A trusted travel agent is the equivalent of having a personal trainer and the era of spending hours online to try and save a fiver is well and truly over.
That's the view of a former boss of an online agency who says the UK is following trends he witnessed in the US.
In an interview with Travel Weekly John Bevan said: 'Go to the US and talk to people, even young people, about booking travel and they will say 'I get my agent to do that'. It's the equivalent of having a personal trainer.
'Travel agents are doing amazing business, it's incredible. A lot is driven by all the noise on the web. People don't have the time to sift through the options.'
Sadly, there are now fewer skilled travel experts in the UK than before the giant, mostly American, online travel companies cut prices and hoovered up their customers. But profit seems to have taken precedence over service.
It's clear from Trust Pilot reviews that the reason many travellers are rediscovering the benefits of using a travel manager is simply disappointment with booking online and poor complaint handling by their overseas call centres.
At DialAFlight we have never stopped believing that service is the key to running a successful business and we applaud all those customers who have remained loyal for so many years and appreciate the difference that a highly experienced travel team can make.
TV's Apprentice guru and First Lady of Football Karren Brady loves Hong Kong and doesn't like going anywhere without British Airways
What do you need for a perfect holiday? The first thing is to escape from my diary. I normally work six days a week from 8am to 10pm. On holiday I don't want any plans or structure. If I want to wake up at lunchtime and have breakfast for dinner, then I will. I can never fully switch off given my work, but lying on a beach replying to a few emails on my mobile is better than being stuck in an office.
Your first holiday memories? As a child it was always a tale of two cities, either to a caravan at Clacton-on-Sea with my nan or visiting the Italian side of my family with my other nan in Sicily and Rimini. It was quite a contrast, but both were equally magical.
Which is your favourite city? Hong Kong won me over when I travelled there around 10 years ago with my best friend who was born there. It was my best trip without the family. We stayed at the beautiful Four Seasons and took in a mixture of sightseeing, shopping and eating. You must try the fabulous bar there called Aqua - it has the most breathtaking panoramic views.
What was your best ever holiday? I was left in tears after a hotel stay in Mauritius at Le Touessrok, which was the best family holiday we have ever had. My children were still at an age when they were doing what they were told and wanted to go on holiday with mummy and daddy. I actually cried when I left. We hired a villa and the service, the food and the weather were fantastic and I loved spending quality time with them.
Anywhere you didn't like? I found Las Vegas quite a sad place and I wasn't impressed. It's meant to be a great fun city but all I saw were people with elasticated trousers sitting in a dark room all day putting coins in slot machines. It just wasn't for me. If I'm going to spend money I'd rather it be on a fabulous destination or food, not gambling.
What's your favourite airline? I always feel at home on a British Airways flight. I like the service and they're reliable - so if BA don't go there, I won't either. It's important to enjoy the journey, not just the destination. Your holiday should start the minute you get to the airport and that's down to going with a really good agent or tour operator and a really good airline.
Your holiday plans for the future? I want to be adventurous and travel to more off-the-beaten track places. I'm turning 50 next year and I'd love to plan a once-in-lifetime trip, maybe a cruise taking in Vietnam and the rest of Asia.
A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot
I've been using DialAFlight for some years now and I've always had the best service, advice and customer experience. I can call them from anywhere in the world for flights and hotels (which I have done) and I will always get exactly what I'm looking for. Peace of mind that everything is taken care of is a massive priority for me when travelling, especially for business and I've had that without fail from the team who look after me. One person in particular, Hayley, is a super star! I really do appreciate how well I'm looked after by the DialAFlight team.Adil Reza gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot. Sparkling footnote: Adil's name was pulled out of the hat in our monthly Trustpilot draw and a case of Prosecco is on its way.
I have used DialAFlight for nearly 20 years and won't use anyone else. Their service is reliable and they always get me the best deals. They really make you feel like a valued customer and their customer care is fantastic. I always have and will continue to recommend them to anyone I hear looking to book a holiday.Cindy Dean gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.
On two occasions now DialAFlight have organised flights to the USA and car hire for me. I have mostly worked with Gordon, who if unavailable is supported by willing colleagues. Nothing is too much trouble. Service is swift and accurate. This year I had to make outward and return date changes and change passenger names. These can be difficult to do without very significant costs and Gordon was able to make the problem go away for me with great efficiency. I would not hesitate to recommend DialAFlight.David Kelly gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.
I have used DialAFlight several times over the years, but this time, Simon's customer service was exemplary. He found me flights and a car at a great price, and kept me informed every step of the way. Thanks to him we made it to a family wedding in Savannah, without breaking the bank! The car hire was great, good package with fuel included, no messing about having to refill before return, and up on arrival we got a free upgrade to SUV which was a bonus. Well done to Simon and I wouldn't hesitate to contact him for any future travel needs I have!Sue Brabon gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.
I would have no reservations in booking my next flight with DialAFlight. Donovan was great in keeping me updated with information about my very complicated trip to Australia and when we had an issue with passport control, there was someone at the other end ready to sort out our problem - on a Good Friday about 7pm!Marje gave DialAFlight 5 stars on Trustpilot.