Benefits of Using a Travel Concierge in 2021
2020 was a shocking year for travellers and travel services across the world. The fallout brought travel and tourism screeching to a halt worldwide. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the tourism industry lost $2.1 trillion in revenue over the course of the year.
However, we’re in 2021 now, and as the vaccine rollout gains momentum in many countries, people are looking to relieve the stresses of lockdowns and social distancing with a well-deserved holiday.
That being said, the world, and the travel industry, are by no means back to business as usual. Whole countries are still in lockdown, travel options are significantly reduced, and there have been many new restrictions put in place when it comes to entering other countries.
Reserving your own trips in 2021 can be a painfully complicated and time-consuming process and, if you get it wrong, it may end up costing you money or may even miss out on the holiday of your dreams.
The best way to overcome the complications of booking travel in 2021 is to consult and hire a professional. According to Travel Courier, travel concierges are one of the best ways to navigate new protocols and travel restrictions.
So, if you’re planning a getaway in 2021 and you want advice on avoiding the pitfalls of changing regulations and a chance to evaluate your best options, read on to find out how a professional travel concierge can help.
Present benefits of using a Travel Concierge Service
A travel concierge is a professional who is invested in making sure you have the best possible experience on your holiday or business trip. The best travel concierges are entirely immersed in the world of travel and are part certified travel geeks or nerds and part road warrior. They love what they do and are more than willing to share all of their knowledge with their clients. They are there to elevate your travel experience and enhance the services that are already being offered by industry suppliers such as the airlines, who tend to offer basic service.
Booking a trip with a travel concierge simplifies your travel plans by letting someone else take over the process of booking your flights, accommodations, ground transportation, resort or villa stays as well as looking after a myriad of other smaller details.
Much like any other professional, travel concierges are there to help you overcome problems that you are not always equipped to handle.
Currently, booking a trip, especially one abroad, means navigating heaps of different travel restrictions, border closures, and virus management measures.
Booking through a travel concierge means you’ve got an experienced professional helping to steer you through the troubled waters of travel towards your perfect holiday or business trip.
What Are Other Benefits of Using a Travel Concierge
There are a huge range of benefits you can access by hiring a travel concierge, and we’ll be breaking them down for you:
They’re the Experts
Most people wouldn’t take a chance on wiring their own house, fixing a broken toilet, or replacing the brake pads on their car. You’d hire an electrician, plumber, or mechanic.
Because they have the skills, training and industry experience to give you the best results and they keep on top of the changes.
Precisely the same is true of a travel concierge.
Online travel booking has made it much easier to book a trip but using a travel concierge service means you’ve got someone working to find you the best and safest options.
As with any professional, travel concierges are entirely immersed in their industry. This means they are always on the lookout for emerging trends and changes within their industry. Information changes quickly, and often. They know where to turn to in order to stay up to date. In normal times, the industry changes on average every six months and over the past year, we are presently seeing it change almost daily. Algorithms accumulated over decades for establishing price points have been completely wiped out and industry suppliers now need to re-adjust, often manually, to the new reality. This makes for a lot of stones that may not be left unturned and could prove to be time consuming during these times.
Getting the best out of your Travel Experience
Booking a trip might seem simple and easy. However, if you want to get the best from your travel experience, there are a whole host of smaller details that need to be taken care of.
For example, if you have the choice between flying a Canadian based carrier to Europe and a European one at the same price, what would you do?
A Travel Concierge would evaluate the situation with you and point out some facts that can assist you in your decision making. If you are not very concerned about accruing mileage in a frequent flyer program and the prices were about the same with both carriers, it may be best booking the European carrier. Why? For the simple reason that EEC passenger rights regulations are considered to be the worldwide golden standard in the industry. In the off chance that you run into problems with your reservation, you will have a lot more choices and an easier time resolving any issues not to mention obtaining the proper compensations.
If you were concerned about comfort, a well- versed travel concierge would want for you to know a little more about the specifications of each of the aircrafts available to you for your journey.
Some cabin specifications are better thought out than others, and some even offer more seat width and legroom in economy-for the same price! An economy seat on an Embraer 190 with some carriers will feel a lot different than a brand-new Airbus 220 economy seat on others. Even when comparing two competing airlines using the same aircraft, cabin interiors and seat configuration can differ dramatically. Airlines are given options, when ordering aircrafts, much like you are given options by your car dealership when purchasing a car. Depending on what they have put on their order, you will end up with a different product. Same can be said on the seat designing companies that airlines will source whom can vary in quality and design and will have a direct impact on the comfort offered, especially in premium cabins.
These factors contribute significantly to making the passenger experience a lot more pleasant. Newer aircrafts tend to make less noise, have mood lighting, larger windows and well- planned cabin stowage compartments that will enhance your onboard experience too.
Best Seats, Business and First-Class products
The definition of a best seat varies depending on each person. For a very tall person, it may mean as much leg room as possible and for a busines man it may be the seat closest to the front of the aircraft that will allow a quick exit upon arrival. Every preference is unique but there is more than meets the eye when it comes to seats onboard since not all seats are created equal!
Economy class seating
Compare your options in economy riding a Boeing 787 vs an Airbus 350 on long haul flights.
A travel concierge will keep an eye open on the available aircrafts and would let you know about your better options between a Boeing 787 and its rival, the Airbus 350.
The A350 is a quieter aircraft that will allow you to sleep better, and it also has a wider cabin. Its biggest rival, the Boeing 787 can only offer an economy seat of 17 “vs the 18” of seat width offered on many the A350. Because the structure of the A350 is built wider, it can offer this extra inch per seat in the economy cabin. Now, an inch may not seem very much to some, but on a 19-hour flight from New York to Singapore in economy, most will find that every inch counts.
One of the worlds award winning best business class is Qatar Airways’ “Q Suite”. It offers a lot, but one may be disappointed if they were suddenly not experiencing the product they expected with the privacy of the sliding door and the stitched leather seat. They would further be disappointed if they found themselves in a business class seat with a neighbour who they would need to climb over when their seat is reclined in order to access the aisle.
A travel concierge knows that airlines operate different aircrafts and update their premium products on their fleets over a number of years. Your flight from Montreal to Sydney, Australia with a stopover in Doha may operate on an aircraft with the “old” business class vs the “new” or maybe has a mix of both. Both products are far more comfortable than economy, but a travel concierge would be able to spot the difference just by looking at a seat map and would let you know what to expect and perhaps steer you towards better business class products with a competitor before you book.
Swiss airlines have what is known as “throne” seats in their business cabins on certain aircrafts and routes. The “throne” seat offers a lot more privacy and a travel concierge would also be able to spot them on a seat map and let you know that the seat is your best option. The travel concierge would also be able to point out which business class lounges would be the best to enjoy an outdoor view of the tarmac spotting planes with the provided binoculars while sipping on a red wine and sampling Gruyere cheese at the Zurich airport.
Diving deeper into their knowledge of premium class experiences, a travel concierge would also know which First Class experiences are hot and those that are not. Some ground experiences such as Lufthansa’s private First Class terminal (yes we said terminal not lounge) in Frankfurt and the private Porsche transfer to your aircraft on the tarmac is part of the innate knowledge an experienced travel concierge would have. They would also know that flying First Class in the nose of a 747-800 with Lufthansa is a much more thrilling and up to date experience than what they have on offer with their A340 aircraft. And, if you wanted to experience all this, using miles you thought would never serve a purpose, they would know how make use of them wisely and send you off on a rock star experience of a lifetime!
These are just some examples where a travel concierge may be helpful for you. There are literally hundreds of factors that can come into play when they assess how they can match your needs with the different potential travel experience options that are offered in each market at any given time.
Accommodations, experiences and perks
A travel concierge may not always find you a ‘cheaper’ price but will work to ensure that you are getting the best value. When measured, value can be a significant cost savings and also enhance your travel experience.
A good travel concierge will want to know what credit cards you presently have in your wallet as well as any status you may have with hotels, airlines and car rental companies. In some cases, having status can elevate your hotel or rental car experience and save you money. At other times, you may think you are covered with some of the perks offered by your status or credit card benefit but in fact you may be surprised to learn that you are putting yourself at risk by assuming so since the terms and conditions may have changed.
Premium credit cards will offer insurance policies, car and airline benefits that sounded really good when you signed on and they remain a vague memory in the back of your mind. A travel concierge will comb through all of your benefits and see if any of them can be used during your travels and may also point out benefits you thought you had that are not applicable or no longer applicable.
A travel concierge will have a wide network of contacts in many industries. They know a lot, and when they do not know, they most likely know someone who knows. The leverage they have within their connections and subculture can contribute significantly with elevating your travel experiences in various degrees: 100$ credits to be used during your stay, to free breakfasts or early and late check outs or even jumping queues at airport security and getting private tours at busy museums. Inside knowledge about a destination helps them customise options that match your personality and your expectations. All along the way a travel concierge offers a client centric service approach and is able to fine tune offers to suit your needs.
A travel concierge is there to help you get the best from every aspect of your holiday, including researching destinations, arranging transport, accommodation, connections, and excursions.
In order to keep you safe during your vacation, a travel concierge also researches every step of their customers travel plans. They keep you up to date with changes in travel advisories, breaking news, changes in weather conditions, and what required documents are needed when you arrive at your destination.
They Work Within Your Restrictions
Budget constraints, dietary requirements, specifical travel and accommodation needs, your travel concierge can take care of all of them for you.
Instead of trawling the internet looking through a cluttered tab list of websites, trying to stitch together a holiday that suits your personal situation, you can rely on your travel concierge to book a holiday tailored to your needs.
They will elevate your travel experience and save you money.
One of the common misconceptions about travel concierge is that it is more expensive than arranging your holiday yourself. In fact, travel concierges have a network of connections throughout the travel and accommodation industries that can be used to yield the best rates, conditions and perks. They have access to private fares, public fare and consolidator fares. They also usually have a few tricks up their sleeves and strategize in order to yield value and cost contain.
Booking Your Holidays in 2021
For many people, scheduling a holiday is an investment, both financially and emotionally. This is especially true given the financial and emotional stresses of recent times.
Booking with a travel concierge opens up a massive range of benefits, from lower costs, greater options, reliable support, and professional support in finding you the best options possible.