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Travel Agents - do they still exist?

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Friday 11 February 2011 11.07pm
chalkey wrote:
You've brought back memories of my first ever foreign holiday, Tom. August 1966.

Aaaaah, August 1966, that takes me back.
I walked into Guys Maternity late in the afternoon of August 27, a nurse said to me, "You have a son." Ever the blasé one I replied, "Another one?"
Actually that was the second and last in the dynasty, until they started making their own ones.
(Apologies for going off thread, seeing August 1966 sent me down memory lane.)
Saturday 12 February 2011 9.18am
they do exist but they are well and truly an endangered species. online research and booking is so much easier and with sites such as TripAdvisor where you can read reviews of hotels etc its hard to see the point of a high street travel agent. the only one i can think of in SE1 is Flightcentre
Sunday 13 February 2011 11.18pm
boroughpaul wrote:
they do exist but they are well and truly an endangered species. online research and booking is so much easier and with sites such as TripAdvisor where you can read reviews of hotels etc its hard to see the point of a high street travel agent. the only one i can think of in SE1 is Flightcentre

Both Paul and Tom P. are right IMO.
Having been invited to a family wedding in Daumeray in the northern part of the Loire Valley a couple of years back, I sat down at my computer and had three possible routes mapped out in about ten minutes.
1) Eurostar to Gare du Nord, Paris, taxi to Gare Montparnasse, TGV to Le Mans then rent a car for the 50 - 55 klms to Daumeray.
2)Stansted to Val de Loire airport, rent a car for final 140 klms.
3) Gatwick or Heathrow to Nantes, rent a car for final 100 klms.
Presumably a travel agent would have brought up the same on their screen, but had I booked with them then I would have had to add their mark up to the final bill.
I went the Eurostar route eventually, it was around 5.5 hours from my door to the door of the hotel that we stayed at in La Flèche.
I dismissed the Stansted option out of hand, it was Ryanair, and only a fully paid up masochist uses them if there is an alternative.
I toyed with flying to Nantes but the security hassle at airports, and the longer drive turned me off.
You could eat your lunch from the floor of the trains in France or Germany, whereas on English trains you could be forgiven for thinking that people have done so.
Monday 14 February 2011 11.42am
Thanks everyone for the tips. We will book online but I did wanted some brochures to flick through for ideas.

The Thomson in Surrey Quays produced the goods, albeit with a limited number of companies.

We are now researching via Tripadvisor.
Monday 14 February 2011 1.59pm
I see the decision is made and that is what we usually do. But my son is in the travel industry and recommends Trailfinders. he does not work for them but says they get air tickets which are not available online. More importantly they provide service which we witnessed. My parents-in-law, in their 80's, were stuck in Seattle when the snow hit here. BA suggested they went to New York, which they did, and were put up in a nice hotel, then forgotten. They had booked through Trailfinders, we rang them in the UK, told them of the plight etc. They rang the NY hotel within an hour and booked them on three flights back to the UK. They came back on the second BA flight after the snow.

And no, I don't work for Trailfinders.
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