Shopping Discussion

Flight Centre - pointless? What is the point of this place?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 25th, 2019 1:44 pm
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Jan 30, 2007
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Surrey
TrevorK wrote: The Flight Centre charged me a fee of $35/ticket for flights I booked through them. I had an alert set on the flight and when it went down in price I was nowhere near a computer (and wasn't going to be all night), so I went to the Flight Centre (since I was at the mall) and had them book it. I told them the rates on the web, they confirmed, but ended up charging me a $35 fee (which I was never told of).
Thanks to the reduced (or zero) commissions paid by airlines to travel agencies, there are now booking fees in place. Then again, even airlines charge booking fees often, if you phone in to their call centre. I know Flight Centre was one of the last travel agencies to charge booking fees, though ultimately you can blame the airlines. These days, anyone with any experience with travel agents knows to ask about all fees, although not all travel agents disclose them, with some preferring to hide those charges within the 'fees and taxes' category.

Although I have been disappointed with the way the level of customer service at Flight Centre has gone downhill, I'd not hesitate to use them in the event of a complicated booking, or to find special prices. I do know they saved me some hassles when organising a last minute bereavement trip to Aus some years ago.
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Oct 30, 2006
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Sounds like the OP was more upset that the employees ignored his advances.
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Jan 30, 2007
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Surrey
MrKat wrote: You pay to have a hot babe sit in front of you and punch in numbers on the computer looking for prices for you. So many complaints online about this company.
When you get a large, multinational corporation, you're bound to get a number of complaints, but are they all valid? I doubt it. Then again, looking at the number of customers they have globally, the actual complaint ratio is extremely small. Do I think they're a great company? Not these days, that's for sure. Do I think they're a bad company? Not by any stretch of the imagination, but I certainly would recommend people shop around these days, as I certainly don't give them the complete faith I used to have.

As for your - no validity whatsoever. You were quoted a price in a manner which is consistent with Canadian (and other countries, for that matter) travel industry practice - quote on the actual airfare portion, then add the tax later. Blame your government, since they've done nothing to mandate anything else despite many consumer complaints about the "sticker shock".

It's kinda like how some retailers advertise products for sale at $X (after rebate), then they add shipping and taxes after. Common practice, and it's your responsibility as a consumer to be aware of that and ask for the final price before making any purchasing decisions.
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Oct 22, 2009
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Lethbridge
Lone_Prodigy wrote: Sounds like the OP was more upset that the employees ignored his advances.

Rofl, I came in here to post that very comment.

I’m curious to find out just how many times you asked her if she was a mile-high club member or if you could join. lolol

Anyways, as the other 20 people have posted – Standard practice for the airline business. The $99 advertised price is always minus taxes, prob has 3-4 connections & your arrival/departure date will be at 2am. Isn’t travel great?

Besides, the real scam is within the company where they do things like advertise 40k/yr guaranteed, yet half of it is based on commission you don’t see until the end of the year…that’s if they decide to keep you, and if they don’t b/c your sales weren’t high enough, they can just cut you lose having only paid you the 25k, and withholding the promised “floating” commission amount. All for working 10hr days!

(don’t quote me verbatim please, I’m generalizing from like 10 years ago when I looked into this place outta school)
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
16622 posts
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dekay wrote: You realize that even if you book straight from the internet of the supplier (ie Air Canada Vacations, WestJet Vacations etc.) the price (plus taxes and all) would be the same, right? :facepalm:
I paid a $35/ticket premium for my flights, so no, the price is not necessarily the same.
Newbie
Feb 15, 2019
1 posts
1 upvote
BOOO to flight center. Just booked a holiday, did everything, booked everything, paid for it.... Then they charged each of us an additional $50 as a service fee....

Ah, you wonder why people book online? Yeah cause there is a savings to be had.

I did 4 bookings. Had I known I would have left and done it myself online.

