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It's official. Travel agents are the new status symbol.

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.

Our top 6 money savers you can't afford to miss

  • Family thrills in Dubai - Kids stay FREE
  • Save 40% at Lux Bodrum Resort
  • Save 50% at Treasure Beach, Barbados
  • 2 weeks of Disney fun with -
    FREE Disney dining worth £500
  • 3 Jewels of South America - Save 10%
  • Save over £2600 at JA Manafaru Maldives

My best holiday ever

Karren Brady loves Hong Kong and doesn't like going anywhere without BA...

What people are saying

A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot

10 top things you didn't know last month

  1. 1. Club 18-30. A hangover from a different era?

    We hear that Thomas Cook is planning to ditch Club 18-30 which is known for cheap holidays full of fun, sex and ridiculous amounts of alcohol. They claim millennials are now favouring holidays showing them in a better light on social media with 'passed out drunk' photos no longer the look they are going for. We are sure this will be surprising news to the residents of Ayia Napa, Malia and Magaluf who claim that the numbers are increasing and the behaviour getting worse.
  2. 2. Keep hold of that passport

    More and more travellers are having their carry-on bags taken off them at the gate as airlines struggle with limited space in the overhead cabins before take-off. But the change in routine is catching out some people who then find themselves at passport control at their destination with no way of retrieving their documentation. Passengers have been warned to keep their passports with them on flights when their bags are put in the hold at the last minute, or face lengthy delays at border control.
  3. 3. On-the-spot fines for airport drunks

    Drunken passengers could be hit with on-the-spot fines at airports in a bid to crackdown on air rage. Ministers are said to be considering the measure after alcohol was found to be the biggest cause of trouble on flights. More than one in six people who have flown in the past three years have witnessed aggressive or drunken behaviour on board, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. Now a government report has set out a range of proposals to curb excessive drinking before and during flights as part of its Aviation Strategy. Among other suggestions are selling duty-free booze in sealed bags to reduce the likelihood of passengers drinking it on flights, introducing tougher penalties for those drunk on flights and overhauling the licensing laws for airside premises.
  4. 4. China switches to online visas

    China is no longer accepting handwritten visa applications as the country makes a historic switch to a digital entry system. Previously, nearly all applications to visit the Asian nation were filled in by hand, but the Chinese government has said that from now on all submissions must be completed online. A spokesman for China holiday specialist Wendy Wu said the shift would be problematic for customers, which is why the tour operator has developed its own pre-filled online form to help travellers cope with the change.
  5. 5. Time limit at the Taj

    Overcrowding at famous landmarks has spurred Indian authorities to impose a three-hour limit on visiting the Taj Mahal, one of the world's most famous buildings. As many as 50,000 people a day and up to seven million a year, can arrive at the 17th century tomb, according to the Archaeological Survey of India which manages the Unesco World Heritage site in Agra. The new limit is being implemented so that the movement of visitors can be regulated. Up to now, some people have been spending a whole day at the Taj.
  6. 6. Just popping down to the hold for a nap!

    Airbus, Europe's biggest aircraft manufacturer, has announced plans to turn plane cargo holds into sleeping and relaxation areas for passengers. The firm has joined with Zodiac Aerospace, an aviation equipment supplier, to create the concept, which could give economy-class fliers the chance to swap cramped seating for capsule-style beds and sofas - or pass the time at work desks or in children's play areas. Passengers would not be allowed to access the area during take-off or landing, and the beds would be housed in removeable modules that could be interchanged with ordinary cargo containers.
  7. 7. Plenty of space at this hotel

    In one giant leap for luxury travel, an American entrepreneur has launched plans to build the first hotel in space - and reservations are now being taken. For £56,500, would-be astronauts can join the waiting list for the Aurora Station, a modular space station being developed by Houston-based company Orion Span. The hotel is expected to welcome its first guests in 2022 (although the hefty deposit is fully refundable should plans be put on hold). Prices will start at £6.7million per person for a 12 day stay in zero gravity, orbiting 200 miles above Earth.
  8. 8. £4 million waiting to be claimed

    More than £4 million is compensation for delayed or cancelled flights is currently owed to air passengers in Britain, according to new figures. Data from the Registry Trust online shows that travellers are missing out or giving up on obtaining the money due to them under EU law, with Thomson owing the most (2.4 million). "We know that each year eight million air passengers are entitled to compensation for delayed, cancelled or over-booked flights, but only two per cent will go on to file a claim," said a spokesman for the flight compensation website AirHelp.
  9. 9. Taking a toll on drivers in the US

