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Why You Should Always Book International Flights with a Travel Agent

Book that domestic ticket to Los Angeles on the internet.  Just remember to check all five airports in the area:  LAX, Long Beach, John Wayne in Orange County, Burbank and Ontario.  In fact, for any airline ticket to any city within the 48 contiguous United States, just do it yourself.  You can compare all airlines, except Southwest, at kayak.com.  The only thing you will need to consider is the alternate airports.

But, always book an international flight with an experienced travel agent.  Why?  The short answer is because there are almost always complicating factors with an international ticket.

#1. TRAVEL AGENTS KNOW THE RULES, because they deal with international travel every day of the week.

Consider the family that was going to Canada for a soccer match.  They found out from a United States government website that they would only need to take their original or certified birth certificates and photo I.D.s for each one of them.  So, they bought their airline tickets on the internet; but on the fateful day they went to the airport, they were not allowed to board because they didn’t have passports.  It turns out that you can drive to and from Mexico or Canada with just what they had, but if you fly, you have to have a passport in order to get  back into the U.S.A.  If they had gotten their tickets through a good travel agent, that’s what they would have been told.

#2. TRAVEL AGENTS KNOW THE ROUTING OPTIONS for a given international destination.

With a few exceptions international travel usually involves a change of planes somewhere; and quite often, changes involving other airlines with whom they are partnered.  The routes and the partners very often mean that prices vary, sometimes drastically.  One of the Columbus Travel agents was booking an airfare for a client to Bangkok, Thailand.  The airline options were very expensive, but because he knew of other routing possibilities, he was able to save the client over $350.

Bottom line:  A savvy travel agent like those at Columbus Travel is familiar with the multitude of complex rules and knows the complicated routing options.  So, in the case of overseas travel, letting an expert do the work for you is your best option.

Photos are taken in person or provided by the supplier except where credited.

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