Last time I use flight center.
Newbie
Oct 14, 2011
95 posts
145 upvotes
DUNDAS
I do know a few people who have worked there and I even considered it at one point, but they do price gauge and add on unnecessary fees. All of the agents have to meet their targets in order to get commission, so theyre allowed and encouraged to inflate prices in order to meet their targets
Sr. Member
Nov 12, 2012
566 posts
252 upvotes
Port Moody
I can't even believe Flight Centre still occupies space at the mall. If most of their real business is corporate, they don't need a physical location. I doubt they get much business from walk ins...

I haven't used a travel agent since I booked a sandals honeymoon in 2001...
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Aug 2, 2001
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pokee99 wrote: I can't even believe Flight Centre still occupies space at the mall. If most of their real business is corporate, they don't need a physical location. I doubt they get much business from walk ins...

I haven't used a travel agent since I booked a sandals honeymoon in 2001...
I think you're assuming everyone else is like you, but they are not.

Many people feel more comfortable booking with someone in person who they can talk to face-to-face and might have some experience with destinations, especially when they are new(er) travelers. I do not think Flight Centre (and others like it) are for people who are comfortable booking themselves, they are for people that like a personal touch and need to feel safe while doing the booking. People that want feedback about the destination and to talk it through with someone. For example, I know of someone who used a travel agent for a long road trip so that all their hotels were booked, activities, etc. and in the end they received a binder with everything they needed. Did they pay for this somehow? Absolutely. Would they have been able to do it themselves? No way.

Where the next generation of travel business may be a gig economy idea of people who plan out itineraries for a small fee. Local experts in a specific city that take in your comments and give you stuff to do / places to eat / etc. Like when you hire a local guide - except this person just does a bunch of leg work for you that you don't have time for (or don't want to do).
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4677 posts
4187 upvotes
And why did you just revive an EIGHT YEAR OLD THREAD?

Flight Centre is like Costco. Some people just "assume" that they ALWAYS have the best prices, so they blindly go there for all their travel needs.
Everybody knows Costco isn't always the cheapest place, but some will blindly go there for all their grocery needs.... same thing.

There will always be a need for bricks-and-mortar, face-to-face travel agencies just like there will always be bricks-and-mortar, face-to-face retail. Not everybody wants to blindly order everything online. @TrevorK explained it best.

Worth noting that one of the original complaints in this thread no longer applies, as the law changed since then (for good reason). Flight Centre (et al) can no longer pitch, say, $99 RT flight to Las Vegas and then in the fine print, +$400 in taxes and fees. They have to advertise it as a $499 flight. This was a change that was LONG overdue and I'm sure took a lot of wind out of Flight Centre's sails...
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Oct 22, 2007
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London
TrevorK wrote: Where the next generation of travel business may be a gig economy idea of people who plan out itineraries for a small fee. Local experts in a specific city that take in your comments and give you stuff to do / places to eat / etc. Like when you hire a local guide - except this person just does a bunch of leg work for you that you don't have time for (or don't want to do).
There are people that do this for Disney vacations.
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Nov 13, 2010
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Scarborough
Buy direct from airline or from reputable/established travel agent/agency which has offices.

places like these (flighthub,flightcentre etc) are a pain to deal with when something goes wrong with booking or alterations needed.
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Jan 3, 2014
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Vancouver(ish)
apnayloags wrote: Buy direct from airline or from reputable/established travel agent/agency which has offices.

places like these (flighthub,flightcentre etc) are a pain to deal with when something goes wrong with booking or alterations needed.
You should do your research.

Necro thread aside, Flight Center is over 30 years old and has well established offices. I can't speak to the others because I've never dealt with those.
Proud RFD member since January 31, 2007. Feel free to add 3,034 to my post count.
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Oct 22, 2007
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London
TrevorK wrote: Seems neat - is this the sort of service you're referring to?
https://www.flipflopweekend.com/hire-a- ... vel-agent/

From the link it even sounds like their services are free (to the customer).
Some are free, some charge. Some book everything through Dizney, so they get a kickback from the mouse. Some have their own inventory of rooms from DVC and resell them.

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