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  Reply # 990325 19-Feb-2014 11:58 Send private message

ushare: I understand that travel agents arent the way to go. I have looked at tick prices on most websites like webjet and expedia and they are around the $1700 mark.

A friend of mine has a friend who is a small travel agent. He got my friend tickets for $1100return which is very cheap. I was offered to go on holdiday then but didn't as i needed to sort out things here. My friend is useless and wont contact this agent friend as they dont really talk anymore.

My point is, i see that tickets are at the $1700 mark, but then my friend was able to go for a much cheaper price and so i wonder if i can find a deal like this.

cheers for your help guys!!


Ahhh...so you are looking for an insider or under the desk kind of deal? nudge, wink ;-/  Sorry can't help you there.   Good luck.











Artificial intelligence is no match, for natural stupidity



1152 posts

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  Reply # 990327 19-Feb-2014 12:02 Send private message

Airlines have sales the same as everybody else, sometimes the sales are surprisingly good.

When it comes to airline tickets there are usually compromises to be made; date of travel, flexibility of booking, and so on.

This kind of thing happens but is usually a case of being in the right place at the right time.

Maybe set up a Google Alert to tip you off is something comes up?




Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?

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  Reply # 990340 19-Feb-2014 12:05 Send private message

webjet has quite a few overheads so check the final price.

some small travel agents do provide better prices at times, their profit on each ticket is really thin, but the experience may not be consistent

travel insurance from your credit card - don't take it for granted, spend a few minutes to confirm that who and who are covered before the trip - you can even request a written statement.

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  Reply # 990344 19-Feb-2014 12:13

crackrdbycracku:
alasta: Apart from travel insurance are there any other things that I could get caught out on? e.g. what, if anything, do I need to do to arrange a visa?


Where a travel agent can come in handy is when something goes wrong such as a weather delay or volcano (it happens) and you miss following connections. 

If you book yourself you are booking each individual ticket with an airline. If a flight is delayed meaning you will miss a connection, the connecting airline doesn't care. Travel agents can be very useful rebooking for you in cases such as this. 

They can also be helpful rebooking if your plans change and you want to stay somewhere or leave earlier. 

Having said that there will be a cost as everybody has to eat. 

That's why point to point it is usually fine to book direct. 


Yup - there was an item on Fair Go about this around a year ago - it was something I wasnt aware of.

Basically - if you do some A to B to C bookings yourself and there was a delay with getting to B - so you miss the flight to C - you are up the creek without a paddle. If you have booked it via a travel agent they can sort it and rebook and it shouldnt cost anything. There was a term for it which I have forgotten - the concept is that the agent has booked you as A to C with the airlines - so the agent can/should sort this out. 

If you are flying a main route - then arranging cheap local connecting flights without a tight timeframe then DIY is fine.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler

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  Reply # 990399 19-Feb-2014 13:05 One person supports this post Send private message

Yes travel agents are totally worth it when things go drastically wrong. I got caught up in the Chilean volcanic ash cloud disruptions in June 2011 and we were flying Qantas out of Auckland to the USA.

Qantas were about the only airline to say they were not going to fly at all and after sitting it out in Auckland for four days with no end in sight, the travel agent managed to get us on cheap Emirates flights to Sydney and have Qantas transfer our departure point to Sydney. The travel agent also rescheduled our internal US travel, given that we had to pick up what we were planning on doing in the USA several days late.



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  Reply # 990456 19-Feb-2014 13:28 Send private message

scuwp:
ushare: I understand that travel agents arent the way to go. I have looked at tick prices on most websites like webjet and expedia and they are around the $1700 mark.

A friend of mine has a friend who is a small travel agent. He got my friend tickets for $1100return which is very cheap. I was offered to go on holdiday then but didn't as i needed to sort out things here. My friend is useless and wont contact this agent friend as they dont really talk anymore.

My point is, i see that tickets are at the $1700 mark, but then my friend was able to go for a much cheaper price and so i wonder if i can find a deal like this.

cheers for your help guys!!


