How to find the best luxury travel agent in Los Angeles

February 13, 2014

- Posted by Stephen Chapek

Best Luxury Travel Agent LA

Behind every awesome trip stands an equally awesome travel agent. While this statement is not universally true, it certain can be true in a large number of cases. Great trips and vacations don’t just happen by accident. They take a lot of careful research, planning, and execution.

In fact, all that legwork could wear you out even before you step on the plane to your next vacation! But for those who are fortunate enough to enjoy luxury travel, and do so often, the ultimate luxury is time. Time is what we all don’t have enough of, whether rich or poor. So if your career is placing heavy demands on your time, a good investment would be to hire a specialist travel agent to design and plan your next awesome vacation. And hiring a good agent isn’t really that expensive in terms of the overall cost of the trip.

So apart from thinking about where and what your next luxury vacation will be, the first step in the process is finding a good travel agent. It’s worth considering the qualities that go into making a great travel agent.  

Finding a Great Luxury Travel Agent in LA

Obviously, reputation, experience and good customer service are primary qualities. If you’re going to an exotic location, it is recommended you find an expert in that particular area, but that’s not a deal breaker. A well established travel agent can usually arrange a great trip even if they aren’t personally familiar with the place you want to travel too. An experienced agent will be able to leverage his or her industry contacts to make sure you get the best service and experience.

You want someone who can efficiently and accurately plan and book your travel arrangements. Many agents can do this, but the thing to look for is someone who willing to go above and beyond to the call of duty to handle any problems that crop up at the last minute. Travel after all is about dealing with the unexpected.

Imagine that you have booked a trip of a lifetime at a 5 star resort in Tahiti. Now imagine that at the last minute your flight has been canceled and because it is peak season, there are no other flights available for nearly a week. Your hotel reservations are non-refundable and your vacation days are already set and approved. What do you do?  

Besides tearing your hair out, this is where an excellent travel agent would be coming to the rescue.  We have worked with travel agents that encountered exactly this scenario and come out the other end in one piece. Your travel agent won’t necessarily have a plan B lined up for this occasions, but a good agent would take extra time and effort to make new arrangements quickly and save your vacation with an acceptable alternative. And once you boarded your alternate flight, they would get right to work on securing those refunds for the non-refundable reservation!

This is what outstanding travel agents do, they go the extra mile to make sure you come out on top, no matter what disruptions or screw ups come your way. And that, by the way can take a lot of time and legwork, which is why it’s always good to have an advocate on your side, especially when time is the ultimate luxury.

A Review of the Top Travel Agents in Los Angeles

At Brilliant Transportation, we are experts in executive ground transportation. If your dream vacation is stateside and anywhere near New York or Southern California, we can take you to your destination directly. While we don’t offer travel agency and trip planning services per se, we believe in standing behind our customers, which is why we’re happy to help you find an excellent travel agent for your next trip, even if it doesn’t involve us directly.

Here are a couple helpful suggestions for first class travel agents in the Los Angeles area:

Terry Bahvi of En Route Travel, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles

Terry specializes in luxury trips for both leisure and corporate accounts, groups large and small and also books a lot of business with the cruise lines. Destinations cover the globe but she does much of her work in destinations like Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean, East Asia, Australia and the South Pacific. A recent trip she put together had a group of clients going to four countries and five cities in Southeast Asia. The trip included a short cruise in Ha Long Bay, a shopping extravaganza in Singapore, and with a finale taking place beach-side in Bali. She also arranged a French speaking guide for the group which consisted of many different nationalities.

Pro Travel International (in Los Angeles and worldwide)

This recommendation includes the whole organization as they are a worldwide company and we have worked with them on both coasts. However, in their Los Angeles office we have worked closely with agent Andrew Leeds and several of his  VIP clients. Pro Travel is a large company with almost $1 billion in annual sales and they specialize in complex, multi-stage corporate travel, but they always deliver a personal touch. This is evident by their client list, including many name brand celebrities (which we can’t mention here due to privacy concerns) and even handling travel for government officials and agencies. A luminary and world traveler no less than Hillary Rodham Clinton has endorsed their outstanding performance (this coming from someone with almost a million ‘frequent flyer’ miles!)

The Preferred Group

Another LA based company we have worked closely with on many VIP trips. Preferred is a concierge service/lifestyle company which caters to wealthy individuals who have extensive travel needs and a globe-trotting lifestyle. The firm was founded by executives from the Four Season and Peninsula Hotels group, so they so they know how to handle a VIP client when they see one. They have a worldwide network of exclusive luxury product and service providers. If your trip includes anything really out of the ordinary and you need high-level access to top-end guest properties around the world, these guys can handle all of your arrangements.

Finding the Best Travel Agent in LA

When you’re looking for luxury travel and you want the best, most reliable travel agent to handle the bookings for you, make sure you choose an agent that you can trust. It’s your vacation on the line so, when you speak to them, make sure you feel comfortable with their answers, their personality, and their ability to answer your questions with confidence.

Enjoy your trip!


Topics: Luxury Travel, Los Angeles

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