Booking Online: What You’re Not Getting

Written by Joel
Posted in: Tips & Advice
With tag(s)

Researching and booking vacations online is something nearly everyone has done, even though there are drawbacks. Just like searching for the cause of random pain in your finger leads you from a hangnail to death, booking online leads you to a vacation that’s meh instead of amazing.

When you book online, you’re missing out customer service and a personalized experience. Nothing about booking online is specific to you. Generic options, random upselling, suggestions that benefit the company without a thought for what is best for you.

You’re missing out on common-sense decisions when you book online, too. Flights with connections that make no sense and layovers that are either way too long or so short, you’ll miss the connection unless every detail of your flight goes exactly as scheduled. Automation doesn’t factor in these details; it just searches for the lowest price. Excursions or activities options that are shown to everyone with no personalization based on your interests.

Of course, when you do miss your connection, who do you call when you made your booking online? What happens when you have a question before your vacation even begins? Uh oh, the email you received has a spelling error in a passenger’s name. What now? If there is a number to call, you’ll wait on hold before speaking to someone who has no idea about your situation or how to fix it.

When booking online you're paying for service and not getting it!
The result of bad customer service. (Photo: Unsplash/Icons 8 Team)

Surely, when the price you paid goes down, the website you used to book your vacation will call or at least send an e-mail letting you know the price went down. Actually, no, and if you find the price change yourself, it’s another call, more time wasted on hold, and a conversation with someone who has no interest in you or your situation.

Speaking of price, when booking online, taking the lack of service out of it, you’re getting the best price, right? Possibly but not likely. First, In nearly all cases, the price you think you’re paying isn’t the price you actually end up paying. When you book online, you’re shown what is commonly known as “lead pricing.” At best, you get to the end of the checkout process and see all the line items that add up to the final price. At worst, buried in the fine print is added fees you don’t pay until you arrive at your destination.

So what is the alternative to booking online? Using a traditional travel agent. When you book with a travel agent you benefit from the experience, knowledge, and personal touches of someone who is passionate about planning and managing the details of the best vacation for you.

But the price. It must cost more to use a travel agent because the internet always has better deals, and there must be a fee added on for the benefit of the customer service and expertise. First, Jen and I are part of the largest travel consortia, networks, and associations and own a franchise (Dream Vacations) of the largest volume consumer travel reseller in the United States. You will not find a better price on the same vacation online or with any other travel agent. As for fees, some agents add one; we do not.

You see, just like the websites that let you book online, we get paid a commission from the cruise lines and resorts. Our passion is making sure you have the best possible experience from the first contact until you return home from the best vacation you’ve ever had. We personally answer every phone call, e-mail, and text so you are always getting a response from the two people who are planning and managing your vacation.

Since the companies you use to book online get the same commission as we do, you are paying for customer service and experience you are not receiving.

Ready to discuss your next vacation? Schedule a free vacation planning call or call 844-483-6669 and let me show you what you’ve been missing out by booking online.

Joel - Partner at JJ Travel Associates

About The Author

Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise) and a history geek fascinated by world cultures and what we can learn from each. His specialty is planning vacations that combine history, culture, and fun.

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