That’s also the case with travel agents. It seems like an eon ago, but I used to book all my travel through a nice Polish lady who ran a small agency with a few friends. Such shops are few and far between these days, killed off by the same internet forces as Blockbuster. The Polish lady and her friends long ago went on to different careers.
I travel a lot, both for fun and for business reasons. I flew a ton of places while working on Sex, Bombs and Burgers, and for its promotion – something I’ll be continuing to do for the next year. I haven’t used a travel agent in ages; I’ve found that booking online is easy and almost always cheaper.
A few friends and I decided we wanted to have a guys’ weekend in Las Vegas this fall, so I set to pricing the trip out. For kicks, and because there’s five of us involved, I thought I’d check with an agent at the Flight Centre to see whether he could come up with anything I couldn’t.
The result: not really. The prices he quoted were pretty much exactly the same as what I found, and in at least one case, they were higher. Still, I figured he’d done the work and booking with Flight Centre would mean a small savings in hassle for me, even though there was the downside of having to pay for our flights and hotel up front (if we’d booked independently, we wouldn’t have had to pay for the hotel until we checked out of it).