Travel Agents - Are They Worth It?

As some of you may or may not know I get married on Friday. As our honeymoon is very important to us we went into a travel agents to discuss and book it - the one we chose was Thomas Cook near Orchard Square in Sheffield city centre. I am very adept at using the Internet by now, and have certainly purchased many things over it before including holidays and flights but the reason we chose to pay the extra for a travel agent this time was due to it being our honeymoon. I believe we spent about an hour or so in there as I remember Louise going back to the car as the parking ticket was about to run out. During that time they she must have gotten so sick of us telling her that it was for our honeymoon and could she check this and that. By the end of it we were pretty happy with our honeymoon, although it was a little pricier than we had hoped it was for a sea view room at the Hilton hotel in the centre of the Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. I paid the deposit and they sent a fairly rudimentary summary - what details it contained were correct. In May a few weeks before it was due we settled the balance in full. Then I went travelling to Japan and Tenerife and somewhere in the middle of that (about two weeks before departure date) they phoned to say we could pick our tickets up. Unfortunately we have to fly from Gatwick as all the Manchester flights had gone - so we also sorted out trains and a hotel down there. When Louise picked up the tickets she saw that they had us booked into a twin room instead of a double! Really couldn’t believe it after us telling her so many times that this was for our honeymoon - she even said they would note it on our ticket and we would get a free fruit basket or something… Louise went back in and told them and the girl said they would phone the hotel at the weekend to try and sort this out. When I got back she told me and I got Louise to phone up again and she actually got the travel agent to phone up there and then and call us back. When she called back she said that she had spoken to someone at the hotel and that they would try to get us a double, but that was all they could do. When I prompted them for something in writing to take with us she refused and said it was against company policy - obviously they don’t want to actually commit to anything they say! Frankly I find this unbelievable - all for some stupid travel agent who you have told repeatedly that this is a honeymoon pressing the wrong button. I am starting to believe that customer service is pretty much dead now. In future I would be far better off ordering stuff online as I can at least make sure I select the right options and get written confirmation. I have to say it is very disappointing but I have observed similar behaviour from other companies - once they have your money you can take a flying leap as far as I can tell… I will stop ranting - but I do find this behaviour unacceptable but it appears that far too many are willing to accept it.

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