When online booking first became a ‘thing’, everybody and his brother had reason after reason to book with a mouse or trackpad. The convenience and potential for savings, of course, were the two biggest draws for the consumer. A great deal on a hotel or airfare will certainly get us tapping the keyboard. We’ve come to realize, however, that talking to other humans is still a good thing – plus, it can save money and stress. Don’t believe us? Keep reading, you’ll see.
1: That hammering sound may not be a headache. Booking a hotel room online is convenient, but that travel website doesn’t know if there is construction going on. If you do a bit of digging, you may find a review that says something about ongoing construction at the hotel or someplace nearby, but if you call the hotel to book your room, you can ask. Save yourself the headache.
2: As romantic as a class trip. You’ve found a great rate online at a beautiful hotel. You and your significant other are planning a week-long getaway full of quiet times and love. Unfortunately, you didn’t call the hotel, so you didn’t know there is a high school senior class taking advantage of that great rate and staying just down the hall, in both directions.
3: What a beautiful parking lot. Ever seen an option online to pick the view from your hotel room? Our guess is, not as often as you’ve had a terrible view from your window. Call someone. “Can I get a top-floor room with a view of the beach?” “Certainly, ma’am.”
4: Do you want every option? If so, you’ll need to look online and then call around. No travel site shows options for every airline, and some budget carriers are rarely listed at all. Most travel sites don’t show all of the lodging options for an area either. Small, privately owned inns and bed-and-breakfasts rarely make the list.
5: Are you calling us from an iPhone? We will probably never know, but if you’re booking online via Mac, bargain sites will show you more expensive options first. That’s right. Mac users generally spend more on hotel and airline bookings. As a result, travel websites show them the high-dollar options first.
6: You want a guaranteed reservation. Chances are you’re not going to get one online. Airline and hotel computer systems update their own listings. Third-party providers get their information second-hand, via these websites. They are also susceptible to software errors. The result; they are behind in knowing exactly what’s available. So, keep checking for that confirmation email, but remember; if the front desk clerk at the hotel says you have a room, you have a room.
Of course, we’re not suggesting that booking online is always a bad idea. In fact, our next blog will be reasons TO book online. Each method has its merits and flaws. Can you think of any more reasons to book a hotel or flight in person? Let us know about them in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter.