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Old 01.12.2008, 23:28
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English travel agencies around Zurich

Hi there,

Can anyone recommend a good travel agent who speaks english in the Zurich-Zumikon-Glatt areas?
Thanks
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Old 02.12.2008, 10:53
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

Have a look at my post for booking packaged holidays. I do everything with my travel agent by e-mail or by phone. Have been going to her for the last 8 years and have never met her once.

All in english.

But having said that, most travel agents in the center of zurich speak english. They do a lot of traveling themselves. Kuoni in belleveu certainly does.

~ Nanda.
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Old 02.12.2008, 12:59
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

I don't believe in travel agencies very much myself as my favourite type of holidays are very much the backpack and youth hostel and work it out by myself type, and often end up going places that your average travel agent hasn't heard of. However the company I work has an official agreement with Kuoni and all company travel has to be booked through them. From what I've seen so far they fail to impress me. They're expensive and they're not flexible and they don't really listen to what I want but rather get me what they think I should have. The coolest so far was a flight from Frankfurt to Houston that involved a first leg from Frankfurt to Zurich and a second leg from Zurich to Frankfurt and a third leg from Frankfurt to Houston. When I asked why we couldn't just drop the first and second legs they told me I have to fly from Zurich so shut up. Had this been a private trip I would have walked out there and then and booked elsewhere. But seeing my company has this exclusive agreement there wasn't much I could do.

This is just my opinion of course, and others may have other opinions.

Last edited by amogles; 02.12.2008 at 14:20.
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Old 06.12.2008, 19:16
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

why would you want to do that ? try online sites

1. bookingbuddy.com, since you can get etickets, why bother dealing with a middle man

on bookingbuddy for example you enter once the departure and return date and give you links to several web sites to check best price

i will travel every month for my work across Europe and did all reservations online.

or yahoo fare search is good too

http://re2.farechase.yahoo.com/



2, but if you want to have a contact with a "human form", try the sites from migros. you can call them as well and have a human answering...

http://www.travel.ch/

http://www.hotelplan.ch/Voyages/

i was surprised to see some very good prices for 4 days / 3 nights in several european cities for Christmas and christmas markets
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Old 15.12.2008, 22:19
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

Hi mate

Where are you keen on going? I operate a travel company here in Basel, offering trips to The Middle East and Asia in English and various other languages.

For more information, please take a look at my website.

www.babeltravel.com

Best Regards,

Kevin Pollard
Babel Travel
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Old 15.12.2008, 23:41
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

I'm a corporate travel agent and I'll just give one piece of advise -- buyer beware on the online sites. I've had more than one corporate account come back to me because the online sites often contained incorrect information on schedules/fares - invalid ticketing - and no support after the sale. Your best bet is to get a referral from a friend, family member etc of a good agent.

Without an agent - you are on your own.
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Old 16.12.2008, 05:54
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

uhmmm... where did i hear that before?

we could do a test but i do not want to take your time.

in reality, a travel agent just cannot have the same info

ie as a frequent flyer or with hotel membership cards you get offers directly from airlines not available online . same for hotels plus free nights or miles you can use againts a trip.

i understand that for travel agents , they need to justify their service and it is fine . some users may always prefer to have someone do the research and the reservation for them.

however i would have my reserves concerning support after the sale...
travel agents like everybody else are dependent on the reservation system. thus if no other flight is available.... , well no other flight is available period.... the only support you can give to a client at that poijt is : tough luck...


concerning bad ticketing on online sites: if you enter correct dates and review it before confirming , should not happen.

but as mentioned before, travel agents will always have a place since some traveler do not have the time to go and search for best prices or just do not want to.


in any case, the large corporate travel world market is different. most travelers are employees. thus they do not really care about saving money.
all they want is the business class and the best hotel for the budget allocated + the miles. thus paying a travel agent 100 chf fee per booking for them is just the cost of doing travel. nothing to do with them.
(i know... I was one of them at one point...)

for small companies it is different. if you travel every month like i do , you do not want to give 50 or 100 chf to a travel agent everytime you need to book a flight .... might as well do it online directly.

in summary, you will always have the need for travel agent for some users.
but service given may not exceed what you get on an online site.
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Old 16.12.2008, 08:20
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

Bunka -- hmmm you must be dealing with bad agents - or are one of those who think because they can book it online that they are equal to or better than an agent.

I'm speaking as an agent with 21 years of experience. I have a single corporate client who has been with me for 15 of those years and most of my other clients I've had for 7-10 years. Unlike what your corporate travel experience may be - as a corporate travel agent it is my job to ensure the best fares for business since business travel is one of the most controllable expenses a company can have. I also balance the needs of the travellers so they aren't punished for having to take the lowest price point.

