Why on earth would anyone think online airfare search engine are cheaper than an agent?

We constantly hear that agents are a dying breed due to the internet.

On the contrary, we are getting busier, as most clients haven't got a simple itinerary (we don't sell SYD/MEL tickets for example)

Most of our consultants, work hard & earn good money & get a few perks.

Many people stupidly believe, if an airfare is found at an online search engine, it must be cheapest.

The reality is, almost 100% of the time, fares on different search engine sites are within a few dollars of each other.

We often get the emails that says something like …

we know you probably can't beat it, but we have found online, A to B return for $x.

We mostly only sell USA/Canada & mostly Xmas school holidays & we can always do better, if well in advance.

At last minute, which can mean different things, but we think of it, as inside 2 months before departure, there's very little left that's cheap.

Sometime, our clients have to cancel & with most of our tickets, we can do a name change for a fee paid to airline, so can onsell clients tickets who can't travel.

This is generally the only way we can offer cheap fares to USA/Canada within 2 months of departure for Xmas school holidays, the busiest period of the year, meaning from mid Oct.

That said, in the rare situation, where we haven't sold all of our allocation of seats(which we've paid for), 2 months out, then we may have some cheap seats.

closed Comments

  • +82 votes

    So what are you offering?

    • -67 votes

      not offering anything.

      • +32 votes

        So you admit then that you can't offer better deals than the airline sales posted here on Ozbargain?

        • +2 votes

          That is a great strawman argument. Hopefully the poster doesn't dignify you with a response.

        •  

          We sell Xmas fares 10 to 11 months of the year, from as soon as they are loaded (roughly 50 weeks ahead).

          Majority of our Xmas seats are sold in period Feb to Apr, then less May to Oct & then only very few Nov & early Dec.

          Most of our airfares are sold as part of ski holiday packages & most experienced skiers know that if you don't get in early, very early, you not only won't get the best airfares, you won't get the best accom, lift tickets etc.

        • +12 votes

          @travelwiz: You are an agent for a company that is FOR PROFIT. Even if you do get the "cheapest" at the time you still add on your commission which is charged at your discretion (which some may call "lazy tax" - if the individual did not do any prior research). At the end of the day it is questionable whether if the individual had booked themselves they would get a better deal.

        • +4 votes

          @Dozingquinn: Or let's hope OP supports his initial claim. I don't care how ridiculous they sound, I want bargains.

        • -3 votes

          @sagrules: so are you saying you should book through a not for profit ?

          Not for profits still have to pay staff.

          Some airlines are a charity.

          Adding on our margin doesn't make us more expensive. Why would you say that ?

        • +13 votes

          @travelwiz: That's completely pointless. I cannot comprehend the reason as to why anyone would book via an agent, provided that the agent would be using deals worse, or equal to airfares found on an online search engine or even here on Ozbargain. The fact that the OP started this thread is clear proof that travel agencies such as his own are dying out due to online competition as if they were "getting busier" as he says, he would be oh so busy, such that he wouldn't even have time to make this post.

      • +23 votes

        Direct from the airline is the best way.

        Agents are literally similar to pimps. Unnecessary. add nothing. adds risks. adds costs.

        Direct with the supplier is best for all parties. (except pimp and agents)

        • +3 votes

          How is that the case? I just reserved my flights from Japan-Cairns-Brisbane using an agent, flying Jetstar, with 20KG luggage. The Jetstar website is about $100 more expensive on the same day, same flights, same luggage.

          Similarly, when I travelled from Paris to Tokyo with Qatar Airways, it was cheaper to use an agent over the company's website by over 100 euro !

          EDIT: the agent I used is an online agent.

        •  

          @urzu:

          Too bad Jetstar does not pay any commissions to TA's.

          Did you also happen to buy travel insurance and/or accommodation as part of the transaction?

        •  

          @jg86tsv:
          No, I just bought the flights. Should I be worried? The agent I used was online.

