I've spoken to several agents over the past week, using the virtual chat thing they all have now, and every day I've been online with them I am able to trump their own search results with lower prices than they are able to find, for their own company they are working for. I expect the owners would have a fit if they realised they were employing so many people that are literally useless if the client can help themselves better than the customer service can help, but that is besides the point.
Where have you had real help, which company actually goes out of their way to hunt down the cheapest options if flexible, or even if not flexible?
And on a sub thread, how does someone go about owning and advertising a service of what I'm describing. I have no idea how websites earn money but I presume it is through advertising? But should someone want to runa small sideline solutions website, what would he need to do and is it costly? Say you want to offer a service that will find the best prices available for flights, not exactly an holiday agent but kind of similar, maybe a 'pay me half the cost of whatever I can save you on your best quote', it wouldn't make me rich, but since I spend so much time and am usually able to find weird transfers that can cut costs considerably if you don't mind a couple of transfers and are a little flexible, kind of thing. Who does the owner of a website pay money to, and how is how much you would pay be worked out etc?
Like I said, just an idea for a little extra income, but maybe it couldn't be financially possible depending how websites are charged, or maybe it's just a stupid idea.
In reply to Dominicandave: Used skyscanner for last flights. Saved a wedge, got a flight from NZ - Heathrow via KL for £600 in peak. The flexibility tools on the site are excellent, a day either side were minimum £300 more expensive. Spent hours looking on every comparison site and airline we could find, occasionally got the price matched but took alot more effort.
> I've spoken to several agents over the past week, using the virtual chat thing they all have now, and every day I've been online with them I am able to trump their own search results with lower prices than they are able to find,
Totally agree, most of these companies/travel agents need to get to grips and wise up that in today's world the customer can do exactly what they are doing and contact the exact same people to find the cheapest flights. I am amazed that some of these travel agents keep trading.
I used a well known travel agent the other year to find a multi city ticket taking in Manchester - London - Singapore - Perth - Ayres Rock - Cairns - Sydney - Hong Kong - Delhi - Manchester. The best quote they gave to me was good approx £1300 inc taxes (nearly purchased it there and then). However I beat it by phoning British Airways direct who searched their systems and partner airlines (One World alliance) I ended up paying less than £1100 including taxes for the exact same dates and times.
In reply to Dominicandave: i was pointed to skyscanner by ukc. i consistantly failed to beat it for up north to geneva or sydney/brisbane. it pretty much does what i used to do manually. what i d like it to do is let me give a choice of airports as newcastle manchester glasgow are all pretty much the same journey for us.