Sometimes, especially if what we are looking for is a more complex air ticket than the classic round trip, it is difficult for online ticket offices to satisfy us or be really convenient. In this case, perhaps it is better to go to an agency, but here the problem arises: is the travel agency below the house able to give me what I am looking for? It is not at all.
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- What has changed in the last decade?
In the 90s to make a plane ticket you had to go to the travel agency, the ticket office for them was one of the main and very lucrative activities. Then the Internet spread.
The result has upset everything: on the one hand the sale of tickets in the travel agency has collapsed; on the other the IATA (international airline association) has lowered the percentage for the agencies to a miserable 1%! The only thing that remains the same is the stringent (and burdensome) requirements for having permission to perform air ticketing. Now that you can compare cheap tours & attraction tickets the details are more promising for you.
The situation today
Many agencies have decided that it is not worthwhile to have a real ticket office: if someone asks him for a ticket, they look for him on the Internet exactly as you would do and then apply a small “agency costs” mark. Is the ticket complex? They delegate it to another agency they rely on in these cases.
You understand for yourself that the “many agencies” that do so do not serve us: we need someone really expert to talk to find ways to check the best price.
How do I “evaluate” a travel agency?
First, when we enter the agency we ask a trick question: “What GDS do you use here?”
The GDS (Global Distribution System, someone still calls them with the old name, CRS computer reservation system) are the software used to make air tickets; there are 3, namely: Amadeus, Saber and Galileo (and World span which recently merged with Galileo).
Saber is probably the most complete, but we really don’t care about which of these 3 the agency uses: what interests us is that you use one, otherwise we’re just kidding.
If the agency passes the first test we move on to the second one, where they have to be more refined,they chat with the staff to understand 1) if they understand 2) if they are busy for them.