        • -13 votes

          so if we can get you $600 cheaper than airliens direct or through an online search engine, you pay the extra ? Get real.

          If airlines didn't have agents, they'd have to employ more more people.

          Agents are sales people. Airline employees often don't see themselves as sales people.

        • +1 vote

          @urzu:

          Care to tell us the name of the agent?

        • +2 votes

          @Daabido:

          I used Travelgenio.com
          I worried yesterday and called Jetstar to confirm my reservation and all seems to be okay. Jetstar can see me as a passenger. All good then!

      • +1 vote

        My firend (constantly) can do some good deal on airline stuff. I pesonal love idea some else take care of it.

      • +3 votes

        well basically if you cant offer better, you are wasting my time.

  • +63 votes

    Because it is usually true.

    Got a quote a few times, and was always cheaper for me to book online.

    We constantly hear that agents are a dying breed due to the internet.

    The fact that you posted this is sort of confirming it…..

    • +10 votes

      Yep same here. If I go back and mention the online quote to the agent, the agent will say ok, I will beat it by $1. This is contingent of the agent being able to find the same class fare on their system. Sometimes, they come back and say they can't find it on their system, probably because by the time they bothered to check their system, the cheap fare is already sold out. $1 saving is not worth the risk of losing the cheap online price of potentially hundreds of dollars in savings.

      • -18 votes

        but what you are saying doesn't make any sense, as, if the agent can't get the same fare online, you can't either.

        The big thing you forget, is, any switched on agent, will ask if your dates are set or can you go a day or 2 or more, outside those dates ?

        Or have a stopover en route.

        Eg. Europe. There are so many options, even if sticking to one airline.

        It can often work out cheaper, having a stopover inc stopover costs, if any(no airline flies nonstop from OZ to Euopre) so you have to fly via somewhere.

    • -17 votes

      that's just the point. It's not true that mostly cheaper at online search engines, at least for USA/Canada at Xmas.

      If you really want to see what's out there, do a screen shot & then immediately contact an agent who specialises in where you want to go.

      Remember also that a screen shot, is not a quote or costing.

      A price without a booking is meaningless. All the seats at that price might sell out 5 seconds later.

      At very least an agent can make a booking & confirm cost, with some payment period.

      For special fares these days, airlines want to be paid, almost straight away, which usually means within 24 to 48 hours of booking being made.

      • +32 votes

        I'm trying to understand your logic here.

        So you're suggesting that if we find a cheap airfare online we should take a screenshot and contact an agent with the price we've got. But then you state that the price is meaningless without a booking as it might sell out 5 seconds later?

        So why would we risk missing out on the price we've locked in online(that you say might sell out 5 seconds later) to have a discussion with an agent, as opposed to just booking it on the spot (with lower fees).

        Kind of defeats the purpose contacting an agent in the first place?

        • -16 votes

          no not all all. But what's the use of contacting the agent a day later ?

          & how do you lock anything in online without making a payment ?

        • +38 votes

          @travelwiz:

          You really aren't getting it are you?

          The poster is saying that anyone with a brain WOULD pay immediately for the awesome online price because there is a good chance it will sell out in 5 seconds and even in the unlikely event that you hunt around and find a specialised agent who deals in your destination, and IF the seats haven't sold out yet, they won't beat it by much. That's a whole lot of ifs, meanwhile seats are selling out like hotcakes.

          Who in their right mind would take all that risk for little to no gain and potentially no cheap ticket at all because it has now sold out?

          Keep trying to justify your career if you like, but OzBargain is hardly the place to do it. This is a community of DIY cheaparses who would walk 2 km to save 50 cents, and proud of it.

        •  

          @iaijutsu: and booking online would save on call cost too :)
          (if you happen to be not using office phone that is)

    •  

      When I went to Japan on holiday a few years ago I consulted a travel agent, and the cheapest airfare they could get me, which was with Garuda Airlines, was still considerably more expensive than the standard rate from Jetstar.

