Hotels offer perks if you book direct. But should you?

Skip your travel agent and those comparison booking sites. That’s what more hotels want you to do, and they’re pulling out all the stops to persuade you to do it.

But should you? Read more “Hotels offer perks if you book direct. But should you?”

If you want an early check-in to your hotel, you must read this story

Red-eye flights are hard enough. But when you’re heading to a hotel after a marathon trip, all you probably want to do is drop your bags and sleep, even if just for a few minutes. But will you be able to get an early check-in? Read more “If you want an early check-in to your hotel, you must read this story”

These travel agents go above and beyond the call of duty

Travel agents should really stop calling themselves travel agents. Travel advisors is a better word. Or perhaps even travel advocates. Read more “These travel agents go above and beyond the call of duty”

Why you’re the journalist of the year

The American Society of Travel Agents yesterday named me its journalist of the year. I still can’t believe it. It feels like it’s happening to someone else.

Actually, it is.
Read more “Why you’re the journalist of the year”

Why are travel agents so defensive about one bad apple? Here’s a clue …

ishot-5I had to wonder what was wrong after numerous travel agents posted furious responses to today’s story about an agent that acted in an apparently unethical manner. Why were they being so defensive of a colleague who probably ought to be looking for another line of work?

The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, as presented in the American Society of Travel Agents’ 2008 outlook (PDF) offers an explanation: Travel agents are headed toward extinction. Their numbers have shrunk from 111,130 a decade ago to 85,580 in 2007, the last year for which numbers are available. What’s more, the government projects that the number of agents will remain flat through the middle of the next decade.

No wonder they’re upset. But they’re in good company.
Read more “Why are travel agents so defensive about one bad apple? Here’s a clue …”