Cincinnati travel agents give tips on booking vacations
Who we talked to
Why should people plan a trip through a travel agency?
Wayne Taleff: "One is the expertise. There's no fee for most services. And our follow-up, we check after customers have booked to see if rates go down."
Dave Herschburger: "It's time and money savings, convenience, and the security that you're dealing with someone locally you can get to know rather than an unknown entity."
Jane Jones: "The professional expertise and advice. If you're booking online, you're on your own. If you run into difficulties, you want a professional to assist you."
How do you charge?
Taleff: "For the most part, there's no fee, because we're paid by the companies. For airline tickets, it's a flat fee of $37 for domestic and $50 for international."
Herschburger: "Some suppliers pay us commission, so there's no direct charge to the consumer. We may charge a service fee for airline ticketing from $15 and up."
Jones: "There's a wide range of services we provide, so there's no set fee structure. We have a standard airline ticketing fee of $30 to $60."
How far in advance should people plan trips?
Taleff: "As far as in advance as possible. You get a larger selection."
Herschburger: "As far as in advance as you know you're going, you'll get the best prices and choices."
Jones: "Six months to a year in advance."
What's the one travel tip you always give customers?
Taleff: "Confirm your flight 24 to 48 hours in advance."
Herschburger: "Take twice the money and half the clothes."
Jones: "Experience the trip without any preconceived things in mind."
What's one place you recommend everyone should visit and why?
Taleff: "If you're thinking of Europe, I'd say Italy. If you want a beach, Hawaii is beautiful."
Herschburger: "My personal favorite is Alaska."
Jones: "Bermuda and the Cayman Islands have always been my favorite destinations."
What's the worst or funniest travel story you've ever heard from a client?
Taleff: "A client in Cancun called us - they locked themselves out on the balcony and called to ask us to call the hotel to have someone unlock the door."
Herschburger: "We gave away a week-long trip to Cancun. A hurricane came and the winner spent four days in a gymnasium with 2,000 other people."
Jones: "From my airline reservation days: a woman didn't want a window seat on the flight because she had just had her hair done."