What happens when your travel gets interrupted by something beyond the control of you or the airline? If you are a “do-it-yourself” person, you are on your own and at the mercy of the airlines. That means that you may or may not receive notification of flight interruptions. You will spend time waiting on hold to speak to someone who may or may not be much help and probably doesn’t have a lot of interest in doing anything for you, other than getting you off the phone or away from their counter. In some cases, people are reporting that after being on hold for several hours, they were disconnected, without ever having spoken to someone at the airline. Or in other cases, the airlines automated systems rebooked customers on flights, without consulting with the customers to see if the new dates and times would work for the travelers. Then when you want to change it again, the airline wants to collect a change fee.
When you book through a full service travel agency, such as Christopherson Business Travel, either with a full service agent or with one of our online booking tools, you get the benefit of having someone in your corner who can and will advocate on your behalf. In the case of those using full service agents, they are able to get re-accommodated more quickly than folks calling the airlines. Why? Because our agents are kept abreast of the airline policies for storms and able to be proactive and find space on alternative flights using the latest seat availability via our reservation system. This means that our clients get taken care of faster than those who sit on hold with the airlines. Many agents are able to contact their clients ahead of time and the clients are well on their way to having everything set before rest of the public gets the news they need to reschedule their flights. For those who book using one of our online tools, we are able to assist many of them with one exchange of emails to verify what is acceptable. Regardless of which booking option our clients use, they won’t have to sit on perma-hold in order to get assistance with their travel.
Given that Irene was the first storm to hit the USA this hurricane season, it is doubtful that it will be the last. If you are booking your own travel, who are you going to call when the next one comes along?