Ahhh...so you are looking for an insider or under the desk kind of deal? nudge, wink ;-/  Sorry can't help you there.   Good luck.



I dont really know what is under the desk about what i am looking for. My friend knew an agent who got him a good deal and i am looking for the same :)


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  Reply # 990462 19-Feb-2014 13:35 Send private message

There are a few agents around specializing in travel to/from India.
Try places like Sandringham, Manurewa, Manukau. I did some work for one (sorry, a few years back now, but they were really busy and all they did was flights to India/Sub-Continent).

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  Reply # 990478 19-Feb-2014 14:09 Send private message

Try the following search engine

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

It generally finds the best possible deal. I tend to use this and then deal with the airline or alliance direct, otherwise use webjet.




Generally known online as OpenMedia, now working for Red Hat New Zealand as a Solution Architect for all things Linux, Virtual and of course Cloud. Still playing with MythTV and digital media on the side.

921 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 990499 19-Feb-2014 14:36 Send private message

+1 for booking yourself through airlines and using comparison websites. I never use travel agents any more except for work where we have to. 

Btw I went to India a few months ago and the best deal was with Singapore Airlines. That was flying into Mumbai and out of New Delhi.

India is great btw but definitely a culture shock coming from NZ :)

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  Reply # 990503 19-Feb-2014 14:45 Send private message

alasta: I'm considering a trip to the US later this year, probably flying into San Francisco and visiting one or two other locations. Because I've never taken a long haul trip before I was thinking that a travel agent might be a safer option so that I can avoid any gotchas but now I'm thinking that a DIY job through Expedia might be cheaper and more flexible.

Apart from travel insurance are there any other things that I could get caught out on? e.g. what, if anything, do I need to do to arrange a visa?


Honestly, I wouldn't bother with a travel agent for a trip like that. Just find the cheapest route to San Fran and book. It's about as much hassle flying to SFO as it is to Aus.

Things to consider/arrange:

  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 more months from the date you want to travel
  • Register for the Visa Waiver Program here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ (register at least 72hrs prior) (valid for 2 years, for trips less than 90 days long) 
  • Get travel insurance
  • You must have a return flight BACK to NZ booked, before you leave
  • You don't need to hold a valid passport to book flights. You should be able enter any expired passport number or random combination of numbers in the "Passport number" box during the booking process. There is no check during the booking process. You will just need to have a valid passport for ESTA & check-in before flight.
  • You may be able to save money on flights by booking US domestic routes separately, rather than through the airline you leave NZ on. Keep in mind the downside to this is that you will have to re-check your bags through a full check-in process again each time you change tickets/airlines. You will also loose any baggage allowance obtained through the long-haul leg.

Thats really all I can think of off the top of my head. Passport, ESTA, Insurance. That's all you need, book it on your own and start to learn your own travel tricks. 


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  Reply # 990557 19-Feb-2014 15:48 Send private message

surfisup1000:
chiefie:
scuwp: Don't forget travel insurance (which you can also get on-line) as soon as you buy the tickets.


If you're paying with Gold or Platinum credit card, it comes with complimentary basic travel insurance as long as the trip/holiday package is 50% paid using the credit card. Check with your credit card provider on the fine details regarding complimentary travel insurance.



Having used platinum credit card travel insurance, I recommend avoiding it. 

Just think, you turn up to the hospital requiring urgent, stressful, and very expensive surgery and they ask for your travel insurance. So, you or someone else show them your credit card, and they laugh in your face. 

It took me around 6 hours on the phone to get my insurance validated for my daughter.  The last thing you want to be doing in an emergency is reviewing old credit card statements with your bank so they can talk to the insurance provider as to whether you should be covered. 

What you need is a card with proper insurance with an emergency phone contact and a policy #.   1 call, sorted.

I phoned the credit card emergency insurance number and they disconnected me after 1/2 hour on the phone.  I ended up needing to call the bank!! 





