When you think travel agent, you may think ironic retro telephones, paper boarding passes and cheesy cut out boards in your local town. Sure, the industry went through a bit of a funk in the last 20 years, but travel agents may be more important now than ever before. No matter how much you know about travel, there are times when a travel agent can make all the difference. Here’s when we think you should send a telegraph email to someone in the know…

Inventory

If you ever use Google Flights, you may find an amazing deal and find that it’s not bookable online. Some fares are only offered to travel agents or require some expertise and maneuvering to make a booking. The more complex the ticket you’d like to book, the more of a case for using a travel agent. These days, many are independent and eager to do great work.

Impactful

A travel agent is no ordinary customer. If things go wrong on a travel agent booking, there’s an immediate point of contact and stronger negotiating points. If a travel agent books $1,000,000 worth of airline tickets on an airline, you better believe the airline is going to do more to rectify a situation for a good travel agent on your behalf, ahead of others.

Free Money

Many travel agents have access to Virtuouso, Luxury Privileges and other programs designed to win luxury travelers. These programs, much like Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts will provide free breakfast, room upgrades and other perks like free massages or food and beverage credits on all hotel stays. This is free money you would not have access to, if booking on your own.

Relationships

Despite the globalized world, one on one relationships still drive travel. Travel agents often have relationships at airports, airlines, hotels, tour guides and transit services and can leverage those relationships on a customers behalf. Basically, if you’re a good client, a travel agent can throw you airport VIP lounge passes, a free airport pick up and other lovely things which enhance trips.

Curation

Curate is an insatiable word for most travelers. The idea that something is tailored to their vibe, interests and desires is very enticing. A good travel agent will pick up on your personality, take into account your style preferences and be able to recommend the best places to stay or best airlines to fly based on what matters to you. There’s nothing quite like leaving all the work in someone else’s hands – and having it all work out splendidly.

Do you use a travel agent? And travel agents, feel free to leave your details for readers to get in touch.