For hard-core travelers, only one kind of airline ticket will do

Written by admin on March 19, 2009 – 8:34 pm -

Let’s face it: These days, most people are cutting back on travel costs. But if you’re conducting business, there are times when you have no choice but to bite the bullet and go.

This is especially true if you’re dealing with clients or suppliers in foreign countries where you must press the flesh to get a deal done.

Frequently, it’s less expensive to purchase Around the World (RTW) tickets rather than going from here to there. Some road warriors have more than one open ticket going simultaneously. Thank goodness I don’t need to do that type of travel, but I fully admit to being a get up and go travel addict and love to visit old and new places.

I’ve finally found a savior and have delegated the worries to them. I was especially glad when I went to Asia this past December and the airport in Bangkok was closed. I had to be rerouted and rerouted again. Imperial American Express Travel Services was on the ball and sent me emails (as well as calling) to ensure I wasn’t going to be stranded. If I had been planning the logistics myself, I would have been a nervous wreck. As it was, it was only inconvenient. But hey, I wouldn’t have seen Singapore if something hadn’t gone awry.

Imperial American Express Travel Services is based in Canada, which gives them a definite advantage over U.S. agencies. What I learned is that if an Around the World trip originates in a county that costs less, most tickets are required to be raised to the (higher) U.S fare. For some reason, and I’m not going to refute it, Canada is the exception.

People taking long haul flights would rather travel business class or first class, and you can’t blame them if they’re going to be spending hours in route.

The airlines (with their partners) can and do offer RTW trips. But each time I’ve tried to book one, I’ve never been able to find the best price if I’ve wanted to make any detours. Unless you’re really savvy and have a slide rule coupled with a computer for a brain, you can spend not just hours, but days, planning the air portion. This agency has managed to ticket me in business class for less than coach class would have cost had I been doing the travel planning myself.

When friends and family inquire how I afford to indulge in my passion for travel, I advise them to access Imperial American Express Travel Service’s site and specify their itinerary needs.  With all of the promotions, advanced purchase requirements and rebate stipulations, there’s no way I can possibly compete with these pros. They have had the pleasure of planning four trips for me. If they can survive my constant emails, they deserve to be nominated for sainthood.

I’d much rather book the hotels where I want to stay, the sights I want to see and leave the air details to a company that has resources I simply don’t and will never have.

Karen Fawcett is president of BonjourParis.

Editor’s note: is an online agency that specialized in RTW tickets. It might be another option.

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Posted in Consumer Traveler |