      • +2 votes

        Maybe it's like mortgage or insurance brokers. If the other vendors are not on their panel they don't offer it to you.

  • +11 votes

    They probably think that for the same reason why people generally think ANYTHING bought online is cheaper than via an agent.

    The best way you can prove them wrong is to put your money where your mouth is. Can we hit you up for cheaper airfares?

    •  

      We offer fares to USA/Canada at Xmas that you can't even find online.

      Eg. BNE/LAX on Qantas nonstop depart 26 Dec to 5 Jan (excluding 2 & 3 Jan).

      Back 23 Jan from around $1399 to $1699/adult. Yes get full Qantas ff pts around 15,000. Yes get 46kgs checked baggage (stuff all @ $1399 - more at slightly higher prices)

      Yes can change dates & names for a fee after tickets are issued.

      Challenge you to find anything close to this. If you do, we'll buy as many as we can. We have already bought up most that we can find.

      Stupidly, many online search engines except Qantas & agents computer reservation systems, don't even show dates beyond mid Jan. Most airlines load their flights around 50 weeks to 343 days ahead.

      So why aren't all search engines showing these dates ?

      • -2 votes

        Pretty sure that the $1399 you are mentioning is USD. AUD is close to AUD$1800. Hipmunk shows plenty of sites with around that price for those dates on Virgin/Delta. Even the Qantas site will give around AUD$2000. Are you talking AUD or USD?

        • +4 votes

          no it's AUD$

          Virgin/Delta aren't even loaded for 23 Jan. Not sure why ???

        • +3 votes

          @travelwiz: Loading flights 330 days in advance is the typical industry standard although some airlines release them a little earlier. See Oneworld FAQ

      • +24 votes

        I'm not travelling to USA/Canada at XMAS. It sounds like your service is highly specialised. Yet the title of your rant post is highly general.

        Here's my challenge to you - and this is win-win for both of us.

        Next time I'm going to fly I will present you with the dates and my online price. Get me in touch with an agent who can beat the net price and I'll pay you the difference. If you can't, then you pay me the difference of the best agent based price you can find.

        • -3 votes

          you can find a wholesaler for where you want to go.

      • +8 votes

        I don't fly very often and excuse me if I come off as crass, I don't mean anything harsh by it. But if you are buying up tickets from the airlines or alliances (to be blunt, cartels) such as oneworld, how is that any different from being a glorified scalper who offers benefits such as travel insurance in a bundled form?

        Also are these tickets that are unavailable to the public through the airlines or simply flights that you find as soon as they become available for booking (with the airlines tipping you off for first pick)?

      •  

        I was not able to post the other day due to web restrictions at work but I did do a search the other day. While it is not available now at 1.09pm on friday I found flights on the 1-23 Jan 2016 for $1209. I think this was a qantas flight too.

  • +31 votes

    I dont understand what you are trying to achieve. Either pony up with how you can help us save money or I am doing to continue using websites when they have sales.

    • -12 votes

      highlight the fact that the whole idea that online search engines must be cheaper, is just wrong.

      Lots of stories around at present saying that online hotel search engines are actually pushing up prices, due to demands they make on hotels for greater & greater commissions.

      Same with so called health insurance comparison websites.

    •  

      read on

      • +4 votes

        I would but all the Negs against your comments told me enough thanks

  •  

    Don't travel agent not work with the low cost airlines as well such as air asia, cebu pacific etc?

      • +4 votes

        So you are saying we should book an online flight WELL in advance to get an awesome deal like you do?

        • +4 votes

          @travelwiz: That is what are you saying.

  • +54 votes

    I can't decide if this is advertising or spam.

    • +5 votes

      Industry advertising ;)

      Edit: I just checked their history. Spam deletion post & negative posts, not that that can mean anything..

