Six online hotel booking sites, have been found to use misleading sales tactics, pressure-selling tactics, misleading discount claims and applying hidden charges, after an investigation.
Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com, Ebookers and Trivago, were all under scrutiny by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). They highlighted underhand practices such as not giving the full cost of the room upfront and misleading reports about the popularity of the hotels.
What’s the alternative?
The majority of people that do not use holiday comparison sites, will go to a local travel agency to book their holidays. Understandably some people like the reassurance of being able to actually go into an agency and speak with someone face to face. However this does not guarantee that you will not have any problems and the pressure on employees to sell holidays, will often come before, genuinely caring about what the customer is wanting from their holiday.
Independent Travel Agents are an alternative option, that often get dismissed as they provide their services online. There are a number of reasons why finding an Independent travel agent, to book your holiday requirements, can be the better option.
Independent travel agents will be part of a company that you can research online.
For example many Independent travel agents are part of Inteletravel. Inteletravel has been operating for 25 years, in over 40 countries and is recognized by every major travel supplier, including every resort and hotel brand, cruise line, vacation company, car rental agency and tour operator in the world. Travel agencies do not need to rely on individuals to recommend them and provide them with repeat business due to their ability to attract customers via advertising campaigns.
Independent travel agents are only successful when they are recommended and receive repeat business. Therefore an Independent travel agent is going to ensure that they do everything they can to carefully check any providers and establishments, they recommend. They will also have more time to dedicate to each individual customer, enabling them to check all the small details of the holiday. This means they can check for criteria such as, disabled access and LGBT ‘friendly’ places to make sure you have the best holiday experience possible.
The LGBT community has been a low priority for travel agencies who often have little knowledge as to whether a country is safe to visit or if a hotel will be welcoming. An independent travel agent makes you their priority, there is no room for error. Unlike a traditional high street Travel Agency they can’t afford to get a bad review and loose customer confidence in the service they provide. Next time you book a holiday, why don’t you contact an Independent agent and find out what they can do for you.