Letter: Travel agents trying to ease travelers' pain (Gazette)


With the advent of the internet, followed by the onslaught of online travel booking sites, travel information and ways to book have become ubiquitous.

While that may make travel planning appear easier and more fair, it’s become more cumbersome and divides our buying power, ineffectual to enforce consumer rights.

As a result, air travel is among the biggest pain points and cause of skepticism among consumers, due to airline mergers, code shares and dense fine print. In the American Society of Travel Agents’ 2017 How America Travels study, “Americans overwhelmingly support with 70% to requiring airlines to advertise the full price for a passenger and not hide airline surcharges and government taxes in hyperlinks or fine print.”

On May 8, the American Society of Travel Agents, and hundreds of travel advisers like myself, are headed to Capitol Hill to put our weight behind advocating for our clients, the travelers. Our job is to deconstruct those wordy legal documents written to confuse the consumer that allow laws to pass under Americans’ noses.

Personally, I’m pleased to see a resurgence of agents, and the need for real travel expertise, just like an accountant for tax season. As a travel adviser, I find clients exhausted by the time they’ve reached me. It’s unfortunate, since we’re the first line of defense and offer many services that save time and money.

When it comes to limited vacation days and investment of hundreds or thousands of dollars, it makes sense to use a professional.

Michele Cartwright

Destinations by Design


Funerals for Monday, January 27, 2020

Davis, Valerie - 11 a.m., Cunningham Memorial Park, St. Albans.

Hamrick, Leonard - 1 p.m., Waters Funeral Chapel, Summersville.

Hughes Jr., Denver - 1 p.m., Curry Funeral Home, Alum Creek.

Keen, Cora - 2 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.

Lazear, Elizabeth - 7 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Masters, Delores - 1 p.m., Glen Ferris Apostolic Church, Glen Ferris.

Milroy, Miller - 11 a.m., Simons-Coleman Funeral Home, Richwood.

Petro, Edith - 11 a.m., Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Phelps, Herbert - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Stanley, Gary - 1 p.m., Pryor Funeral Home, East Bank.

Stewart, Donna - 1 p.m., First United Methodist Church, South Charleston.

Walker, Iva - 1 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Wilkinson, Catharine - Noon, Raynes Funeral Home, Eleanor Chapel.

Williams, Joseph - 3 p.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes.