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Benefits of booking with a US agent

Discussion in 'Resorts, Hotels, DVC, Villas' started by Vikki, Aug 3, 2014.

  1. Vikki
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    Vikki Serious Forum Regular

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    For our October 2015/August 2016 trip we're considering booking with a US agent. Wondering if anyone who's done this from the UK can tell me what the benefits are as opposed to booking with Disney UK. We are going to have an AP and do not want the dining plan. In October we're going to stay wherever the cheapest onsite resort is, and in august we may do a week at a value, one at a mod, and one at a deluxe.
     
  2. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    OK so to start off with as you know, Johnie on here is a US Agent and can give you some good advice.

    So that having been said, uk v us.

    I guess the main differences are the offers, the currency and sometimes the cancellation terms.

    I generally find that the UK disney prices are better than the US ones. Not *always* and sometimes it's the other way round just to be confusing :) but once I add the £ conversion AND the tax to the US prices, often the UK ones turn out better.

    Then again, a good US Agent will do whatever they can for you in terms of discount. Member of the AA in UK? you'll get an AAA discount often in the US and that one is hard to book if you do on your own but a US agent should be able to get it for you easily (if available). AP discount etc too. although AP discounts are easy to book for yourself too. but again a good agent will be on the phone for you when the AP discounts are released and transfer your reservation to an AP discounted one if possible.

    Obviously the currency conversion rate changes over time and that's a risk but at the moment we're doing really well so you could pay it off whilst the rate is good or buy US $ for savings.

    The other thing is sometimes the UK terms can be more restrictive in terms of cancellation and when you can do it, The US ones tend to let you cancel a lot closer to the actual booking (again dependent on package terms).

    Finally, it's very easy to book with a US agent. Any concerns about currency or worries about the reservation etc shouldn't be an issue. Every time I've done it I've immediately received my reservation numbers and so on... I get to the hotel and pay the balance so it's not like because they're in the US you won't hear anything until you get there and find it's not reserved :/

    Finally I would just say that you can compare the prices yourself by going to the US disney site even though they tend to try and force you back to the UK one. You just need to select "international US site" from the bottom of the disney site and you can check out the prices to see whether uk or us would be better for your dates :)
     
  3. Vikki
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    Vikki Serious Forum Regular

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    Thanks for that Keith, we're so used to doing it on our own! There seems to be a lot more flexibility to change with a US agent.
     
  4. MystikPiglit
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    MystikPiglit Peace, Love and Mickey Mouse

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    I shall follow your progress with interest, Vikki. I had considered this for my next trip.
     
  5. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I know I keep on saying " a good agent" but you really have to find someone you get on with and for whom nothing's too much trouble. THEN they're worth their weight in gold :) I've had positive and not so much experiences really. I'm a bit OTT with making sure everything is exactly right and some just get fed up with me which is fine :lol: but then you get the others who are themselves totally OCD about the details and they'll tend to email ME about new offers and things before I even know about them.

    Johnie has booked loads for me and I know she's hurried back to get on the phone to try and get some weird reservation that I've decided I wanted at some stupid time :lol:
     
  6. Vikki
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    Vikki Serious Forum Regular

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    I've had someone recommended to me by a friend that's used her for years, and she actually seems really nice.
     
  7. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    That's the main thing IMHO, you really need to know your agent and get on well with them.

    I've had a few that have frustrated me no end and I've had to just stop using them. I'm sure they weren't bad, just not right for how I plan
     
  8. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    I cannot echo Keith's comments strongly enough, especially with regard to your choice of US agent. I once (several years ago) used an agent who seemed to be well recommended.

    Horrible, terrible service, and I'll (needless to say) never use that agent again (yes, still in business). It really is all about the fit, whether the person will listen, will care, and will work to make your holiday the very best it can be, regardless of any other factor at all!
     
  9. Oreo
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    I thought with the internet, agents were on the way out but it seems a good disney expert agent are still worth their weight in gold.

    I didn't realise those from the UK could use US based agents as well.
     
  10. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    yeah I mean it's easier to book yourself than ever before that's true and with my disney experience etc it's easier to book your own adrs too. Still, sometimes there's no substitute for someone knowledgeable who's on the phone every day and looking out for you :)

    yeah :) and can book directly via the US site as well if need be. Ive often done that
     
  11. MystikPiglit
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    MystikPiglit Peace, Love and Mickey Mouse

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    If a US agent is used would a UKer still be covered if anything went wrong?
     
  12. Vikki
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    Vikki Serious Forum Regular

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    Hadn't thought of that.
     
  13. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    kinda depends really :/

    As a UKer if you book a package holiday then you have various protections for stuff bought from UK package companies
    http://abta.com/go-travel/before-you-travel/travel-tips/financial-protection

    now, if you book directly with the airlines my understanding is you don't get ATOL either :/ so the more DIY you do things, the less protection you have although of course you DO have a certain amount of protection if you book the entire thing using credit card.

    I think the same should really be true if you book via a US agent. They may, or may not, have some insurance themselves but if you book by credit card, you have that too.

    I think if I were booking a whole package, I'd want to use a UK ABTA approved place... if Im diying and it's between me booking a hotel direct or a US agent doing it, not sure there's any real advantage coverwise either way.
     
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