Angie's List: Booking flights for holiday season travel

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It's getting close to that time of year when we all start thinking about going home for the holidays.

For some of us, that means booking a flight. But which is better: Booking it yourself or going through a travel agent?

With the rise of websites like Expedia and Travelocity, it's tempting to just go ahead an book a trip online. However, by blindly booking your trip, you might be missing out on the valuable services and savings offered by an agent.

Travel agents know the ins and outs of different destinations and often have a wealth of money-saving tips and tricks that you won't learn online. Plus, with an agent, many are frequent travelers themselves, so they can give you a firsthand report on the destination.

And get this: Not all agents charge for their services.

"It might be surprising to consumers, but a lot of times there may not be a fee for you to use a travel agent. A travel agent oftentimes gets paid by the hotel chains or other vendors," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List.

One word of caution ... travel agencies are among some of the most-complained about industries, so do your research before signing anything.

Make sure to come up with a backup plan in case your itinerary falls through. Ask your agent how they will rectify any problems while you're away.

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