SOURCE: McGeary's Travel

June 10, 2010 15:42 ET

Travel Agents at McGeary's Travel Can Save the Sanity of Travelers When Chaos Occurs

ALBANY, NY--(Marketwire - June 10, 2010) -  If you're stranded in a foreign country, looking to your discount travel website for help is about as useful as, well, talking to a garden gnome. When the road gets rough, a travel agent can help you reschedule if necessary, offer options and get back home faster and less expensively than any on-line, faceless website.

"Just ask the many travelers who were stuck in Europe during the volcanic eruption in Iceland this past April," said Cindy McKeehan, owner of McGeary's Travel in Albany.

"I had a frantic call from a client visiting London," McKeehan said. "He couldn't reach the airline by phone, and of course the whole airport was in chaos."

"While others were left to camp out at Heathrow, I had my client booked at his original hotel and got him on a flight through our computer as soon as airlines opened up again. In the meantime, he had a few extra enjoyable days in the heart of London," she said.

Agents can also provide other travel options. If you are stranded in Paris for example, your agent could book new flights and arrange transportation to an open city like Madrid or Rome.

Even the New York Times' Practical Traveler points out that having a travel agent in your corner can make all the difference in the world.

McKeehan said that it's not just volcanoes that can cause havoc with your travel plans. Hurricanes, snowstorms, and other bad weather can quickly ground you. Internationally, political unrest or other factors may also cause problems. If you're out of the country and your reservation is lost or canceled for any reason, you could be out of luck.

"Traveling outside the U.S. is normally safe, but when things go wrong, it can be difficult to get them back on track," McKeehan said. "Things like the language barrier and different rules and customs don't help either. It's nice to have someone back home you can call as a lifeline."

McKeehan said that travel agents also provide other invaluable services. An online booking company may not tell you about certain visas or travel restrictions including the latest carry-on restrictions. Agents can also find you the best hotel rates (in the safe areas of town), car rentals, and extras like tours and theatre tickets. In some cases they can even recommend a great restaurant first hand.

Although some deals can be found through online discount companies, travel agents can often find the same rates or better.

"Online companies like to make you think they have some sort of inside deal," McKeehan said. "That's not the case. And when you start adding up the hidden fees and other extras, you're not saving much, if anything."

"Besides, it's all about personal service. A travel agent will get you the best deals anyway, and you don't have to waste time bargain hunting. If something does go wrong, we have you covered there too."

About McGeary's Travel
Travel globally, book locally. Since 1991, McGeary's Travel in Albany, NY has specialized in travel packages that show you the globe, from NYC shopping sprees to Zanzibar's warm beach breeze. McGeary's website offers weekly specials on cruises, vacation packages, and group travel offers. With McGeary's knowledgeable travel agents, travelers get the best of both worlds: great deals and personalized service that never leaves them stranded.

For more information, please visit www.mcgearystravel.com or call (518) 436-3411. For press inquiries, please contact Joanne DiFrancesco, JDCommunications, Inc., (781) 828-0323.

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