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wellthen02

Travel Agent quoted airfare more than when I look for myself...

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I am working with a TA for the booking of the resort  and airfare. It has helped me IMMENSELY! Everything is going great except this one nagging issue, AIRFARE. When she initially quoted me the air, I thought it was high so I looked on kayak myself and found air much lower than what she quoted me. If it was a difference of dollars then I wouldn't be that alarmed but it is a difference of HUNDREDS so I'm a little curious. I know that they are paid on commission basis so I am left wondering if it possible for there to be a booking fee added to the airfare. I am considering booking the flights myself and having the guests do the same. I am also wondering if I should bring up the subject to her?... Need advice/help!! What would you do? Has this happened to you?

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I am not at that point in my wedding planning, as the rates are not out yet for airfare, but I am curious to see what others have to say as I am wondering about the same thing if it should happen.

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I am using a TA as well but for Hotel Accommodations only. Maybe this is an option for you.  My TA is more than willing to help my guests find flights, but she actually advised against group packages that included airfare since I have guest flying from 6 different states, and with varying travel dates (I have guests staying for 3, 5 and 7 nights).  In the event that I find a cheaper rate, my TA offers price matching. However, I don't know if this would apply if I had a packaged deal that included airfare, but maybe it's worth asking this question to your TA.

 

Airfare can be tricky since prices can fluctuate drastically for various reasons... gas prices, day of week that your flying, how far in advance you book your trip, the city that you fly from etc. I don't know if these factors are considered when a TA calculates a package deal, or if these factors even apply to you.

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one thing you have to consider when looking at airfare is that you really need to compare apples to apples.

 

You need to make sure allthe components are exactly the same.

 

A flight from SFO to SJD may cost $375-700 depending on which airline you chose, layovers or direct.  Also sometimes sites like Kayak do not show taxes so you need to go to the end of the booking to see what your total cost is.

 

If you saw a cheaper flight, send it to your TA and say "i found this flight for $xx, can you book it?"

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I would bring it up with your TA.  Let her know that you were comparing her prices verse other prices and that you found it for much cheaper. Print our the pages that have the cheaper price and take them to her.  Maybe she doesn't even realize the prices she quoted you are higher then other prices.  Often they will try to match the cheaper prices to get your business.  After we had booked for our vacation I found a cheaper price online and let my TA know.  She lowered our price to match the cheaper price found online.  It's worth asking.

Originally Posted by wellthen02 View Post

I am working with a TA for the booking of the resort  and airfare. It has helped me IMMENSELY! Everything is going great except this one nagging issue, AIRFARE. When she initially quoted me the air, I thought it was high so I looked on kayak myself and found air much lower than what she quoted me. If it was a difference of dollars then I wouldn't be that alarmed but it is a difference of HUNDREDS so I'm a little curious. I know that they are paid on commission basis so I am left wondering if it possible for there to be a booking fee added to the airfare. I am considering booking the flights myself and having the guests do the same. I am also wondering if I should bring up the subject to her?... Need advice/help!! What would you do? Has this happened to you?

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I spoke with my TA about this before I started working with her. I booked her through DW.com and have built a good relationship. She and DW.com offer a price matching guarantee. Policy. Additionally she is arranging transport and logistics to reduce chaos. We are working to have guest grouped together so that we can have continuity and can charter a party buses to get from Kingston to Negril
 

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We have used a TA all along for everything, and the greatest help has been that whenever a guest or potential guest has a question about the trip (flights or hotel), we just pass them onto our TA. It is WAY less headache for us because we haven't had to worry about it at all! That being said, we booked our trip very early and then closer to the wedding date a lot of people didn't want to book with our TA because that meant being part of our group, and the price was a couple of hundred dollars more expensive. In the end, we had a bunch of people book with our TA but not as part of the group, so they did get a cheaper deal. Everyone was always free to book their own trips, and we had 3 people (out of 24) book on their own.

 

At the end of the day, people are going to find deals that are cheaper than what your TA has, but you have to remember that your wedding is not a "deal."  Booking as a group meant that we paid a little more than other people, but we had secured our rooms and flights well in advance of the wedding and have our seats booked together on the plane rides.  It was worth it for us, though I wouldn't recommend it for everyone.

 

I would say go with a TA (as long as he/she knows that you have found that it is cheaper on your own, and that you would expect a better deal from them if you're going to work together). It's much less headache for you and gives you more time to focus on everything else wedding related!

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We used a TA for the resort. She was secured a room block and arranged transportation to and from the airport.  Our TA was honest with us about Airfare prices, she would be able to get us a cheaper deal and airlines only discount a certain number seats so it was better that our guest book their own flights.  We set up a discount code through American Airlines that gave our guest 5% off the published rate. This workout well because people were flying from different destinations and different dates.  We also advised our guest to use Yapta.com to monitor airfare prices. 

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