Zippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5601 posts, RR: 12 Posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2321 times:
How do you spell aggravation? There are several ways. In this litigious society, I'm not going to divulge the full names however there are three that are a pain in the you know what! Or,Tra and Exp have caused us at the ticket counter and gates and especially the passenger much hassle and aggravation. I have no problem with anyone making a profit but, when it costs others time, more misery and more money there is no excuse. To the flying public if you use these services insist on them getting things right the first time and in an expeditious manner!
p.s. these operations give legitimate travel agents an unfair bad rap!
Zippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5601 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2238 times:
Regarding this post. There is a serious problem with a lot of these bookings through these Internet third party brokers. More paper work, aggravation, money and time is expounded on the passengers and us within the airline industry. Hidden charges and incompetence. Now with paperless ticketing, passengers can go to an airlines direct web site and usually garner excellent deals. For those who insist on paper work and doing things the old fashioned way, there are many excellent helpful real travel agents out there who can be invaluable when it comes to arranging and booking airline itineraries and usually at fair prices. Again, I have no problem with these Internet agencies but I and my colleagues in the industry do have issues when there is incompetence, inefficiency and ignorance. This makes us in the industry look bad and fosters ill will with our customers! This post deals with one of those quirks in today's world of commercial air travel.
Jhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6206 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2188 times:
I usually use Expedia or Travelocity just to get a quick idea of what fares are available, and then book the actual ticket through the airline's website. That way you save the $5 commission (or whatever they charge these days).
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
Ssides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 20
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2160 times:
Thanks for the e-mail. Can you give a few more details? Is it common for pax to request paper tickets when they book through these sites? Can pax even request paper ticktets via an airline web site anymore? If it weren't for paper ticketing, what would your opinion of these agencies be?
Hawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3235 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2072 times:
As a former employee of a travel agency which made the transition from being traditional to doing everything through a call center and on the Internet, I feel a need to come to their defense.
My suspicion is that Zippyjet's problem relates to dealing with ticketless travel airlines. These airlines use ticketless travel internally, and to the passenger is indistinguishable from an electronic ticket. But there is a significant difference. With an e-ticket, a ticket is still generated, but into the computer rather than onto paper. This doesn't happen with ticketless travel.
The problem comes in that the GDS's cannot handle processing and issuing ticketless travel. A small travel agency can call the airline direct to process the reservation ticketlessly, and the passenger gets the same effect as an eticket. But the online agencies are working with a high volume, thus cannot be constantly calling the airline for processing. Instead, a paper ticket is printed and the ticket number is reported to the airline, either via an OSI or SSR.
Problems mostly crop up when the passenger wants to make changes. If there is enough time, the ticket gets mailed back to the agency who processes the exchange and sends out the new tickets. However, there are many cases when the passenger wants to make a change but there is not enough time. Since the airline itself is not setup to deal with paper tickets more than simply collecting them at checkin, they cannot process the exchange at the airport counter. Thus a passenger feels they are being treated unfairly because they went through an Internet travel agent.
This has problems even with issuing a ticket; many times we would advise the passenger to go directly to the airline to book because we did not have time to print and mail the paper tickets.
So if you work for a ticketless travel airline, and you're tired of dealing with the online agencies paper tickets, convince your carrier to support true etickets through the GDS.
I'm not sure what is happening currently, but when I left we still gave our Internet customers the option of choosing electronic or paper tickets when an eticket was available. We did have people that paid the up to $50/person fee the airlines charge when a passenger does this, plus our ticket delivery fee, for the paper tickets. Not many, but there where a few.
Ahlfors From Canada, joined Oct 2000, 1347 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2040 times:
Generally I prefer the airline websites, but I often have international itineraries that are either impossible or very expensive without an interline ticket on more than one airline. Usually, in such a case a) I can't get it from the airline website and b) it has to be paper ticketed through a travel agency, and for convenience that means an internet travel agency.
PER744 From Australia, joined Mar 2003, 405 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (11 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1993 times:
I use a mix of providers. I buy direct from airline websites sometimes, I'll call them other times (ie, calling a foreign airline's office in your country will sometimes get you a cheaper price than their fares on the web) and also use real travel agents aswell as internet travel agents....and I play them all off against each other.
I'll use the Qantas website to find the domestic flights and airfare I want, and go book it on travel.com.au for the 5% discount.
I use the Qantas/AA/travel.com.au websites when building a trip to the US, and then go to my travel agent and get her to cut commission until she can do it slightly cheaper.
Some websites are better than others for finding flights, whereas other websites offer better fare deals.