      Perhaps I'm wrong, but when I last used an agent, they couldn't come close to the online pricing (They were corporate agents, so I think it was more that a competitive flight/hotel wasn't worth the time.) I won't throw all agents in the same boat! :)

      • -3 votes

        1) why would you use a corporate agent ?

        Most clients of corporate agents, actually don't want cheap tickets, they want expensive tickets, that can be changed at a whim.

        With many full priced economy tickets eg. you don't even need to show up, don't need to contact airline or agent. Just turn up later & ticket still has full value.

        Also did you tell or show them, fare you could have got online ?

        If corporate agent has time, they will confirm what you say or show them & try to better it.

        If you're shopping for a car, you don't ask a car dealer or a broker for price, which saying what they have to beat do you ?

        •  

          My missus deals with them regularly. The quote was shown. I was happy with the online pricing, sometimes it's easier to click a few links rather than barter.

          And sure, I'd tell the dealer to match a broker price. If I can get the same product elsewhere cheaper, then they either match, counter or reject.

          My parents also use an agent regularly. They will usually match the online pricing and don't charge CC fees, so it works out cheaper. They have used the same company for many years and it's hit and miss with the employees. Usually have to wait until the good employees come in. Like all industries, you either get the helpful people who will make less per transaction, but have much more transactions than the others.

          It's finding the businesses/employees who have that mentality, quick turnovers. I should get the info off my parents.. :D

    •  

      no, it highlight the fact, that there are better deals out there. Isn't this what this site is all about.

      • +5 votes

        yes, but it's about posting/specifying those deals, not speculating that you may be cheaper to try to get buyers thru your door.

        •  

          go to deals !!!!!

        •  

          @travelwiz: where are the deals? they seem to have all been removed for spam

  • +2 votes

    "We mostly only sell USA/Canada & mostly Xmas school holidays & we can always do better, if well in advance."

    And if not?

    • -4 votes

      If not what ?

      Always talk to an agent who specialises in where you won't to go.

      We don't sell Bali or Europe or domestic OZ.

      The old days of an agent trying to sell everything, I think are gone. You simply can't know everything very well.

      • +64 votes

        Your posts, logic, comprehension etc… everything is hurting my brain.

        • -1 vote

          I haven't ever come across such gross misuse of commas. Makes it hard for @travelwiz to get her/his point across, whatever it is.

      • +4 votes

        Seriously is English your 2nd language? So youve excluded Bali, Europe and domestic OZ from your earnings potential, and your business survives specialising in selling North America over the Christmas period? Sounds far fetched to me

        • -1 vote

          why ?

          Many families will spend 4-6 weeks in USA/Canada every Dec-Jan (most kids have 7-8 weeks off school) & a lot spend a lot on skiing.

        • +4 votes

          @travelwiz:
          This is flat out wrong, and verifiably so. The average school year is 4 terms of 10 weeks, broken up by 3x 2 week holidays and 1x 6 week holiday.

          The reason you think the way you do is an overrepresentation in your clientele of parents of private school kids, some of which will end their 4th term a couple of weeks early. The reason those parents go to you is they are typically more cashed up than the average, in combination with work schedules that eat up so much of their time it is better for them to let you handle the trip details than sit on bargain hunting websites looking for a better deal.

          As a reference, I went to 3 different travel agents looking for quotes on flights to Europe and SEA last year, best they could do was $2300 for 4 flights. Online hunting got me there and back for $1550, which is why you are going out of business and are desperately trying to drum up traffic on here.

        • +8 votes

          exactly, that's correct.

          Why would you think otherwise.

          I wouldn't want a conveyencor doing other legal work.

  • +8 votes

    I find the biggest hassle with travel agents is if you want to change something you have to go back through the travel agent. If you are already overseas and want to change your flight, i am always told that my travel agent must change it as i booked through them, but if they are closed of if it is a weekend this isn't an option. I feel powerless.

