Travel agent question- etiquette based

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#1
Pittsburgh
149 Posts
Joined May 2013
So I've never cruised before and never used a travel agent, but I've traveled to Asia and Europe and around the US having done all the planning myself. After reading these boards, I decided to use a TA. The first one I contacted ignored what I told her I wanted and tried to steer me to a longer cruise than I wanted. The second one hasn't called me back yet. I feel that I know which cruise I want so I'm looking for the travel agent to help with post-cruise hotels, flights, transfers, tours, etc. should I call a third one? I have a recommendation from someone I trust about another one, but is it rude to dump the first one? Should I just contact the third one and be done with numbers 1 & 2? Not sure about the general processes. Thanks!
#2
Oklahoma City, OK
11,258 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
If they aren't listening/doing what you specifically told them, no, it's not rude to dump them. They are in a service industry and are providing poor or no customer service.

I always book my own hotels, flights etc but we've booked the cruises with a TA because we get some extras that we wouldn't have if we'd booked the cruise direct. This TA gives us the option of $150 OBC or travel insurance - we choose at final payment. This is on top of the promo that the cruise lines sometimes run.
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#3
SoCal
9,008 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by confused123
So I've never cruised before and never used a travel agent, but I've traveled to Asia and Europe and around the US having done all the planning myself. After reading these boards, I decided to use a TA. The first one I contacted ignored what I told her I wanted and tried to steer me to a longer cruise than I wanted. The second one hasn't called me back yet. I feel that I know which cruise I want so I'm looking for the travel agent to help with post-cruise hotels, flights, transfers, tours, etc. should I call a third one? I have a recommendation from someone I trust about another one, but is it rude to dump the first one? Should I just contact the third one and be done with numbers 1 & 2? Not sure about the general processes. Thanks!
A travel agent is supposed to be working for you. If you're unsatisfied with one, you need to find one who will work with you, not steer you away from what you think you want. At least, the TA, if they insist on directing you to something else, should be telling you why.
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#4
Connecticut
10,696 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Someone who hasn't bothered to return your call is not very likely to extend himself in other areas; and a T/A who tries to steer you away from what you want is worse than useless. You owe nothing to a person in a service industry who fails to provide service.
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#5
southern NM desert
10,662 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by navybankerteacher
Someone who hasn't bothered to return your call is not very likely to extend himself in other areas; and a T/A who tries to steer you away from what you want is worse than useless. You owe nothing to a person in a service industry who fails to provide service.
I agree.
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#6
Virginia
19,373 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Since you have a recommendation, I would try that it. If you still can't get what you want, book it yourself. It is definitely not rude to dump the other two. Maybe third time will be the charm!
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#7
The Big Tomato; i.e. Sacramento CA
7,406 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
I too would go with "door number 3". It isn't at all rude to dump the first two.
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#8
80,972 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
If you are being treated poorly while in the booking stage, just imagine what lack of service you will get once you pay your money?

Move along. You have not found the right TA from what you report here.

IMO
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#9
2,335 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Have to agree; you're not getting the service you should. A TA works for you and shouldn't try to push you into other things. You don't owe them anything, assuming you didnt sign anything. We're lucky to have a great TA so hope you find one who'll be of good help for a long time.
#10
Arizona
1,407 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
If you know what cruise you want, I think that it is easiest to just to book it yourself. I don't know if TAs make enough in commissions to be interested in reserving your hotels, tours, etc. It sounds as if you have plenty of travel experience to do your own planning -- to me that is just as enjoyable as the trip itself!
#11
Las Vegas
10,366 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
If you went to a car dealer and the salesman either ignored you or treated you badly, would you feel that you had to return to that dealer to buy your car? Same for TS's.

DON
#12
84,529 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Find a TA who will spend the time with you and look at you as an individual traveler and nut just as another number.

A good TA can be invaluable.

A bad TA is a problem.

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#13
104,685 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Don't call -- go and see travel agents. You will get more and usually better results by talking to a TA in person.

I make all our hotel and flight arrangements.

Once you have booked a cruise, you can use your confirmation to go to that cruise line's site and see what tours are available for your cruise. Once you decide on what excursions you want, you can book them yourself on the cruise line's site.

You can also read about your ports here in the Ports of Call section.
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#14
Canberra, Australia
339 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
You owe absolutely nothing to these travel agents until you sign something.

I don't use travel agents myself. When we starting to plan our overseas trip last year, a travel agent quoted me $4500 for an airfare when I could get exactly the same thing for $3000 by booking online myself. When I challenged him on the matter I was told "Well that's the price I'm seeing". Absolutely no attempt to research further.

I decided that even if I made a few mistakes, it would still be cheaper to do it ourselves. THEN, we discovered just how much fun it was to research travel destinations for ourselves. I have no regrets about our choice.

Also booked our cruise online by ourselves!
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#15
Alaska
1,452 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by sail7seas
If you are being treated poorly while in the booking stage, just imagine what lack of service you will get once you pay your money?

Move along. You have not found the right TA from what you report here.

IMO
Exactly. The TA should be doing everything they can to make you happy, to make you happy means hopefully you'll be a repeat customer. Not doing what you or not even calling you back to get your business? Time to dump them both and go with a completely new TA.
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#16
Merrimack New Hampshire
2,846 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I agree with many of the sentiments stated in the above posts.

We have been on 23 cruises and have a 24th booked for the fall.

We have burned through three travel agents before finding one several years ago who is just fantastic.


Among the problems with those who we "fired":
  • not returning calls
  • getting my wife's name wrong on the travel documents
  • back years ago when we had the TA book airlines, we had an agent book us into Miami for a cruise out of Port Canaveral
  • back in the days of paper documents, we had an agent who moved his office and did not notify the cruise line or UPS and as a result our paper documents were returned. When I called a week before the cruise asking for them, he said just show up at the pier!
The TA is supposed to be working for you. If he or she is not doing the job, it is time to give them the sack!!!
#17
Fredericksburg, va. USA
80,374 Posts
Joined May 2001
Using a TA is like going to a store....if one doesn't have (or do) what you're looking for, don't shop there....Go elsewhere!
#18
Pittsburgh
149 Posts
Joined May 2013
Thanks very much! I just had TA number 3 tell me that I really didn't want to go on a cruise, so I have decided to bite the bullet and just book it all myself! I can't wait to get on board and I am excited that I am doing this myself.
I appreciated your post because it gave me the courage to just go ahead!
#20
2,335 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by confused123
Thanks very much! I just had TA number 3 tell me that I really didn't want to go on a cruise, so I have decided to bite the bullet and just book it all myself! I can't wait to get on board and I am excited that I am doing this myself.
I appreciated your post because it gave me the courage to just go ahead!
What the heck kind of TA would tell you that???? Why??
Glad you're excited about booking yourself but don't let this experience totally sour you on TAs. When you find the right one, they're really helpful. You might try asking people in your area for a brick and mortar TA they'd recommend, just so you have one in mind in the future.