The online travel industry took a bit of a hit today and the news is that people are actually calling their travel agents again to book travel. Now, Expedia and Orbitz are not disappearing anytime soon, but what this means is that human life is re-entering an industry that has been built on dreams, but sold out to automated purchasing.
You can dream about going to Barcelona with a travel agent much better than you can dream with a click of a button. Looking for the cheapest airfares online seems to make sense. But is it the cheapest fares that you find online? And what does cheap mean to you? Cheap means that if something goes wrong with my ticket, I don’t have anyone to call. Cheap means that if I want to change it, it is goming to cost me even more money. Cheap is crap.
Remember the whole point of travel? The fun, the hunt, the find! People are learning that it is the travel agents who still have the great travel secrets and little hideaways that you can’t find on big websites. They know the ebb and flow of travel and can help you figure out the best time to go to Paris — or not.
Travel agents are once again in vogue. Personal service, specialized trips, and intimate details are all the things that these lovely people can give you. So, I say “Hurray to travel agents!” and I dare you to call one for your next trip and see what happens — you might be pleasantly surprised.