    However if I book directly through an airline I have total control over my booking, and it is usually the same price. Example: On monday evening I booked flights to Europe for July. The agent was quoting me a few dollars more than directly through the airline. So why would I go with a travel agent? There is no benefit.

    The other hassle is the credit card fees. A lot of travel agents add the CC surcharge of 1-2% (for Visa and Mastercard) however booking online directly through the operator often avoids this.

    Travel agents just complicate everything. The only reason for me to use one is if the prices are quite a bit cheaper than I can find online through searching (which is not very often).

    • -2 votes

      usually if anyone who books though us wants to change a flight, they simply send an email or text.

      Someone in our office monitors emails/texts from 7am to 9pm most days inc on weekends.

      Many airlines aren't open 24/7.

      If you book through an airline, the airline has total control of your booking not you.

      Did you tell the agent, what you were getting online pricewise ?

      Most airlines charge credit card fees these days.

      • what if you have a problem. A person at a airline, is less likely to care about some fixed extra costs, for changes for example. Agents can often get some charges waived.
      • +2 votes

        I recently booked a rather expensive one way flight through Virgin, had a very nasty accident and called from the emergency department at 2:30am for a full refund on my fare that was departing at 6:05am that morning. Can an agent offer this flexability and account for this kind of occurence?

    • +6 votes

      "If you book through an airline, the airline has total control of your booking not you."

      Every time I've booked online through an airline, I've been able to make booking modifications online and pay online, 24/7.

      So what is better, 24/7 or "7am to 9pm most days". It's pretty much of a no brainer.

  • +9 votes

    @travelwiz, I'm not an agent - I'm a consumer - but you're not wrong. People have a misconception that online is always cheaper.

    I'm not sure I agree that agents can always beat the price, but I have found times when travel agents have beaten prices I can get on the Qantas website direct by OVER $1,000. There have been other times where the agents come back and tell me they can't beat it, but I can book it through them anyway (in which case I always decline, for the same reason @jenawabz mentioned - plus there are often service fees).

    I know some people in the industry and have some understanding of how pricing works - which is why I know that agents can often buy cheaper wholesale fares from the airlines and re-sell them for less than the retail airfare the airline is charging. Different agents get different wholesale fares.

    So my learning from all of this is to always check both, and then I just go with whoever is cheaper.

    The other value a travel agent brings is knowledge of destinations and the ability to help plan complex itineraries. I actually prefer to do the planning myself, so I don't go to an agent for this reason, but a lot of people still find value in it.

    That's why I don't buy into the theory that agents are a dying industry. You only need to look at Flight Centre's revenue growth over the last decade to see the hole in that logic. 10 years ago, people were saying online would destroy offline. That hasn't happened. Not to say the dynamics won't continue to shift over the next 10 years, but it seems to be a much more gradual shift than most analysts would expect.

    • +4 votes

      be careful of "go with whoever is cheaper"

      Fares ain't fares.

      Eg. a wholesale fare may have very different conditions attached to it. eg. we can do name changes after tickets issued, up til a business day prior to departure. Most retail fares, you can't.

      • +1 vote

        Any other examples? For me a name change is not something that I could imagine needing. As someone said earlier, it sounds like you are highly specialized. Which is fine. Post a deal listing all your specialized offerings as a package, who knows you might get some people needing that kind of service?

        • -1 vote

          ok you have a non-refundable ticket. What do you do with it, if you can't travel ?

        • +14 votes

          @travelwiz:
          Claim it on travel insurance.

    • -1 vote

      Flight Centre yes but what about small agencies?

  • +13 votes

    I don't understand this post. If you are good, post a deal in the deal section and let people vote it up.

    You rate your service highly then I'm sure others people will too. Please post a deal.

    • -2 votes

      We have put deals in deals section (LAX airfares & Colorado 2016 ski deals).

      Some have been voted down. Not sure why ?

      Someone even suggested our deals are too cheap. We can put prices up for those people, if they want.

