View Full Version : Do travel agents offer cheaper prices than online websites for domestic/USA flights?

December 23rd, 2010, 01:38 AM
Hello, I called a nearby travel agent to find out whether they can offer domestic (within the United States of America) airplane tickets at prices cheaper than online. They said, No. I was surprised to hear that, because on previous international flights, I got cheaper tickets from a travel agent than from online. The agent told me that international flights can be gotten cheaper from an agent because of some special contracts that agents have with international flights. But with domestic (USA) flights, she explained, agents don't have any special contracts for cheaper flights.

So can anyone confirm or disconfirm? Have you purchased a domestic (USA) ticket from an agent for a price cheaper than from an online fare search site like Kayak or Hipmunk?


December 23rd, 2010, 01:54 AM
Some websites have special deals with airlines and some travel agents do. So you can get a special discount with both. There are websites and travel agents who dont get a significant discount

Getting a travel agent can work out cheaper if they spend alot of time searching or know what companies do the best deals for a certain route. Websites nearly always do it using a type of search engine (most of them use the same engine for this). Some travel agents will use these sites, others will have better ways at looking for routes.

The only thing to do is shop around. You'll get mixed results wherever you look.

I use http://cheaptickets.com sometimes

December 23rd, 2010, 02:26 AM
From our experience, a travel agent will find the best price available at the time & pass that on to you. They get a commission from the airline so there is no additional costs from the TA.

I've also found that due to their experience they can give you good advice, recommendations & find the best insurance that suits your specific needs, which from my experience saved me a lot of money that I would have wasted otherwise.

December 23rd, 2010, 02:47 AM
I worked as travel agent, and I can tell you, it depends on the airline, the season AND the size of the travel agency, because travel agencies make deals with the CRS providers (the reservation systems, like Sabre or Amadeus), which in turn have specific contracts with airlines that use their systems as internal reservation systems.

But even if the travel agent has a slightly costlier price, his experience can assist you in finding the best way to get that difference back in accommodations or activities at your destination

December 23rd, 2010, 02:58 AM
go to kayak.com or bing.com both allow you to find the cheapest prices available over a host of different sites.

The only reason to even hirer a travel agent is to let them do all the work for you. All the deals they get are the same you can find on your own. You just have to learn to search.

Here is a something I learned while traveling. Ask the hotel concierge if they have any deals with local businesses. Like free taxis or discounts on clubs or dinner.
Most places will haggle if you use the line... "thats a bit high what if i give you $X.XX"

If you have a large group of people and need taxis, try to order a limo instead. In places like New York City it can be cheaper to grab an empty limo outside of Penn Station then to grab 2-3 cabs

December 23rd, 2010, 03:44 AM
My family flies with Southwest (probably the funniest airline I've ever flown with) and we book exclusively on their site - because they don't sell their fares anywhere else (something that happens to be a part of their marketing campaign.) Also, I cannot remember our previous experiences with Delta and how we booked with them as that was a long time ago, so... I cannot really say whether travel agents offer cheaper prices than the airline's site.

And as mentioned before, you can always check sites like Kayak, Orbitz, Expedia, Bing (yes, Bing allows you to book flights) and then compare the fares between the travel agent and the airline's site. Just be aware that not every airline sells their fares on travel agent sites (e.g. Southwest, which I already mentioned)

December 23rd, 2010, 06:23 AM
For a trip to N.Z. in the middle of 2010, I did all the research on the web, found the best motor-home price/suitability, airfares & all that, before I want to talk to the local travel agent.

Who verified that I did have the best motor-home deal, told me more about the company than I could have found on the web, instructed me not to buy the deal that the motor-home company was pushing which was roughly $1000- more expensive over the 23 day trip, to cover any & all possible breakages accidents & such.

I was shown that by using this particular insurance plan which would cost me $250- (for the 2 of us) we are covering for everything including whatever we do to the motor-home.

We got other good advice & equally excellent airfare prices with a better company - Emirates.

They won me.