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Monday, July 15, 2013

TRAVEL PLANNING

BRYCE ON TRAVEL

- I resent being turned into a travel agent.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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As we all know, travel has become a big headache. What was once considered an enjoyable part of business life is now looked upon with disdain. Today, travel planning is maybe just as difficult as the actual trip itself. In the old days, you would call either an in-house group or an independent travel agency to make arrangements. Actually, it was a rather painless process, but thanks to the Internet, we have all been turned into travel agents, and for some reason I liked it better the other way around.

I've booked reservations on the airlines, cruise lines, and hotels in the past with little difficulty, but it was only recently that I tried the on-line discount travel agencies (such as Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc.) but I cannot say I was pleased with the results. To illustrate, I was planning a trip up to New York City with my family; I had no problem picking an airline and hotel separately, but trying to find a combined discounted package presented me no end of grief. True, I could find some great rates, but I had trouble trying to find a flight that could accommodate my schedule or a room to suit my requirements. The combinations were simply overwhelming and difficult to wade through.

Wanting to know more about one package combination, I telephoned one of the agencies and spoke to a young person who could competently describe how to process orders on their site, but couldn't answer my travel questions effectively. I came to the conclusion that trying to call the agencies was a colossal waste of time as they most likely want us to deal with a machine as opposed to a human being. I got the feeling there was only one guy working at the agency who was responsible for the care and feeding of the computers, dusting, and to occasionally answer the phone (I think the owners are located on an island somewhere in the South Pacific).

What we have here is another example of how technology complicates our life as opposed to helping it. What was once a relatively painless task has become laborious, particularly for those who do not know how to use a computer or the Internet.

Next up, finding tickets for a Broadway show on the Internet. Oh God, does it ever end?

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  GROCERY SHOPPING IS CHANGING - Another instance of how technology is altering our lives.

LAST TIME:  HEATED POLITICAL DEBATES - If you think political fighting is bad now, you don't know your history.

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