Online Travel Agencies – Benefits and Disadvantages

When it comes to the choice between using an online travel agency or not for your next trip, there are several factors to consider with several pros and cons.

One of the main concerns that seem to arise with online travel agencies is the trustworthiness and security of paying such large amounts of money online. While online security is a major factor for any online travel agency, this is true of all online businesses. So it is more a matter of choosing a travel agency online with a quality reputation by looking at their customer reviews and see what their actual site itself is like. What’s more, when you are logging on and preparing to pay for any online costs, there should always be that small symbol of a lock at the bottom right hand side of the screen as a sign of the level of security attached.

The benefits of using online travel agencies are that unlike their physical counterparts, they are available at any time, ideal for emergency travel situations, and also for any late after-hours bookings that you need to complete. Additionally you can compare travel deals and special available all over the world in order to find the very best deal for you and your travels. What this means is that while a physical travel agency will have a great range of deals for you, they are limited by who they can work with in terms of other travel professionals. With these online agencies, it up to you to decide who you work with, allowing you to create your ideal travel plans.

What you may also find when working with online travel agencies that you will have a great range of methods to pay for the holiday, offering greater flexibility and financial choice. These choices can range from the standard credit cards and accounts to payment plans and travel accounts.

Overall when talking online travel agencies it is more a matter of preference of the customer and how they prefer to do their business, either online or in person, that should dictate how they book their travel plans.

Book Flights Online – How to Find a Reputable Online Travel Agency

Tips for Online Flight Bookings

Below are some tips you can use next time you’re looking for an online travel agency to book flights online.

Social Media channels like Facebook and Twitter have been game changing in the way online businesses conduct themselves and deal with their clients and prospects. Take advantage of this by checking if the online travel agency you’re interested in has a social media profile. Keep a lookout for how active they are in their social media – do they respond to their fans and followers, when did they last post and how many fans/followers do they have? In addition to social media, many online businesses will have a blog where they can ‘open up the floor’ to their followers and encourage industry related discussion. Check if the company you’re interested in has a blog and you’ll soon be able to tell whether or not they’re a suspect fly-by-night or an authentic travel company.

Find out what others are saying about the online travel agency you’re leaning towards by carrying out a quick online audit. A few search engine searches and you should be able to come up with some balanced reviews and testimonials.

Are they displaying airfares including taxes and fees? It’s one thing claiming to have the cheapest airfares, but many OTA’s that make these claims fall short in that their cheap flight prices suddenly skyrocket when you come to the booking page and see the total. They’re wasting your time and are not giving the online travel industry a good reputation. Save yourself time and money by finding an online travel service that displays the total cost of the flight including taxes.

Internet is a faceless business and reputable online travel agencies should be easily reachable through channels other than their website. Check their website for a valid business address, phone numbers and email addresses. Some online travel agencies will have the option to chat to them directly from their website.

Check that the website has a safe and secure Internet payment facility. This is usually identifiable by a clickable badge that will take you to another page that displays the security certificate.

How much flexibility does the travel agency allow? In other words, how flexible are they when it comes to booking a flight online, how long do they hold the seat for you if you don’t pay immediately, what is their cancellation policy? The top online travel agencies will usually have a full customer support team and experienced travel consultants to help with any flight bookings for business and leisure travellers. Also check on the added services the OTA offers. This will usually be things like SMS itinerary reminders and travel insurance.

What can you find out about the company on their website? You will usually find this information under the ‘About Us’ or ‘Company History’ sections. Avoid fly by nights and try to book with a company that is established within the online travel industry. Look out for press releases and carry out some searches on local news websites to see if they’re getting any media coverage.

Finally, make sure the company you book through makes it clear what you need to bring to the airport when you fly. To get on the plane it’s usually an e-ticket (provided by the OTA), a personal identity document (passport if you’re flying internationally) and in some cases the credit card you used to make the booking (if that’s the payment channel you chose).

Remember that the services an online travel agency provides are designed to make your life easier. Sought out a good one and you’ll never have to bother visiting a bricks & mortar shop ever again.

Best Ways to Save Money on Your Next Vacation With a Online Travel Agency

Finding a knowledgeable online travel agency can save you some serious money and be the difference between a so so vacation and one that you remember for the rest of your life. The Internet has put so much information at our finger tips that sometimes we can be over whelmed with to much information and to many choices. Here are a few tips for making sure you find a online travel agency that meets your needs and gets you the best vacation possible.

Stick to the most well know online travel agencies. Your vacation is no time to be trying to save a few dollars by going with someone who looks like they offer a better deal but who you have never heard of. There is enough competition among online travel agencies that you will usually be able to get some very good deals through the better know agents. Use the tools and features that they offer on their site. Plan that trip you have always thought of taking to that far away destination. Even if you can not afford the trip at this particular time you will be able to get a good idea of how well the site works and how helpful the people are. Compare several different sites and see how each one responds to your questions and needs. Do the offer you the very best deals possible on hotel and airline flights? What kind of travel packages do they offer?

A reputable travel agency will have a customer service toll free number that you can call with any questions or concerns you may have. Give the number a call and ask a few questions and see if they are answered to your satisfaction. Many online travel agencies will have special features on their web sites that allow you to take advantage of seasonal vacation packages, special deals on car rentals and other extras in an attempt to get you to be their customer.

Comparing the different online travel agencys will give you a good idea of which one will work best for you and the vacation you are planning on taking. Don’t be afraid to let an agency know about a special feature or deal that you noticed on one of their competitors sites. Many times they will match the offer or give you something of comparable value.

A vacation booked through a quality online travel agency can lead to a hassle free and enjoyable vacation. Take your time and pick out the one that you think will work best for you. And don’t be afraid to switch between different online travel agencies [http://www.travelplansresearched.com] to find the best vacation deal that works for you.