There is no need to "compare" because most likely we aren't talking apples to apples. For leisure travel being a do-it-yourselfers who is competent in filling out boxes or redeeming their own rewards is fine. But navigating those insane - arcane rules that the airlines have for corporate travel is best left to a professional.

By the way - I was shocked to see how much agents charge here if the service fee in your post is accurate. I may want to look at raising my fee since it exchanges to about 37CHF.

The wonderful thing is that there are options for everyone out there - if you prefer to do it yourself - or if you prefer to pay a competent professional. But don't paint all travel agents with the same broad brush because it's not true.
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Old 16.12.2008, 08:49
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

hello

I did not intend to paint all agents as bad apples.

(and i do not agree really on the cost saving point for corporate savings from my own past experience. but maybe it was just the blue chips companies i was working for....)

and i made as well i think the distinction about vacationers and corporate travel.

my point was only to say that corporate travel agent will have to charge a fee (because they need to make a living...) which might not be there on online sites.

but I was mentioning the fact that the corporate world will want to rely on
a travel agent to take care of everything and will pay for it as they see it as a way to externalize the time spend doing reservations.

and it is fine. if someone has to spend 1 hour looking for best rates, he has to charge the time. no problem there.



for a small company (like mine), costs are very important

small current example

in january i have to do a multi leg trip

zurich /london city airport
london / dusseldorf
dusseldorf /zurich

+ hotel nights

quote given by a local travel agent :

- for the flights : $1100
- for hotel nights: $350 for 2 nights (radisson)
$605 for 3 nights in dusseldorf (hilton)


on my end :

online I was able to find the same multileg flight for "same dates and times" at $279 (regular BA and lufthansa flights)

for hotel nights , since I have a card from both chains, was able to get reduced rate.

- for hotel nights: $210 for 2 nights in london (radisson)
$390 for 3 nights in dusseldorf (hilton)

for same dates !


thus in summary, a corporate travel agency may employ some trainees or employees who do not really know or do not care and you as a client end up paying for their mistakes or inexperience.


on that trip alone , i would have paid 3 times more than doing it myself.


furthermore , choosing landing airport in London is important since you may spend hours in traffic if you get to stanstead or heathrow instead of london city airport for example

but of course i had to spend 30 minutes to look around and find best rates.


furthermore , since travel agents are middle persons, airlines and hotels may sometimes shortcut them (intentionally or not...) by sending direct offers or coupons to the members directly.

that was the case on some hotels prices. stay 3 nights and get 25% off.

travel agents would not have access to those offers sometimes.

Last edited by bunka; 16.12.2008 at 09:10.
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Old 16.12.2008, 12:28
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

Bunka

Thanks for your clairfication - and sometimes the vendors do offer discounted prices direct to consumers - but only at their own expense. Regarding the air - it truly does depend on the skill level and experience of your agent in finding the best airfares. An example is if you price the multi leg trip like you are doing as a single ticket the price may be higher than breaking it into separate segments or individual tickets. I can say that for my European clients I have to do this all the time in order that they don't pay an arm - leg and other vital organ for the trip.

I think the difference here is that an experienced agent knows the how to's the where to go's and the back doors to provide their cleints with the best possible options and routings. I'm not familiar with the agents here in CH or elsewhere in Europe, but in the US experienced agents are becomming harder and harder to find as it is a very poorly paid industry and the perks that once used to compensate for that salary (such as free tickets - hotels) have vanished as well.

Basically you'll know if you have a good agent if they have a passion for what they do - and are not just another order taker at the other end of the line.
This user would like to thank Michigan68 for this useful post:
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Old 16.12.2008, 12:29
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

Quote:
View Post
Hi there,

Can anyone recommend a good travel agent who speaks english in the Zurich-Zumikon-Glatt areas?
Thanks
Hi,

Check out the TUI office in the Dorfplatz Zumikon.
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Old 07.01.2009, 15:47
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Re: English travel agencies around Zurich

I am a travel agent specialised with leisure worldwide travel (both airlines and hotels). I have been able to come in the same price or ball park as the website, while being to provide some extra services:
- Possibily to waitlist part of the trip
- Modifying individually some of the segment to create more time at some airports
- Deals with issues with the airline (airline changing schedule and flights)
- Asking for specific special requests
- Access to all special offers from Airlines and hotels
- Possibility to use corporate or negotiated rates (both airlines and hotels)
- Dealing with Australian visa for not extra charge
- Standing in for you when something get wrong, especially during the trip, like the recent situation in Thailand.
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