FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How much does your service cost?
A - NOTHING! Our fees are paid by our commissions through suppliers. You receive the same price for your vacation when you book with us as you would if you called them yourself. In many cases, we can find discounts and other promotional offerings that you might not know about.
Q - How does your service work?
A - It's simple! Just contact us by email or phone. We will collect some initial information and provide you with a quote. Once I have that I can begin my research and within a couple of hours I will let you know all the options available to book your vacation and collect any additional information needed. That's it!
Q - How is it possible that you can provide these services free of charge?
A - We make our money through commissions paid to us by the suppliers (not our client). The price you pay is the same or many times less whether you book through a supplier site, an internet site, or through Pam's Travel Magic.
Q - How do I pay for my vacation?
A - You may pay by credit card or debit card. I am sorry, we do not take checks or cash.
Q - Who will charge my credit card when the reservation is made?
A - It will depend on what type of vacation you are booking. The supplier(s) will charge your credit card directly (NOT Pam's Travel Magic). Ex. A one week all-inclusive vacation to Mexico through Apple Vacations will incur a charge from Apple Vacations. If you book a cruise with Royal Caribbean and separately book flights on Jet Blue, you will receive a charge from Royal Caribbean and one from Jet Blue.
Q - Can I use your itinerary planning services even if I don't book through you?
A - Technically, yes, you could do that, but why would you want to? It is not costing you anything extra when you book with Pam's Travel Magic plus you receive my help should you have any issues while you are traveling. Please keep in mind that I may put hours of research into finding you the very best price, resort or vacation to match your needs. I am not paid for my research time but only by suppliers for actually booking.
Q - I want to use your service, but I have already made my reservations through another travel agent.
A - Out of professional courtesy, I cannot convert reservations held by another travel agent. ( If you have booked yourself, it is possible in certain circumstances to transfer the booking to me to handle.) If you are feeling you really must switch agents please refer to your cancellation policy and if you so desire. You may cancel, and re book with me. Please give your current agent a chance to rectify any issues you may be having first.
Q - What services does a travel agent offer?
A - Travel agents provide information and help consumers make travel arrangements for business and pleasure. A travel agent, for instance, coordinates a traveler's airline flight, hotel reservation, car rental or tour. Travel agents offer advice and answer common travel questions such as weather inquiries and conditions, places to see and visit, currency exchange rates, required travel documentation and local customs.
Q - What is the role of the travel agent and how has it changed?
A - Travel agents work hard on behalf of the consumer. The role of a travel agent is to make a trip - whether for work or pleasure - a stress free and memorable vacation. Travel agents spend time not only booking tickets and searching for affordable prices, but also personalizing their service to each individual client. The American Society of Travel Agents has a motto, "Without a Travel Agent, You're on Your Own", this exemplifies the importance and the way professional travel agents view their role in today's changing and competitive market.
The job of a travel agent has grown and adapted to reflect the changes within the travel industry and the difference in the way people think about travel. ASTA travel agents recognize that consumers today have done their homework and are more knowledgeable about what they want. Clients who turn to an ASTA travel agent desire an in-depth, personal approach and want the advice and expertise of a professional. This is why an ASTA travel agent:
- Distills product information to provide their clients with the most competitive options;
- Stays abreast of the most current and timely promotions;
- Clarifies the fine print, such as cancellation penalties and restrictions;
- Makes recommendations on travel-related options;
- Simplifies the research and subsequent transaction;
- Enhances the trip with value-added benefits and amenities;
- Uses their clout to obtain the best possible arrangements in seemingly impossible situations; and
- Gets problems resolved.
Q – Will the Internet replace the need for travel agents?
A – There are some things technology cannot replicate, and the personal touch is one of them. The Internet is a valuable resource, but it cannot replace the expertise, guidance and personal service of a travel agent. At a time when travelers are stressed out with hectic schedules, travel agents have all of the information at their fingertips, saving valuable hours of surfing on the Web. Agents also can offer insider tips based on personal experience.
Q – What are the benefits to using a travel agent compared to the Internet?
A – The Internet can be a powerful tool. It can increase the scope and reach of a consumer’s efforts and allow a person to check hundreds of options or research destinations in depth. But to make the Internet work effectively, a person has to understand where to look and what questions to ask, otherwise hours can be wasted surfing the Web and ultimately produce unsatisfactory results. This is where a travel agent can make a world of difference.
A professional travel agent is trained to guide a client through the entire process of planning a trip, whether for business or for leisure. Travel agents take classes, participate in seminars, become destination specialists and join professional associations, such as ASTA, in order to ensure they make each client’s travel experience as personalized, convenient and memorable as possible. When planning a business trip or family vacation, the Internet can be a valuable resource, but it cannot replace the expertise and guidance of a travel agent. Also, during travel crises,
the Internet can’t replace a human being who will persist to help a client get restitution.
Q – How has the travel industry changed, and what factors affect travel?
A – Over time, the leisure travel industry has become price driven. Many people today base a large part of their travel buying decisions on cost and convenience. Additionally, more people are booking closer in to their travel dates. Thanks to dramatic discounting across the industry, consumers have been conditioned to wait until the last minute before booking in hopes of securing a deeply discounted package deal. However, increasingly, as personal time is in increasingly short demand, people are once again finding the value of working with a professional travel agent to make their vacation plans. AND, depending on the type of travel you are interested in, waiting until the last minute does not always get the results of securing a deeply discounted package deal. This is especially true in the cruise industry where supply and demand will drive the price of certain cruises UP instead of down as the cruise date approaches.