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TRAVEL PLANNING

Posted by Tim Bryce on July 15, 2013

BRYCE ON TRAVEL

– I resent being turned into a travel agent.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

As we all know, travel has become a big headache. What was once considered an enjoyable part of business life is now looked upon with disdain. Today, travel planning is maybe just as difficult as the actual trip itself. In the old days, you would call either an in-house group or an independent travel agency to make arrangements. Actually, it was a rather painless process, but thanks to the Internet, we have all been turned into travel agents, and for some reason I liked it better the other way around.

I’ve booked reservations on the airlines, cruise lines, and hotels in the past with little difficulty, but it was only recently that I tried the on-line discount travel agencies (such as Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.) but I cannot say I was pleased with the results. To illustrate, I was planning a trip up to New York City with my family; I had no problem picking an airline and hotel separately, but trying to find a combined discounted package presented me no end of grief. True, I could find some great rates, but I had trouble trying to find a flight that could accommodate my schedule or a room to suit my requirements. The combinations were simply overwhelming and difficult to wade through.

Wanting to know more about one package combination, I telephoned one of the agencies and spoke to a young person who could competently describe how to process orders on their site, but couldn’t answer my travel questions effectively. I came to the conclusion that trying to call the agencies was a colossal waste of time as they most likely want us to deal with a machine as opposed to a human being. I got the feeling there was only one guy working at the agency who was responsible for the care and feeding of the computers, dusting, and to occasionally answer the phone (I think the owners are located on an island somewhere in the South Pacific).

What we have here is another example of how technology complicates our life as opposed to helping it. What was once a relatively painless task has become laborious, particularly for those who do not know how to use a computer or the Internet.

Next up, finding tickets for a Broadway show on the Internet. Oh God, does it ever end?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  GROCERY SHOPPING IS CHANGING – Another instance of how technology is altering our lives.

LAST TIME:  HEATED POLITICAL DEBATES – If you think political fighting is bad now, you don’t know your history.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), KGAB-AM 650 “The Morning Zone” with host Dave Chaffin (weekdays, 6:00-10:00am Mountain), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Lance Tormey & Brian Teegarden (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

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6 Responses to “TRAVEL PLANNING”

  1. sirchristiantheheck@reagan.com said

    TOO damn right !!!

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    An M.M. of New Mexico wrote…

    “I know exactly what you mean. On a trip to North Carolina, we booked just a hotel room through Travelocity. When we got there we were told the room was not quite ready. Waiting for an hour was difficult since my husband chose to drive instead of fly. We both were tired from the long trip and wanted to relax. When we finally got to our room, there was a few necessary things missing. One of which was a hair dryer. It seems like forever before we got one. And this was supposed to be what our folks would call a “swanky” hotel. There is nothing like a real person to deal with when on a trip. Whatever happened to the travel agents who knew what they were doing?

    By the way, I always enjoy your postings.”

    Like

  3. […] Twitter Facebook ← TRAVEL PLANNING […]

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A T.M. of Boston, Massachusetts wrote…

    “A recent article in the Boston Globe made the same statement. So many products and services we used to be willing to pay for are now almost non-existent. Examples include quality photo prints, travel agencies, maps and many other products from companies employing thousands of people. Now, even Mark Zuckerberger is unsure if he could survive if he required payment to use Facebook. In my industry we have a saying, “Anyone can sell on price. It takes quality to sell on value.” Putting value back into the transactions of daily living takes effort on our part.”

    Like

  5. You speak the truth Tim – technology, you can’t live with it (sometimes) but it’s no longer optional to live without it…

    Like

  6. […] long ago I wrote about the perils of Travel Planning (July 14, 2013) where I described my displeasure with being forced to become a travel agent. I also described the […]

    Like

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