      • +4 votes

        For very specific dates and to a few limited destinations, your website(which looks spammy as hell) may be cheaper. If I was going to go to one of your destinations, I'd be hesitant to book with your agency as it seems like such a hassle, website looks dodgy, and it just doesn't feel safe.

        • -1 vote

          Specialists in any field, can generally offer better deals.

          We have blocks of seats, sometimes we have groups. People can travel as part of a group, but that doesn't mean they have to do anything with the group, except be on same flights.
          They don't even need to check in together or sit together.

          Group fares aren't the cheapest, but are a way, people can get a good deal, that they can pay off over time.

          Airlines vary the min numbers for a group. For some it's 10, some 20. Some offer 21st seat free, some don't some offer 21st seat free, if you pay taxes.

          Some airlines have different min. group numbers for different destinations.

          We do lots of big groups, over 100 people. They might not fly on same day outbound or inbound, but at least 10 or 20 fly together.

          BTW
          we don't really need a website. It's only there for basic info. It would cost too much to incorporate a search engine for what we offer, eg. due to the many variables on ski resort accom.

          Boss is thinking of pulling it.

          PS. Most of our clients are repeat customers, many have been with us for 10+ years & many are partners in law firms, their paralegals, their PA's or secretaries.

        • -2 votes

          challenge you then if you don't think it's worth contacting an agent or wholesaler.

          What's the best Qantas fare (or any other airline for that matter) that you can find for the following:-

          BNE/LAX depart 26Dec-5JAN (departing any of these day BUT not inc 2-3 Jan) back 23JAN.

          (23JAN is significant, as that would have you arriving back in OZ 25JAN, a few days before kids start back at school)

          At this very moment we have 3 left $1399, another 4 @ $1499 & more at $1699.

          Normally these would be combined into a snow holiday package, but we can sell them at close to cost if we want or have to, to get the business.

        •  

          @travelwiz:

          Lol did you ready what I said?

          BNE/LAX depart 26Dec-5JAN (departing any of these day BUT not inc 2-3 Jan) back 23JAN.
          (23JAN is significant, as that would have you arriving back in OZ 25JAN, a few days before kids start back at school)

          Lol again.

        • -3 votes

          @ozhunter:

          Yep.

          Most of our clients are families.

          Date range.

      • +3 votes

        Can we get a quote of these people suggesting your deals are too cheap?

  • +13 votes

    How about the travel agent that booked a trip from Perth-Alice Springs for my Nanna, when they knew she wanted to go to Uluru, and didn't explain that would involve about an 8-10hr bus trip…? Needless to say I found out and got her to change the destination.

    Or the travel agent that booked our trip for us (after being given online quotes/flights etc to beat), and 1 of the hotels (within Australia) didn't even receive the booking, and it was a Sunday, so no ability to contact the travel agent to get it sorted?

    By purchasing online myself, there is a lot greater control over the booking, I can see flights either side of the day to work out what I want for maybe a bit cheaper, or spend more to avoid a red-eye or some stupid time. I can research tours that rate highly or are what I want to see, not what you want to sell me and make more commission off of.

    Most of our consultants, work hard & earn good money & get a few perks.

    And there it is, the reason to avoid… They are paid commissions based on the tours they sell, packages they upgrade me to, etc etc. So who's to believe that they are actually doing the best deal, and not just the best deal for them?

    I'd rather put my holiday in my hands, and be in full control, rather than get stuck somewhere on a day where that travel agent isn't working, with no control on the situation.

    •  

      sounds like you put an ad out for worlds worst agents. There's very little in domestic travel (apart from maybe corporate). If an agency does it at all, it's only the office junior or newby who would handle it.

      You must have a lot of time to do research ?

      They earn good money because they are good at what they do & work long hours & get constant repeat business.

      But most decent agents have emergency numbers/emails where you can contact them & get response fast.

      • +18 votes

        They earn good money because they are good at what they do & work long hours & get constant repeat business.

