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Online booking vs. Travel Agent


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#1 SunsetBride

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    Posted 16 January 2007 - 05:54 PM

    I was wondering what your thoughts are on using a travel agent vs online booking through Apple or travelocity or other similar sites. I got some initial info from a TA but she has not been very helpful yet and I have seen some better deals online. I certainly want to make sure the trip is seemless for everyone going but I also want to get the best deal possible. Any thoughts?

    #2 Nrvsbride

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      Posted 16 January 2007 - 05:56 PM

      If your TA is not being helpful then you shouldn't use her. She should be there to answer your questions and help you out. My advice to you is to use Tammy (the host) as your TA. I am using her and so are a lot of the girls on this board and I can personally tell you that she is AMAZING! She is really helpful, gets back to you quickly, and offers advice w/o pushing you into doing something you don't want to do.

      -Glenda

      #3 SarahMc

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        Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:20 PM

        Ditto on Glenda's comments regarding Tammy (the host). It's been helpful for us to have a TA cuz I can check in with her quickly to see who's following through and who needs more prompting to book, without contacting everyone. I'd watch out for the travel sites, I know several people who have had issues with bookings on travel sites, and for something as important as your wedding, you want everything to work out. (Especially avoid Orbitz - James had a flight booked and paid for and then at the last minute found out he didn't have a flight and had to pay big bucks to get to his sister's wedding in Canada.)
        Sarah & James
        Dreams Los Cabos
        June 28, 2007

        #4 TammyWright

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        Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:18 PM

        Sunset, it is def. a better way to book via a travel agent for your wedding for a bunch of reasons...here are a few:

        1. they can negotiate a group block for you so you have rooms reserved for your guests at a set rate. expedia/orbitz rates are not unlimited so you may have a few rooms at the lower rate but not all 20 that you need. also, the more popular resorts book early (some as much as 7 months in advance!) and i am not sure if your wedding guests will all book 7 months in advance so it is good to have those rooms set aside for them.

        2. your TA may be able to negotiate perks like:
        • free/reduced site visit
        • free private event
        • free upgrade for the bride and groom
        3. you have some one to call if things go wrong. Wedding coordinators get back to me pretty quickly.

        4. so many people call me to check rates, but find them lower somewhere else...i usually get a call back about a month later that those rates weren't available because of restrictions, etc.

        one more thing to consider...if you want to go through apple, why dont you have a TA do that. apple is one of my suppliers but i do not use them much because my clients call me about this great rate on apple...when i investigate further find out it did not include tax so they have to add on another $300 so the deal is no longer that great. if this is the case for you, at least your TA will be able to help you find a cheaper rate somewhere else. if you end up booking apple, then they can help manage the trips, etc

        i would volunteer but i am booked full for 2007 unless i get a cancellation but i may be able to refer someone to you.

        Founder and Owner of BestDestinationWedding.com  /  Bride & Groom Fly FREE Promotion

         
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        #5 Jen

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          Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:23 PM

          Tammy....how does your schedule look for 2008 Otherwise, I would love to get a possible referral from you.....

          #6 TammyWright

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          Posted 16 January 2007 - 11:29 PM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by Jen
          Tammy....how does your schedule look for 2008 Otherwise, I would love to get a possible referral from you.....
          i'm pretty open for 2008.

          Founder and Owner of BestDestinationWedding.com  /  Bride & Groom Fly FREE Promotion

           
          Looking for a travel agency that specializes in Destination Weddings-CLICK HERE?  We are an award winning travel agency and you can read our reviews here.
           
          Awards and recognition: 
          Palace Resorts Winner "Top Travel Agent", "Top Homebased Travel Agency" PRO Platinum Agency (Top Award)     |    AMResorts Master Agent & Top Agency  
          Karisma Hotels Diamond Level 5 (highest production), Top 10 Azul Weddings, Top Wedding Coordinator | Wright Travel & Karisma GIVC Benefits
          Travel Impressions Best of the Best Globe Winner    |     Apple Vacations Golden Apple Winner  
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          #7 MagsieMexico

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            Posted 17 January 2007 - 10:50 AM

            Thanks Tammy, I hope I'm including in your 2007 bookings, did I get in just under the wire?? I hope so. :)

            With the block rooms, how does that work. You just estimate 20 rooms, and then if fewer people come, you don't have to pay for them do you?

            I can certainly vouch for difficulty getting through to the hotels. I'm trying to finalize my decision of location, I've emailed Riu Palace, Dreams, Gran Bahia and Grand Palladium for information and rates about 1 to 2 weeks ago, and so far heard NOTHING!!!

            Hoping that with a TA, I'll get some information more quickly. Once I have the place reserved I can relax!
            Margaret & Eric

            #8 TammyWright

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            Posted 17 January 2007 - 02:19 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by MagsieMexico
            Thanks Tammy, I hope I'm including in your 2007 bookings, did I get in just under the wire?? I hope so. :)

            With the block rooms, how does that work. You just estimate 20 rooms, and then if fewer people come, you don't have to pay for them do you?

            I can certainly vouch for difficulty getting through to the hotels. I'm trying to finalize my decision of location, I've emailed Riu Palace, Dreams, Gran Bahia and Grand Palladium for information and rates about 1 to 2 weeks ago, and so far heard NOTHING!!!

            Hoping that with a TA, I'll get some information more quickly. Once I have the place reserved I can relax!
            magsie, yes you are in...i have a few "maybe" that i am working on and if they all go ahead i cannot take any new weddings for 2007...but if some drop out, i will have a couple spots open.

            magsie, why don't you email me the questions you have for the resorts...then i will ask the resorts and let you know what i find...GP usually get back to me pretty quickly.

            regarding room block: this is something i would rather not discuss on the forum because each resort has a different way they do the block so i do not want to generalize and have a bride take that answer as the only answer.

            Founder and Owner of BestDestinationWedding.com  /  Bride & Groom Fly FREE Promotion

             
            Looking for a travel agency that specializes in Destination Weddings-CLICK HERE?  We are an award winning travel agency and you can read our reviews here.
             
            Awards and recognition: 
            Palace Resorts Winner "Top Travel Agent", "Top Homebased Travel Agency" PRO Platinum Agency (Top Award)     |    AMResorts Master Agent & Top Agency  
            Karisma Hotels Diamond Level 5 (highest production), Top 10 Azul Weddings, Top Wedding Coordinator | Wright Travel & Karisma GIVC Benefits
            Travel Impressions Best of the Best Globe Winner    |     Apple Vacations Golden Apple Winner  
            sml_gallery_206696_17612_13451.pnggallery_206696_17572_8409.jpg    sml_gallery_206696_17572_1003.jpg
            Vendor rules are HERE! Please read!  If you are a vendor and looking to advertise your business, please email ads@bestdestinationwedding.com.


            #9 MagsieMexico

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              Posted 17 January 2007 - 02:36 PM

              Yay, thanks Tammy! Will discuss more offline.

              And good to know about the room blocks, will wait to discuss that one until I have a venue! (HOPEFULLY SOON!!)
              Margaret & Eric

              #10 coope08

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                Posted 18 January 2007 - 05:02 PM

                Tammy

                Can I talk with you about your services in 2008? We are planning a small wedding (around 35) in the RM/Cancun area in Oct/Nov. I really wanted Nov 1st but have been told by several hotels that that is a mexican holiday and we would not be able to get a judge. Thanks in advance

                ~Courtney




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