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Why you shouldn’t book luxury with a Travel Agent

Posted by Prime Luxury Hotels on March 13, 2016
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Tahiti is well known as one of the world’s most popular luxury travel destinations, particularly for newly wed couples, and those wishing to celebrate their anniversary.

There is something about this tropical paradise that is so different from many other luxury tourist destinations which has to be experienced.

And while it may be one of the top 10 destinations for lovers, even if you’re not in love, you’ll fall in love with everything Tahiti has to offer.

A few years back I experienced Tahiti for the first time myself, and would like to share some things you must do when you visit, as well as some things to be aware of when booking your travels.

At the time of booking, as I had never been to Tahiti, I decided to book through a travel agent instead of booking online, which actually turned out to be a big mistake.

I visited my local Flight Centre to enquire about the accommodation and flights, and unlike booking online, their was particular pressure put on me to book then and there, by telling me their were limited seats left on the flight, and limited accommodation at the resort they recommended. I made a tentative booking but not long after arriving home I had a call from Flight Centre telling me that there was an issue with the accommodation. Apparently renovations at the resort were being carried out and I would need to book elsewhere. I had my heart set on the resort they had originally recommended, and felt I was being pushed into having to stay at another resort now, and that a decision had to be made that day to secure the flights.

I felt something was not right, so I phoned the resort direct, who informed me that there was plenty of accommodation available on that date and no renovations, other than a new day spa were being carried out. No guest accommodation would be affected. I also looking online at Hotels.com and there was also accommodation available.

When Flight Centre called me back for my answer to confirm my booking I mentioned my call and asked for an explanation. The sales agent seemed to be lost for words, as they started to explain that while there was actually accommodation, there was just none available for them to make the commission from, so they resorted to some non-truths to make the money elsewhere.

Obviously this didn’t go down well with me, but they said they would would still book me at the same venue, lose the commission, as long as I booked my flights that day, which I did, and also paid for the accommodation as it needed to go on their company credit card. This was fine, and obviously they didn’t want me booking it all online myself.

But unfortunately that was only the start to my Flight Centre woes.

A few weeks later I landed in Tahiti in the middle of the night. The last flight in and the airport was about to shut down for the evening.
Our plane landed and we disembarked, and we waited for our transfer which was to be included in our booking.

The transfer never came, the lights of the airport were going out, and we were stuck in an almost non-english speaking country at midnight.

Luckily we flagged down a taxi to take us to the resort and explained why we were so late checking in.

The concierge at the Intercontinental Tahiti was amazing, telling us he would call Flight Centre first thing in the morning to find out what happened to the Transfer, and ensure it wouldn’t happen on the way home.

He called and they assured they would get back with an answer. He called again, and again, and same answer.

After a week having a wonderful time at the report, it was time to leave and we seemed to have been lost on the Flight Centre radar.

Our concierge again came to our rescue, picking us up himself personally, on his day off, to take us to the airport to ensure we didn’t miss our flight.

As for Flight Centre, I lost all faith in them as a reputable travel agent. The $100 voucher they sent to apologize wouldn’t have even paid for the cab fare and phone calls made to rectify the problem they created. If only they were honest it could have all been avoided.

So when you are planning on booking your flights and accommodation you will find more options and less stress, and know that you are getting what you pay for if you book online, rather than what you think you were paying for from some travel agents.

It pays to shop around when considering luxury travel.

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