city center, specific address, near a congress, etc.
- Hotel options.
- Hotel reviews and ranking.
- Special requirements.
- Efforts to diligently perform a “Virtual Inspection of Hotel Property”.
Hence, it may not be worth the Time nor Risks. At the end of the day, it all boils down to Trust. Again, in some cases, the traveler may NOT be comparing apples-to-apple i.e. Internet Price versus Travel Agent Price.
What is the apple-to-apple comparison? What does it entail?
it is crucial to know the below factors in order to be Fair and Righteous. You must compare apple-to-apple and NOT cheese-to-chalk i.e. comparison must be done from a:
- Ticketing perspective: Same Airline, Flight Number, Departure Date, Return Date, Timing, Routing, Date of booking, other.
- Hotel perspective: Same Hotel & Address, Check-in Date, Check-out Date, Number of nights, Room Category & Type, Date of booking, other.
There are hundreds of online travel systems. Can Intertravel be cheaper than all others?
Yes and Yes. Online travel systems are intertwined and interlinked. Availability is based on XML, which means that one same room in a hotel can have different prices. In other terms:
- No Agent/ Tour Operator / Wholesaler / OTA can have Good Prices/Deals and hence be Competitive in each and every Hotel; per Room Category / Dates / City / Country.
- Comparison should be done for each booking / price quotation.
- Comparing apple-to-apple i.e. for the Same Hotel, Same Dates, Same Number of Nights, Room Category, Room Type, Meal and City / Country, you may have several Pricing (XML). Prices depend and are defined by the Supplier and Service Providers’ Contracts, thus Terms & Conditions.
- Pricing / Contracting are strongly correlated to Supplier’s Sales Turnover/Performance, Payment & Credit Facilities, Allotment, Seasonality (Congress/Fair Periods, etc.) and the list is not exhaustive.
- Other distinct parameters (Web Service Agreements, etc.)
- Every Supplier has its Specific / Unique set of Rules & Prices that may absolutely differ from one service provider to the other.
Are the quoted Prices Fixed?
Nothing is fixed except change. Fare is strongly correlated to Availability & Price List applicable at the Time, Dates of “Booking” and “Issuance” and this according to Set Terms & Conditions. Availability is a highly Volatile Factor, and hence it changes every hour, on the hour.
Consequently, fares may increase (due to lack of availability) or decrease (after close monitoring of airlines to secure / ensure availability on lower classes).
What if the passenger’s name is wrong?
It is crucial to know that names should be booked as written on passports. any error may hinder the customer from travelling as in: deportation, denied boarding, other – which may result in financial losses and inconveniences.
What are the downsides in booking online?
Concerns may include issues of security, cancellations and customer service. In addition, Customers seek unique, customized trips and personalized services that require the assistance of a skilled and “Trusted” travel professional.
The bottom line is that Smart Travelers know their time, money and travel dreams are too important to be left floating in cyber-space. And the customer satisfaction that comes with a travel agent’s hard work, expertise and quality service will never go out of style.
What do we need to know when booking online on Intertravel’s system be it Hotel, Transfer, Car Rental, Entertainment Tickets?
Please find below few pointers:
- You will be able to search and book ONLY, “AVAILABLE” travel services as per system.
- Travel services may NOT be refundable after issuance/payment. Please read carefully and thoroughly all and any Terms and Conditions related to a travel service so you can proceed with booking.
- Please acknowledge and confirm agreeing on service providers’ conditions by ticking/checking the “prompt box”.
- Availability fluctuates on the minute, every minute, second or hour. Prices are strongly correlated to Availability.
- Payments in currencies other than the US Dollars are based on a Non-Negotiable Rate determined by both Hotels and Suppliers’.
- All requests for Cancellations, Refunds must be made explicitly in Writing by Customers.
- Cancellation of any travel service is subject to Providers’ Terms and Conditions and Prices.
- For any Change or Cancellation of any rendered or paid travel service, service providers charge penalties or retain fees.
- Passenger’s nationality is mandatory and must be in accordance to passenger’s passport.
- We recommend that you Always Pre-plan, Pre-book and Pay your trips so you can benefit from discounts or competitive pricing.
- We recommend adequate travel insurance to cover your travel arrangements.
- You may need VISA to certain countries.
- You may require Transit Visa via some capitals.
- Customers must have the Proper and Valid Travel documents, such as but not limited to: valid passport, visa, transit visa, medical documents, vaccinations, compliance with custom regulations and governmental rules (Embargo if any).
- For any issue located outside our Time Zone, please bear in mind the Time Difference between countries.
- Our website does not constitute and should not be regarded as a recommendation or endorsement of the quality, service level or rating of any Provides made available.
- Present the Service Voucher to the Supplier and/or Hotel. Please note that travel services are NON-transferable, NON-Cashable by any third party.
- As per International Rules, hotel Check-in is scheduled at around 14:00. Check-out at NOON. Extending the Timing is subject to penalty charges according to Hotel’s own discretion and occupancy status.
- Hotels may ask for a Credit Card imprint or Cash Deposit at the check-in time to cover Incidentals (mini bar, telephone, internet, laundry, pay TV, etc). The amount varies from one hotel to the other.
- Please indicate upfront and prior to booking your Special Requirements e.g. interconnecting / adjacent rooms, etc. We will do our best to pass on your query to the hotel; and will endeavor that your needs are met – however this does not constitute a guarantee.
- Hotels in certain countries (North America for example) do not guarantee the number of beds in a room, and may accommodate the number of adults according to room Availability and this upon arrival.
- Some Hotels may allocate rooms according to their status’ occupancy on the check-in (“Run of the House”).
- Changes: We understand fully that Changes occur in Bookings as in Length of Stay (Extension or Reduction of Nights), revision in the Number of Rooms booked, amendments in room type (single / double), room category, etc. These alterations may impact the room Price and/or its Availability.
- Delays or NO-show must be duly communicated to Hotel. Failing to do so will result in the accommodation’s cancellation in its entirety.
- Hotels reserve the right to overbook rooms, and consequently must offer Alternative Accommodation in Similar or Higher Hotel Category.
- In cases when customers are displeased with services offered, they can solve the issue directly with the provider and spot on by simply calling the numbers given on vouchers or dealing directly with the concerned personnel and this at the time of the problem occurrence. Service providers in general are more likely to address minor concerns and resolve matters if & when immediately tackled.
Are we safe booking and paying online on Intertravel’s website?
Absolutely. Our engine is secured using an “SSL” certificate.
We employ security measures to protect any information – be it personal data, credit card details, other – from access by unauthorized persons and against unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction and damage. Protection, Security, Safety and Confidentiality of data is our ultimate objective.