I came across an article last week in The New York Times that
caught my eye (Personal Service Keeps Travel Agents in Business,
March 9, by Mark A. Stein). It was a great piece about our
industry, and I’m pleased that the editors at The Times took the
effort to share their findings with their readership. But don’t
worry if you missed it or don’t have the time to look it up online.
The article simply tells the public what we’ve known all along:
Agents offer a level of service, experience and knowledge that no
Web site will ever match. (Interestingly enough, three out of four
agents quoted in the article hail from the West. Apparently the
“newspaper of record” knows where to find the finest agents.)
Only the day before, an article of similar tone appeared on
CNNmoney.com (Don’t Knock Travel Agents by Robb Mandelbaum, Money
Magazine). In his piece, Mr. Mandelbaum notes that professional
agents are often more effective than computer-savvy customers at
finding lower prices on the Internet. The amount of time your
customer would have to spend to arrive at the same rates is well
worth the relatively minor fee charged by agents.
So thank you, The New York Times and Money.
But this is old news to us.