    Holidaymakers planning an American road trip are in danger of becoming victims of a new highway charge in states that have removed traditional toll booths, including the popular destinations of California, Florida and Colorado, replacing them with electronic sensors. Car-hire companies are offering clients the option of hiring a transponder that pays tolls automatically, but the costs can be high, with daily fees due even when the device is not used. Travellers are being advised to contact the relevant highway authority in advance for the best way to avoid the car hire charges, such as by buying your own transponder.
  10. 10. There could be fewer Cooks at SeaWorld

    Thomas Cook could stop selling tickets to SeaWorld after the popular Orlando water park failed an animal welfare check. The UK tour operator has given the controversial Florida attraction three months to fix an unknown issue that raised concerns after an Abta-supported inspection of the park. SeaWorld, which also has parks in San Diego, California and San Antonio, Texas, said it had received a "good score" and that the audit process is ongoing. Losing Thomas Cook would be a major blow to the animal attraction which has seen attendances fall in recent years.

Offers

  1. Family thrills in Dubai - Kids stay FREE

    Part Polynesian escape, part Dubai super hotel, Lapita at Dubai Parks is perfectly placed for taking in Motiongate, Legoland, Legoland Waterpark and all the other attractions at Dubai Parks - all with skip-the-queues access. The hotel also has its very own attractions from the Ola Spa and Maria Fitness Centre to a pool zone featuring a family pool, kids' pool and Lazy River. Save £450 on a 3 night stay in a Deluxe Pool View room. Plus up to 2 kids can share the room with adults for FREE. 3 nights from £615pp including flights with Emirates. Valid 1 - 27 Sep.
  2. Save 40% at Lux Bodrum Resort

    Facing the breathtaking Aegean Sea, LUX* Bodrum Resort & Residences offers a stylish escape on a beautiful private beach. Enjoy a huge choice of activities during your stay including golf, windsurfing, tennis, fishing and snorkelling or simply relax by the stunning pool. Our offer includes a 40% saving in a Seafront Room with flights included all from £629pp for a 7 night stay. Valid 1 - 23 Oct.
  3. Save 50% at Treasure Beach, Barbados

    With sensational palm-fringed beaches, a laid back vibe and world-class hotels, it's no wonder that Barbados is high on many people's holiday hotlist. Add to this savings of 50% at the newly refurbished Treasure Beach hotel and it's hard to think of a reason not to go. Shrouded by tropical gardens, this all suite luxury hotel is an intimate adults-only retreat, made extra special with memorable nights dining under the stars and care-free afternoons by the beautiful pool. Stay 7 nights in a One Bedroom Suite and fly with British Airways all from £999pp when you travel 1 Sep - 12 Oct.
  4. 2 weeks of Disney fun with FREE Disney dining worth £500

    Bright Calypso colours, thirty-foot cowboy boots, an over sized neon lit juke box, and piano and guitar shaped pools are all part of the theme at Disney's All Star Music Resort. Enjoy all the magic of Disney for 2 weeks staying at this fun-filled resort. Included in the price are half price 14 day Disney passes, free Disney dining worth £500 and a free memory maker worth $199. Flights are also included all from £1185pp when you travel 29 Sep - 12 Oct. Ask about upgrading to one of Disney's 4 or 5 star properties.
  5. 3 Jewels of South America- Save 10%

    For the ultimate bucket list trip of South America head to Rio, Iguassu and Buenos Aires on this 8 night tour. Starting in Rio, you'll have three nights to take in the city's iconic sights including Sugarloaf Mountain, The Statue of Christ and the city's famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. Next it's on to spectacular Iguassu Falls before finishing off with 3 nights in the Argentinean city of Buenos Aires. Discover the magnificent Northern Quarters, Palermo and take in the beauty of the city's parks and buildings. We include a total of 8 nights accommodation with daily breakfast, the services of a guide, transportation and international flights with British Airways from £1745pp. Valid 1 Oct - 30 Nov.
  6. Save over £2600 at JA Manafaru Maldives

    Set amid 14 hectares of pure bliss, this Maldives resort is nestled on the northern tip of Haa Alif Atoll - promising the most stylish of island living. Lush vegetation shoots up between beach-side abodes that lead onto powdery sands with the glistening Indian Ocean lapping gently beyond. Well positioned for water sports, activities on dry land or simply being away from it all, this ocean retreat is well worth the trip. 7 nights in a Beach Bungalow with Private Pool including seaplane transfers and flights with Qatar Airways from £2369pp. Valid 15 May - 21 Sep.

My Favourite Holiday

Karren Brady is planning a once-in-lifetime trip with BA

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.

For the full interview see Telegraph online

What people are saying

A selection of customer comments from Trustpilot

  • Years of great service from DialAFlight

    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.
  • Would recommend to anyone

    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.
  • Like having your own PA

    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.
  • Exemplary customer service

    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.
  • Always on hand

    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.

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