Travel agents get a bum rap; some people put them in the category of car salespeople or wash room attendants.
In my estimation, and experience, they are indispensable, especially for international travel. If you run into a problem, can you call Kayak to bail you out? I don’t think so. So you saved a few bucks but consider these scenarios, from my own personal experience:
1. I’m scheduled to fly to Atlanta and meet my son flying from Miami and together travel to California for the Rose Bowl National Championship. My son has the tickets but he was stranded in Atlanta-with another 5,000 people, while I landed in California.
Solution: our travel agent got him an alternate flight
2. We’re in France with a tour group and Air France and SNCF both went on strike and our flight the next day is in jeopardy.
Solution: Our travel agent is able to make alternate plans.
2. We’re in Buenos Aires and our bus was late in getting us to the airport and we missed our connection to Salta.
Solution: our travel agent tells us first to go to the LAN desk to put in for a refund and then go to Aerolineas Argentinas for a flight leaving 3 hours later.
I’m sure many of you have stories of travel agents coming to the rescue in tough situations. If you’ve never been in one, the odds are that it will happen.
My travel agent is worth his weight in gold and I have no difficulty recommending him: Tamir Battat of Traveland.