I 'used' my gold card insurance during a recent trip to the US.  Fortunately didn't have to claim so can't comment on that experience.  Regarding the proof of cover though, before I left they (AIG, underwriter underwriter for my BNZ card) were happy to send me a letter (emailed PDF) to confirm I was covered (assuming I had met their conditions, which I had).  Kept it with me in hard-copy and on a couple of portable devices.  As I said, didn't end up needing it so don't know how well it would be received, but would have to be better than flashing just the credit card.





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  Reply # 990575 19-Feb-2014 16:08 Send private message

robjg63:
crackrdbycracku:
alasta: Apart from travel insurance are there any other things that I could get caught out on? e.g. what, if anything, do I need to do to arrange a visa?


Where a travel agent can come in handy is when something goes wrong such as a weather delay or volcano (it happens) and you miss following connections. 

If you book yourself you are booking each individual ticket with an airline. If a flight is delayed meaning you will miss a connection, the connecting airline doesn't care. Travel agents can be very useful rebooking for you in cases such as this. 

They can also be helpful rebooking if your plans change and you want to stay somewhere or leave earlier. 

Having said that there will be a cost as everybody has to eat. 

That's why point to point it is usually fine to book direct. 


Yup - there was an item on Fair Go about this around a year ago - it was something I wasnt aware of.

Basically - if you do some A to B to C bookings yourself and there was a delay with getting to B - so you miss the flight to C - you are up the creek without a paddle. If you have booked it via a travel agent they can sort it and rebook and it shouldnt cost anything. There was a term for it which I have forgotten - the concept is that the agent has booked you as A to C with the airlines - so the agent can/should sort this out. 

If you are flying a main route - then arranging cheap local connecting flights without a tight timeframe then DIY is fine.


To avoid confusion, if for example (as Air NZ used to do) you book an Air NZ flight AUK to CDG (Paris) which uses Air NZ to Hong Kong and code-shares with Air France to Paris from there and the Air NZ flight misses the AF connection, it is Air NZ's job to sort your onward connection and you need not be concerned about an agent in that scenario.








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  Reply # 990580 19-Feb-2014 16:12 Send private message

I understand all airlines changed the way travel agents could on sell their tickets a while ago, they no longer receive a blind discount / commission from the airlines, instead they now have to charge a service fee direct to the customer. It's then over to individual travel agencies how much that fee is and it's this fee along with their service which sets the competition.

Obviously places like flight centre etc disguise the fee amongst their packages for holidays etc and you just see 1 bill at the time of booking.

Like everything that is service related, you decide whether or not its worth your time doing the running around booking and checking everything yourself, or if you are happy to pay a "service fee" for someone to do it for you. No different than IT companies or mechanics etc, sure you could do things yourself a lot cheaper, but is it worth it "to you".

India would be a cool place to visit, good luck

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  Reply # 990581 19-Feb-2014 16:14 Send private message

allan: Yes travel agents are totally worth it when things go drastically wrong. I got caught up in the Chilean volcanic ash cloud disruptions in June 2011 and we were flying Qantas out of Auckland to the USA.

Qantas were about the only airline to say they were not going to fly at all and after sitting it out in Auckland for four days with no end in sight, the travel agent managed to get us on cheap Emirates flights to Sydney and have Qantas transfer our departure point to Sydney. The travel agent also rescheduled our internal US travel, given that we had to pick up what we were planning on doing in the USA several days late.


Although to be fair any decent travel insurance company would have 24/7 worldwide backup that would offer equal assistance.

I have an annual policy through ACE (it's my corporate policy) which would and most of them do.

I also know of a company in Australia that will send ex-Special Forces heavies to get you out in an emergency if you have the dinaro...!








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  Reply # 990584 19-Feb-2014 16:19 Send private message

it always pays to check with a local travel agent, especially the one's which specialize flying to the indian subcontinent, because they have "special" wholesale rates given by either 1) their distributor or 2) the airlines itself. 

these special fares you wont find online. 

for flights to AUS , online works out much much cheaper - is what i have found. 




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