        Again, commission based is how they earn their cash. They don't get much of a retainer, so the hours don't mean a lot, its the commission that pays the bills.
        The repeat business helps keep the commission high… People will just go to them, expecting them to be the cheapest, or just happy with the service so they pay more. Repeat business in a commission based job = more commissions.

        You sound more like someone that doesn't like views that oppose your own, so there's no point going down this path. You will defend your workplace, but won't see the flaws in the system. Honestly it's all coming out like 1 giant advertisement for your company!

        • -3 votes

          don't mind listening to other views, but object to people making statements as if they know everything, when they obviously don't.

          It's stating that travel agents & wholsalers have their place, versus online search engines, which can only search for exactly what you ask & online search engines never offer all the options, that an agent/wholesaler can.

          BTW Expedia has been buying up many other onlines. Less competition means higher prices.

        • +2 votes

          @travelwiz:

          BTW Expedia has been buying up many other onlines. Less competition means higher prices.

          But still cheaper than you :)

        • -13 votes

          @Spackbace: NOPE !!!

          Never ever in fact cos expedia can't even get our fares.

        • +38 votes

          @travelwiz:

          For someone that represents a company, you're doing a very bad job at it… The professionalism of your writing is actually making me move further away from ever doing business with you, even if you offered the worlds best deal (which, lets face it, judging by your posting history on here isn't going to happen any time soon!).

          I do wonder your position in the company, because if you're anything more than the after-hours cleaner, then you're actually seriously lowering the respect of your company.

        • +1 vote

          @travelwiz: Even with all Expedia's buying, they still only make up a small part of the industry. I don't really buy the argument that'll it'll push up prices considering you can book directly with the hotel/airline who ultimately control the price. It's like saying Country Road is going to have to put their prices up because there're only 2 major department stores that sell their goods. You can still go to a company owned store if you're not happy with Myer/DJ's… Also with the recent Jetstar 2for1's and cathay pacific deals it goes to show you can book great offers online. Cathay wouldn't slam you with a credit card surcharge either unlike most physical travel agents i've got a quote with…

        • -1 vote

          @roiboi123: legacy airlines don't have total control over their inventory.

          Agents with a CRS have major control over their invetory.

        • +4 votes

          @travelwiz:
          Please, please, for your own sake, double check your spelling and grammar before posting!!
          Its getting really hard on the eyes…and its seriously not looking good for you or your business.

          Please have the humility to take a hint!

      • +8 votes

        You must have a lot of time to do research ?

        Some people actually enjoy doing the research, planning etc. It's all part of the adventure!

    • +3 votes

      This..

      When I was working retail through Uni and selling TVs I'd push the customer to a TV which paid me a bonus. I'd also find every reason under the sun to sign them up to a store CC because I got paid a bonus. I didn't care about their needs (well I did but only generally) or what was actually best for them as long as their needs were somewhat met and I got a bonus in my pay even if there was a better option for them.

      This is the case for all commissioned based work and if I'm using someone on a commission I will make sure I do my research first too.

  • +4 votes

    online pays less commissions.
    less commissions mean greater margins.
    Greater margins mean a cheaper price can be offered to consumers.

    I agree that online is not always the cheapest but I hate how travel agents always have to "beat" a fare and not give their best fare in the first instance.

        • +17 votes

          @travelwiz:

          Often cheapest flights can mean very early am departure eg 2-5am(not from SYD) or red eyes. Who wants to do that with kids ?

          We sometimes get emails saying "found cheapest via CHina with incredibly long layovers. Who wants to do that to save $50. Not with kids that's for sure.

          Who wants to spend 48 hours getting to LAX via China, when direct or nonstop take as little as 13 hours or less.

          Stop trying to sell to me! Anyone using this site knows how to search either side of their desired day to see what's cheaper/more convenient for their money! Just stop trying to promote your business like it's the best there is!