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      07-23-2013, 10:04 PM   #23
M_Six
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We've decided against the cruise anyway at this point. The cost of the cruise plus all the excursion costs just got ridiculous compared to hotels and a rental car. We're looking at 2 or 3 islands and a one day trip to the volcanoes. I think we'll still come out ahead over the cruise costs and we may end up with more time there. Planning the trip this way is a piece of cake. We did Germany/Austria in '09 and England last year like this. Worked out very nicely both times.

Thanks for all the input. Much appreciated.
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      07-24-2013, 01:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BKap08 View Post
I work at a hotel and trust me, the one thing we hate the most are dealing with people who went through travel agencies or 3rd party reservation websites(travelocity, hotwire, expedia). 99% of the time the room isnt the right one that the guest wanted, ie: guest wants 2 beds and the reservation is only for one. Since they are 3rd party reservations no changes, extensions, or cancellations can be made. Last night I was dealing with this guy who was staying with us for 6 nights. His travel agency never send an authorization to pay for his stay and he was stuck at our place(halfway across the country) with no way to check in. Finally he payed us for one night with cash and has to get in touch with the travel company to get full authorization. Most hotels can match prices listed by other sites/companies as long as you have proof.
I agree with this
Usually I check out my favorite chains at the destination, if they have a hotel, I'll just book with them (Park Hyatt/ maybe grand Hyatt/ Four Seasons) if not, I ask the travel agency to recommend me something. They know my likes and dislikes.
But I have had screw ups due to the agency and the hotel was very uncooperative to fix the issue. Usually the compromise I offer is "I wanted a room with X, how about you just take the cash, apply it to the room that DOES have X, and I pay the difference if it exists". They are not very hospitable (pun not intended) about these things.
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      07-24-2013, 02:04 AM   #25
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I agree with this
Usually I check out my favorite chains at the destination, if they have a hotel, I'll just book with them (Park Hyatt/ maybe grand Hyatt/ Four Seasons) if not, I ask the travel agency to recommend me something. They know my likes and dislikes.
But I have had screw ups due to the agency and the hotel was very uncooperative to fix the issue. Usually the compromise I offer is "I wanted a room with X, how about you just take the cash, apply it to the room that DOES have X, and I pay the difference if it exists". They are not very hospitable (pun not intended) about these things.
exactly, when i first started working at the hotel the first thing they told me was to never adjust or alter anything related to third party/pre paid reservations. The prices that travel agencies get from the hotel are usually 15-20% lower than the standard rate. We offer 10% discounts for AAA, AARP, and if anyone is going to the stanford hospital(located 3 miles away). knocking off a few extra bucks to ensure we get the sale rather than someone else is never a problem. At the end of the day our hotel succeeds based on if we fill all the rooms, not higher prices.
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      07-24-2013, 01:16 PM   #26
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ok so how do I major in travel agency studies or what do they know that we don't?


do you get special perks just because you say "hey Im a travel agent"
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