Travel Thread

A good bricks and mortar TA is a huge asset and a great suggestion.
I do all my own bookings but I have access to a friends corporate travel platform and know my way airlines to be confident in booking myself but it took a lot of years to get to the point where I do it all myself. Plenty of sharks in the industry

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I always use my Travel Agent. Same one for the lat 25 years, and she is fantastic.

Uses my FF points where she can and is always there to assist with any issues and prices are no higher than anything online.

I used one of these (Aunt Betty, I think) a few times quite a few years ago without issue. I stopped after one went bust taking a large number of travel bookings with them, fortunately not one of mine.

These days I’m comfortable making straightforward bookings online but always directly with the airline (as @Aceman suggested). Not always the lowest price but worth it for the support that this brings if there is an issue.

Very sound advice from @Shelton10. I also have a long-standing relationship with someone in the Camberwell Flight Centre office. I always go to her for more complex itineraries with multiple connections. I don’t even have to attend in person, I can email her with what I’m after and we generally swap emails until it’s settled. Again, not always the lowest price but worth the peace of mind knowing that there will be someone on the end of an email if there’s an issue to resolve.

Skyros, Greece :greece:

The miniature Skyrian horse, native to the Greek island of Skyros, is one of rarest and most ancient breeds of horse in the world.

It is considered a descendant of the horses Achilles took on his journey to Troy and of the horses of Alexander the Great. It is widely believed that the horses carved on the Parthenon are Skyrian.

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Good advice all, book direct with airlines or via GOOD travel agent
I used to work in travel (not international) & saw a lot of agents go under

We booked a trip to KL which we had to cancel during the covid shutdowns. Flights had been booked direct through Malaysian Airlines, accommodation had been booked directly with the establishment.

People we know had booked a very similar trip through Flight Centre.

We had all our money refunded without fuss in a week or two. It took the other family around 10 months.

For a single destination trip, I’ll always go direct through the airline and accommodation.

For multi-leg trips, I have a trusted travel agent for the flights (and sometimes the accommodation, though that’s easy enough to do myself…)

I saw a visual reference to Trump in that post.

OTOH I booked flights direct with American Airlines but due to covid could not take them. These were BC flights within the US.

They ABSOLUTELY REFUSED multiple requests to refund the money, coming up with spurious reasons each time.

Moral of the story: booking direct with airlines puts you at their mercy.

Bigger Moral of the Story: NEVER FLY WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES: THEY ARE SCUMBAGS!

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I book everything direct myself, it’s laborious and sometimes a little nerve wracking but for an upcoming lengthy trip I’ve used Tripit for the first time. Revelation, scrapes your emails for virtually everything travel related and organises it in a timeline with docs attached to dates etc. I’ll no doubt get lost sometime, somewhere and delayed, but it’s a mighty little app for scatterbrains like myself. Never use third parties for transport online, and re travel agents don’t really see the need to pay someone to book on my behalf when I can be way more specific myself.

Get the Flighty app too. It syncs to Tripit and will put all your flight data in order plus if will give you warnings of delays, cancellations etc often before the airline does. It will tell things like if the inbound is on time, any changes to aircraft type etc too.

TA’s have more access to different fare buckets that regular folks don’t which comes in handy in regards to frequent flyer programs and a TA can often handle multi carrier flights and bundle them under one PNR which is very handy and something that might not be able to be done on the airlines website

That’s terrific thanks and will do. I’m still reasonably organised and i do like the process of booking as it can actually lead you to make some different choices, a version of spontaneity if you’re not rich enough in time or money to leave it open ended. But totally get the TA convenience and security. I imagine at some point I’ll very happily hand it all over to a good one.

I’ve been pretty good with points over the years too and usually fly mostly ‘free’ but you have to choose to work it.

Have used the same travel agent for the past 30 years. It costs no more and often less than booking through airline or online app. The benefit we found especially for business travel was that when something went wrong, no matter where I was, she fixed it. She even manages to get the best deals using Airline points etc. She gets no money at all for that. Deals at Hotels all over the world, airport pickups, trains, we would never use anyone else. She is threatening to retire which will suck bad.

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Yeah, I like doing my own bookings but for many it’s overwhelming and a TA is easier for them. Also airlines are getting sneaky and have hidden any mention of fare buckets and have excluded some from earning points so customers book a flight and then wonder why no or little points are awarded. It’s one of the biggest complaints currently and TA’s have the ability to not only see the fare buckets but book into them often at no extra cost.
Mixed carrier flights are becoming more popular and many of them can’t be done online or direct under one PNR which can cause a heap of issues.
I personally can do that myself so don’t need a TA but I know many that do

True there was an article in the paper today about some guy in his forties quitting(maybe taking a golden handshake) and training to be a helicopter pilot.

The upfront cost of training being the barrier to entry.

But after outlaying 100k in training himself he now runs a tour company with a half dozen? choppers?

Even salaried pilots make 6 figures if your not into running a business.

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Very fancy, correct gender specification and proper use of the diaeresis (umlaut).

Always hate it when a male is mentioned as blonde and a masseuse.

But then, I am a pedant in all the languages I know.

I’m taking everything on board today, thanks Alan. Overwhelmed by friendliness you might say

Is Airalo a solid option for an eSIM? I see they don’t do local phone numbers, but just for smooth running data use on the go, using Google Maps and the like?

I have had friends who’ve used Airalo and been happy. I’m just in the middle of choosing one myself for a couple of months. Tossing up between Airalo, Simify and Nomad at the moment.
I am also wondering if I’m with Telstra can I receive wifi calls and iMessages using an eSIM from another company?
Edit: pretty keen on Holafly for 62 days, unlimited.

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I asked this question in the technology thread but I’ll repeat it here too as it’s to do with a VPN for travel that will give me access to Kayo. I have AVG on my computer (& have enough devices paid for to have it on my phone) or is there another provider who is better?

Just finished my shift at work and now finally on 5 weeks Annual Leave.

11 sleeps to go before I jump on the plane to Vancouver and 13 sleeps until I’m aboard The Canadian to Toronto.

Quick little question, has anyone used Vodafone for international roaming in North America and were you happy with it?