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Book direct with HAL, or use a TA?

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Coming from the point of view of a Gen-Xer, the only benefit I see in using a TA for any travel is to save on the time it takes to research deals on hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises, etc. I'm one of those weirdos who likes doing this kind of research because it helps to build anticipation for the upcoming trip. These days, the internet makes it so easy to do everything online. The younger generation will be even more inclined to do it all themselves online because they have never known a time without the Internet. To them, having to call and speak to anyone about anything they want to spend money on is a foreign concept, while I remember the days of catalog ordering.

 

The one thing I see TAs still being used for in the future will be for those who realize how much time it takes to research and get a good deal. I spend hours looking up information, wondering whether to book something now or wait to see if the price drops, etc. I like doing this, but as the younger generation gets older and expands their families, they are going to quickly realize how precious their time is, so they might continue to use a TA when they realize that there is someone willing to do all of the legwork for them.

 

I also think TAs would be useful for complicated trips. If all someone is doing is visiting a resort or someplace where they are staying in one location, it is too easy to book all of that yourself without using a TA. However, if someone is planning an in-depth trip to Europe or even through the US, having someone else plan all of the logistics becomes a much better-looking option.

 

Finally, there will always be those folks who just don't like planning anything and want to call up someone and say, "I'd like to go to France. Please plan everything for me." It isn't as common anymore, especially in my generation and younger, but they do exist.

 

All this to say--the cruise lines already see the direction the future is heading and are trying to adapt. The TAs do too. The ones that survive will be the ones who develop some kind of niche. Those that don't adapt will go by the wayside. 

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1 hour ago, hbgroadends said:

 

Quick question that is slightly off-topic:

 

Did the PCC give you the lower fare and onboard credit after you had made final payment or was it before?

 

I've seen some specials come through on HAL's site after I've made final payment to my TA that I've wondered if I could have gotten if I had used a PCC.

Final payment was months away.  After final payment, I never look at prices again because IMO "the deal is sealed."  If anyone has received a better price which either a TA or PCC honored after final payment, please chime in.

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1 hour ago, hbgroadends said:

Coming from the point of view of a Gen-Xer, the only benefit I see in using a TA for any travel is to save on the time it takes to research deals on hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises, etc. I'm one of those weirdos who likes doing this kind of research because it helps to build anticipation for the upcoming trip. These days, the internet makes it so easy to do everything online. The younger generation will be even more inclined to do it all themselves online because they have never known a time without the Internet. To them, having to call and speak to anyone about anything they want to spend money on is a foreign concept, while I remember the days of catalog ordering.

 

You can still use a TA after you do your research.  I've been doing all those things while planning our 2021 cruise.  I already know the preferred destination, the ship, the cruise line, the itinerary, the date, etc.   As soon as the actual dates are released, I will  email my TA and give her the details.  She will book the cruise and give me a 10% discount over the fares charged by the cruise lines.  BTW, I'm over 70.  I use the Internet daily.   I'm a touch typist too.  

 

Edited by RocketMan275

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