Hobbit Travel customers are left in the lurch

  • Article by: SUZANNE ZIEGLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 23, 2009 - 11:16 PM

The agency's closing is a storm of its own for customers trying to work through airlines, cruise lines and credit card companies on their own.

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gargoyle999Dec. 23, 09 9:24 PM

I've been on several cruises and use a TA for them. Any actual charges for the deposit and final payment come directly from the cruise line, not the TA. I'd never use a TA that billed me direct with the "promise" to send the money on to the travel provider.

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sully_mnDec. 23, 09 9:26 PM

Who knew?

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cags777Dec. 23, 09 9:29 PM

I had a friend of mine who worked at Hobbit. My friend said they had a difficult time issuing checks to pay their travel agents. Not a good sign for things to come.

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ZombiehunterDec. 23, 09 9:29 PM

Why would anyone use these? It's easy to find the best prices on your own, especially when using consolidator sites and using a credit card that has TRIP INSURANCE.

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raineyrooDec. 23, 09 9:47 PM

Actually, travel agents are still pretty beneficial. On occasion I've been able to either get slightly better prices from one of the T/A's that I used versus any of the internet sites. Try getting some moron at some online site's call center to reschedule your trip that was planned months in advance to Palm Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines after US Airways overbooked the 1st of a two stop flight. I would never use an online site again for any trip to a exotic or an off the beaten path trip. Sure, I use them all the time when my wife and I go to Sonoma or Miami. They really cannot screw those ones up.

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ssmateDec. 23, 09 9:51 PM

Why doesn't George himself help these people. He's made a lot of money over the years I suspect and now when times are tough he refers his customers to his website to sort out this mess. Travel agents are a thing of the past. However, if they do get financing, why would anyone go back to Hobbit Travel ever again after leaving thier customers to face these difficult tasks by themselves. Good Luck.

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silverisletDec. 23, 09 9:52 PM

I travel for business frequently, and always use a travel agent. For the nominal fee that is charged, I get immediate service in the event of a canceled flight, change in plans, or whatever situation arises. While others are standing in line, calling a website (good luck with that), or stuck in the airport for hours on end, I am generally on the next flight. My (and my businesses') time is worth far more than saving a few bucks. You can buy a car online cheaper too, but that doesn't necessarily make it a good idea...

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matty4773Dec. 23, 09 9:57 PM

if it was purchased on a credit card they will get their money back since they hold the funds till the vacation occures. If people purchased on a debit card they are out of luck

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ssmateDec. 23, 0910:00 PM

and like many that do have learned what to avoid. Some travel agents can be beneficial as silverislet mentioned, but many are a waste of time. What I don't understand is why people would use a service like Expedia. Other than using their site for price comparisons, why would you book with them and set yourself for extra penalties when problems arise. For Hotels though, you cannot go wrong with Hotwire if you are travleing to a major city. It has never let me down.

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sheepyDec. 23, 0910:12 PM

If you use a debit card, you can still dispute the charges.

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